Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences announces that Project ELEECT, a proposal by the Program in Educational Transformation (MAET), has been awarded a $2.6 Million, five-year National Professional Development (NPD) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will support Project ELEECT in the preparation and professional development of teachers in the District of Columbia by widening the pipeline of teachers for multilingual DC students and preparing inservice teachers to meet the needs of their multilingual learners through equitable, culturally responsive pedagogy.
“Project ELEECT is a wonderful example of how our students and faculty are having a tangible impact on the community in which we live,” said Alexander Sens, Interim Dean of Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Project ELEECT (English Learners’ Educational Excellence Capitol Teacher Training), will work in partnership with more than 15 public charter schools, as well as DC Public Schools (DCPS) to build on the rich multilingual diversity in the District. The NPD grant will fund 80% of the cost of the professional development program for experienced teachers and 30% of tuition for aspiring teachers in the Educational Transformation Masters program which will be supplemented by university-funded merit awards. Combined with university funding, the grant will pay for roughly 83% of the tuition cost for aspiring teachers.
Two of the three principal investigators (PIs) leading this work, Sabrina Wesley-Nero and Crissa Stephens, bring to this initiative years of experience in teacher education and justice-oriented community engagement.
“Multilingual students are one of the fastest growing student populations in US and DC public schools,” said Sabrina Wesley-Nero “Unfortunately, they have been underserved and experience academic outcomes that often lag behind their peers. Project ELEECT will allow us to disrupt that inequity by equipping educators with effective, equity-oriented, and linguistically affirming pedagogies and practices. This is one step in moving toward educational justice.”
Stephens adds, “DC schools are a home to a variety of program models for how multilingual learners are served, from mainstream inclusive settings to ESL programs and Bilingual Education Programs. Project ELEECT reframes common deficit narratives about linguistically diverse students and equips teachers across these spaces to utilize pedagogy and support policy that builds on linguistic diversity as strength through an antiracist lens.”
“Project ELEECT is a wonderful validation of the model we have built in Educational Transformation in the five years our program has been in existence,” said Reed. “ We’re aiming to sustain a world-class program that prepares teachers and educational policy advocates to pursue greater racial, economic and linguistic equity in education. Through an asset-based stance towards students and communities we hope to change the conversation in the educational space, by focusing on pedagogy and policies that connect directly to the knowledge and experiences of students.”