An inquiry into a model for normalista preparation and transfer program to the Texas bilingual education teacher program
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Texas teacher education preparation programs have been unable to supply the demand for qualified teachers to serve the growing numbers of Spanish speaking students. Normalista teachers (so called because their preparation took place in Mexican Normal Schools) can become future bilingual teacher candidates. Typically normalistas have served as teachers in Mexico and are currently recent immigrants employed in jobs that are often unrelated to education. My study provides a description of the experiences shared by normalistas who are seeking certification to practice their chosen career in the state of Texas. Many universities have established partnerships with professional development schools for the purpose of providing pre-service teacher preparation. However, only a few have established similar partnerships with colleagues across the United States and Mexico border, presumably because of language and cultural barriers and limited knowledge in understanding of the different preparation paradigm used in the Mexican educational system. Second, my study will add to the knowledge base about Mexican trained educators, who are part of the post baccalaureate population in our universities, alternative certification programs, and in certification programs provided by the Education Service Centers in Texas. My study explores and addressing the special needs of individuals who arrive with this wealth of knowledge in pedagogical understandings, cultural experiences in the classroom, teaching methodologies and strategies for educating a large under served population. Moreover, my study examines and describes the salient ethical and procedural themes that emerge from the interactions with preparing adult English language leamers to serve the large population of elementary students in which Spanish is their native language. My study provides direction in the use of data acquisition and analyses that is qualitative in nature. More specifically the methodology used is survey research that uncovers the experience of normalista teachers in the transitional phase in preparing for teacher certification in Texas as a bilingual education teacher. Special attention must be paid to the practice of ethical codes, perceptions of adult English language learners, and interpersonal interactions that are exclusive to this context. Methodological inquiry and analysis was guided using three basic frameworks: Ogbu's (1986, 1989) voluntary and involuntary immigrant framework, Gibson's (1988) structural inequalities theory, Cummins (1984) interdependence theoretical framework.