Educators Challenging Poverty and Latino Low Achievement by Extending and Enriching the School Day

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Latino students, as children of historically underachieving populations, often have their academic success in jeopardy. For many schools, after-school programs complement the regular school day, with more than half of the 49,700 U.S. elementary schools having one or more on-site programs. Such programs vary in intent, purposes, and resources and typically emphasize remediation rather than developing interests or competencies in curricular areas beyond language arts and math. This qualitative case study explores the practices of one dual language elementary school in a high poverty Latino community and its academic/enrichment extended day program. Wenger’s (1998) community of practice framework captures the mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and shared repertoire of practices tightly woven between the regular school day’s classroom teachers and the after-school instructional assistants. This investigation provides insight into collaborative efforts that can counter the isolation, segregation, and mediocrity of school experiences that children in poverty often experience and provide points for offering dual language and cultural experiences through an extension of the school day.


This article was originally published in Journal of Urban Learning, Teaching, and Research, volume 9, in July 2013. Dr. Curwen's and Dr. Colón-Muñiz's article begins on page 65 (page 70 of the PDF).

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American Educational Research Association