Traversing Multiple Spaces and Places: An Ethnographic Study of Families in a Two-Way Immersion Program in a Gentrifying Community
Jasmine Alvarado

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Research Development Award

Award Year



Boston College

Primary Discipline

Research that examines the impact of gentrification on U.S. public schools reveals that we know surprisingly little about the experiences of low-income families of color. In the field of bilingual education, few studies include the experiences of low-income families of color to understand the role of gentrification in two-way immersion (TWI) programs, where children from multiple racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds are educated together with the goals of bilingualism and biliteracy. Given the limited research that regards low-income families of color as dynamically interactive with their educational surroundings, this dissertation study centers the experiences of TWI families, from various race and class backgrounds, as integral forces that constantly influence relations within and across communities. To these ends, this research study examines the experiences of families in a TWI program within the broader frame of how race and class affect their ways of interacting in an educational space, for which gentrification influences the program's nature. It combines archival research that documents demographic changes of a neighborhood in the Greater Boston Area with an ethnographic study of families in a TWI program. Informed by spatial theories and analyses, this study adds innovative conceptual and methodological approaches to the limited literature on families' experiences in TWI programs located in U.S. gentrifying communities, and, more broadly, to studies on the intersection of race and class with the experiences of families in public schools within gentrifying U.S. neighborhoods.
About Jasmine Alvarado
Jasmine Alvarado is a Ph.D. Candidate in Curriculum and Instruction at Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Her research interests are in bilingual teacher education, language use and literacies of bilingual students, and Latinx studies. Through archival and ethnographic methods, her dissertation explores how the lived experiences of families in a bilingual program intersect with broader community discourses and policies in a gentrifying neighborhood in the Greater Boston Area. During her time at Boston College, Jasmine has worked with teachers, school administrators, and families across school districts in the Greater Boston Area to design policies, practices, and pedagogies that promote the learning, well-being, and creative expression of bilingual students. In addition to the NAEd/Spencer Foundation Fellowship, Jasmine's work has received financial support from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. Before starting doctoral studies, she was a bilingual elementary teacher and an after-school program director in New York City Public Schools. Jasmine received a B.A. in Hispanic Studies and Government from Harvard University and an M.A. in Bilingual Childhood Education from CUNY-Hunter College.

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