All children can learn.
- Based at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CREDE is assisting the
nation's population of diverse students, including those at risk of
educational failure, to achieve academic excellence. The purpose of
CREDE's research is to identify and develop effective educational
practices for linguistic and cultural minority students, as those placed at
risk by factors of race, poverty, and geographic location.
- In addition to the University of Southern California (USC/CREDE) effort,
CREDE partners include: ARC Associates, Brown University, California
State University at Long Beach, Center for Applied Linguistics, Claremont
Graduate School, George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University,
Linguistic Minority Research Institute (LMRI), National Center for Early
Development and Learning, RAND, San Jose State University, TERC,
University of Arizona, University of California, Davis, University of
California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Diego, University
of Colorado, Boulder, University of Hawaii, University of Houston,
University of Louisville, University of Memphis, Western Washington
- Formerly the National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and
Second Language Learning, CREDE will continue and improve upon the
work of the (NCRCDSLL). The research program is based on a
sociocultural theoretical framework that is sensitive to diverse cultures
and languages, but powerful enough to identify the great commonalities
that unite people. It is based on 8 principles:
All children learn best when challenged by high standards.
English proficiency is a goal for all students.
Bilingual proficiency is desirable for all students.
Language and cultural diversity can be assets for teaching and
Teaching and learning must be accommodated to individuals.
Risk factors can be mitigated by schools that teach the skills that
Solutions to risk factors must be grounded in a valid general
theory of developmental, teaching, and schooling processes.
Research on language learning opportunities will highlight
exemplary programmatic choices.
- As part of its work, CREDE will operate over 30 projects
under six programmatic strands:
Effective professional development practices for teachers,
paraeducators, and principals will be explored.
The influence and interaction of family, peers, and community on
the education of linguistically and culturally diverse students will
Instruction in context will look at teaching these students in
different content areas, such as science and math.
Successful integrated school reform initiatives will be identified
Research on assessment investigates alternative methods for
evaluating the academic achievement of language minority students.
Central to its mission, CREDE's research and development focuses on
critical issues in the education of linguistic and cultural minority
students and those placed at risk by factors of race, poverty, and
In order to implement its mission, the CREDE effort is designing,
developing and disseminating a comprehensive curricular and
instructional framework that is strong, flexible, and inclusive of
diversity among all individuals and communities.
For 25 years, education has been deeply concerned for students placed at
risk of educational failure, due to poverty, race, or cultural and
linguistic diversity. Many programs were developed to increase the
success of specific groups: Native American, Native Hawaiian, inner-city
African-American, Latino, or Asian immigrants. But there cannot be a
separate program for every group, and most American classrooms have
students of many ethnic or linguistic origins.
Is there any way of teaching and learning that is effective for ALL
students? The five standards for effective pedagogy are the results of
many years work by the Center for Research in Education, Diversity &
Excellence (CREDE) and its predecessor, the National Center for Research
on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning. (Under the same
leadership, the line of work began at the Kamehameha Early Education
Program, Honolulu, in 1970). CREDE researchers have scoured the
research and development literature, looking for agreements among
educators working with every diverse group. And have actually found five
basic principles that everyone agrees on, whether they are working with
Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Native American
Indians, Mexican immigrants, Appalachian urban immigrant whites,
Southeast Asian newcomers, Eskimos or Aleuts, or mainstream gifted and
talented. The five principles where then put through a consensus process,
presenting them to every kind of educational group: researchers,
teachers, parents, administrators, policy makers; in focus groups and in
large auditoriums; in workshops and conferences; in professional
meetings and community meetings. This process took five years; it has
been over two years since CREDE has encountered any disagreement. It
appears there is actually a consensus.
CREDE has now issued these consensus statements as "Standards," by
which we mean ideals that we can all set for ourselves -- ideals for best
teaching practices. Thus they express the principles of effective pedagogy
for all students. Even for mainstream students, the Standards describe
the ideal conditions for instruction; but for at-risk students, the
Standards are vital.
The Standards are expressed in the theoretical language of the
sociocultural perspective. Of course not all the original reports use that
vocabulary, indeed many writers whose work has contributed to the
consensus work within other theoretical systems. Agreement across
theorists adds to the credibility of the consensus. But there are
advantages to expressing the Standards in a uniform theoretical language,
because the interactions among them are revealed.
