National Rural Education Association Official Podcast

S03E16 – Rural Education and the Migratory Patterns of Immigrants to the United States, an interview with Dr. Maria Coady.

Episode Summary

In this episode, we interview Dr. Maria Coady, the Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Educational Equity from North Carolina State University. Dr. Coady's research examines multilingualism, multiliteracy development, bilingual education, teacher and leader education, and language policies. We discuss the current migratory patterns of immigrants to the United States, including the changing landscape of multilingual learners in rural education. Dr. Coady has noted that rural districts need more resources to address these changes. Moreover, she notes that multilingual learners vary in their needs. Many multilingual learners vary in their use of language based on where they are from. Many of these families have varied experiences and need educational leaders who understand the complexities of needs based on the diverse cultures and experiences of these families. We discuss how funding has changed and impacted these rural communities. Dr. Coady has suggested that there needs to be greater professional development for teachers and administrators around multilingual education in rural education. In her work, she worked with teachers to educate beyond online education, including weekend workshops and site visits to the industry where these families work. Dr. Coady noted that, as a case study, teachers implemented community teaching. They adapted their curriculum to meet the complex needs of these families, like having students start their work at school to accommodate the completing time needs of kids helping their families. Schools also assigned experienced teachers as part of their curricular plan and included bilingual teachers in the classroom. As a result, 62% in English language arts and 85% in Mathematics on state standardized test scores. This provided a community classroom learning model. We have noted her research in the podcast and have attached links below. The first National Conference on Rural English Learner Education and Research (CREER, which means "to believe" in Spanish). A direct link is here: and an NC State article here: Some other links where folks can read more about rural EL students, families, and educators are in JRRE (open access) on teacher education