In the culture-of-poverty perspective, the traits (and deficits) of students are the focus. But IDRA’s culture of possibility frame recognizes the assets of students and focuses on the responsibility of the institution. This issue of the IDRA Newsletter has stories on school finance and cost studies, the importance of quality early childhood education, a winning essay by a high school student on how the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program helped her, and highlights of IDRA’s Semillitas de Aprendizaje bilingual early childhood curriculum.
Learners who have used ethnographic approaches are typically positive about the fact that they were better prepared than many students for the period abroad, both in terms of study and project work and in personal terms. They are excited about working among informants and feel a sense of ownership of the unique project work they produce. They often articulate in mature, self-reflexive ways the changes they have undergone. They speak of ethnography as a new way of seeing and a new way of listening. They think differently about self / other relations and also about language and what it means to be a language learner.