THE STANDARDS FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING
- JOINT PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITY - Teacher and Students Producing
- LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT - Developing Language and Literacy
Across the Curriculum
- CONTEXTUALIZATION - Making Meaning: Connecting School to
- CHALLENGING ACTIVITIES - Teaching Complex Thinking
- INSTRUCTIONAL CONVERSATION - Teaching Through Conversation
The University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
participation in the CREDE effort is under the PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT strand. This group of projects will examine the
characteristics, careers, pre-service education, and in-service
professional development of educators of bilingual and culturally diverse
The USC/CREDE study,"Latino Paraeducators as Teachers: Building on
Funds of Knowledge to Improve Instruction", is focused on how bilingual
Latino paraeducators provide instruction to Latino students. This will be
accomplished by assessing the nature and use of their existing funds of
knowledge. Funds of knowledge are language, social norms, and other
cultural and linguistic community and family resources, such as social
history, and bodies of knowledge that are essential to a community's
functioning and well-being. The project will study candidates entering
the teacher training program at the University of Southern California and
recent graduates of the training program.
The research team conducting this study consists of USC Faculty members
Robert Rueda, Michael Genzuk, and Reynaldo Baca, (co-Principal
Investigators) along with Carmen DeNeve, an outside consultant and
several graduate students including Lilia Monzo, Ignacio Higareda,
Yesenia Pineda, Lorenza Arengo, Sobeida Vizcarra, Isabel Melendez and
The purpose of the study is to examine the "natural" knowledge that these
paraeducators bring to instructional interactions in the classroom --
more simply put, non-school-based professional development knowledge.
Paraeducators are school employees whose responsibilities are
instructional in nature and who deliver other services to students. They
work under the supervision of teachers or other professional personnel
who have the ultimate responsibility for educational programs. The team
has been wrestling with how to document participants cultural and
community funds of knowledge related to teaching and how to find
instances where that might be used in the instruction provided to their
students. After much debate, the team settled on a "backward mapping"
approach which reverses the sequence. That is, we will be examining
classrooms with an eye to identifying instances of "cultural and linguistic
scaffolding", points during instruction where scaffolding by the
paraeducator appears to be based on the special knowledge they bring to
the classroom from their own backgrounds. Some preliminary categories
might include knowledge of the local dialect or language, community
knowledge, etc. We will then, through follow-up interviews and other
means, try to get a good description of the origin and type of
knowledge/expertise that formed the basis for the example. We hope to
be able to catalogue the various types of scaffolded interactions and the
funds of knowledge that underlie them.
Our original design called for examination of three target groups, at
three stages of professional development -- it also made use of the
paraeducator to teacher program (the Latino and Language Minority
Teacher Project) at USC. This program identifies promising
paraeducators and then supports them through their degree and teaching
credential objectives. One of the groups we are studying is not currently
in the paraeducator program, one group is currently enrolled in the
program, and a third cohort consists of recent graduates of the training
program who are now teaching. The hope is that this will allow us to see
how formal education mediates the application and value of the "funds of
knowledge" that we are able to identify.
The initial work led us to include a fourth group in the study that we felt
would provide significant information, although it was not identified in
the original design. This group is referred to as the "madrina" group --
relatively older, less formally educated, no plans to pursue a teaching
credential, but normally from the surrounding community with a rich
knowledge of the families and the local school.
Along with classroom observations, we are using formal and informal
interviews, ongoing classroom observation, an acculturation measure
which will document language use and cultural factors of importance,
interviews which will investigate beliefs in key areas, and the ASOS
(Activity Setting Observation System) developed by Roland Tharp and his
team at the CREDE headquarters in Santa Cruz. We have had a team of
research investigators visiting the key schools in our study, and are now
nearing completion of the data collection phase of the project.
- To better understand the important work that the USC/CREDE team has
undertaken we will continue to provide updates on our research efforts.
Below you will find resent reports and articles that are the direct result
of these efforts.
- Paraeducator-To-Teacher Pipeline: A 5-Year Retrospective on an
Innovative Teacher Preparation Program for Latina(os).
- This article by Michael Genzuk and Reynaldo Baca from the "Journal on
Education and Urban Society" provides a 5-year retrospective on the
experience of planning and carrying out a paraeducator-to teacher
pipeline program. Described are how the project works, lessons learned
to date, and directions for the future.
- How Paraeducators Build Cultural Bridges In Diverse Classrooms
- by Robert Rueda and Carmen DeNeve. In their efforts to accommodate
cultural diversity in the classroom, schools have taken a variety of
approaches - few of them ideal. In this article, the authors examine how
educators can use the "funds of knowledge" available in culturally
diverse families and communities to build bridges between the home
cultures of students and the cultures of their schools.
- For additional information on paraeducators visit our National
Clearinghouse for Paraeducator Resources.
Dr. Robert Rueda
- Return to this page often to view updates on the progress of this
important research effort. Updates will be posted on a regular basis
- For further information contact:
Dr. Michael Genzuk
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Reynaldo Baca
- e-mail: email@example.com
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- FUNDING IS GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY:
Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S.
Department of Education