Western student publishes article in Washington Education Research Association journal
Lauri Walker is an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Tillamook Jr High School, and with the start of spring, will graduate with a Master’s of Education from Western Oregon University. Supported by Dr. Kristin Pratt, Walker received her first publication in the annual Washington Educational Research Association (WERA) Educational Journal.
All of the articles within the 2022 issue relate to the topic of “Moving Forward, Not Going Back,” adequately describing Walker’s inception for focusing on Emerging Bilingual (EB) populations. Noticing a growing EB population, one that “seemed to self-segregate”, possibly stemming from “a lack of acceptance in the school”. The Covid-19 pandemic response, specifically online learning exacerbated the struggle for teachers and students alike, yet the virtual classroom experience made clear the magnitude of inequitable access to educational resources and support for EBs. The five principles indicated in her literature review describe the ways that tools, resources, and strategies can be used to support students and families, starting with assessment, followed by maintaining an asset-based pedagogical framework. Here, Walker embeds academic English to increase acquisition of 21st century skills’, incorporating high-quality opportunities for diverse communities to connect their prior-knowledge to extend current academic abilities. Walker says that “most importantly”, teachers are to “instill a sense of curiosity and purpose, and provide the tools students need to set and attain their goals.”
The Department of Education and Leadership applauds Lauri’s continual progression of her practice, directly connecting to her active support of teachers and educational staff to address the needs of EB students and families.