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Open Access Publications from the University of California


InterActions is an open access journal hosted by the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library, edited and managed by graduate students, based at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Our publication’s authors foster an open and critical dialogue with readers and colleagues through applying diverse social justice frameworks to the discussion of pressing issues in the fields of education and information.

Issue cover

Editor's Note


Discovering Pride and Enthusiasm at a Dual Immersion School

In California, dual immersion programs are increasing. Knowing more than one language is a valuable skill for all students. In order for educators to support students in developing their multilingual abilities it is important that we have constant reflection about our teaching pedagogy and try multiple strategies to engage students. Through this inquiry, my hope was to inspire enthusiasm and pride among students in a dual language immersion program who demonstrated a resistance to learning Spanish. To address the issue of resistance, I created a unit of study around the value of bilingualism. The unit focused on valuing knowing more than one language, the history of Spanish in California, higher education, the cognitive benefits of being multilingual, and how multilingual individuals can help their community. The theories that informed my study were sociocultural theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, and community cultural wealth. My main data collection strategies included semi-structured interviews, participant observation, collection of student work, and survey collection of six parents and eighteen students. Findings from this study suggest that personal narratives can be a powerful medium for inspiring pride and enthusiasm in the process of becoming bilingual.

I could work really hard but at the end of the day I still have to handle: How a Diversity Scholars Program Retained and Changed the way Chicanx/Latinx Students Viewed Themselves Beyond College

This study contributes to research that aims to document the impact college can have on students during and after participating in a purposeful college retention program. This paper will provide a background on the demographics of the state, the demographics of the institutions along with the description of the Diversity Scholars Program as it stands within the institution to provide context to the study. A qualitative approach was utilized to articulate the causal impact of the DSP in relation to the change in students’ attitudes, values, and identities. The findings are analyzed under four common themes, Making the PWI Theirs to Claim, Ethnic Studies as a Minor/Major, “Somos Como Uña y Tierra”: Friendships Established and Career and Graduate Choice.

In the following sections, I illustrate the ways that Chicanx/Latinx DSP alumni spoke about the impact of the ethnic studies course. I focus on the ten students’ narratives about their academic, relational, and shifting perceptions of Students of Color, and themselves. I share their experiences to illustrate their understanding of the systemic problem occurring within education and society. Moreover, the findings of this study can help inform potential practices and policies that higher education institutions can adapt to increase the success of Chicanx/Latinx college students. I conclude this chapter with a summary on the purpose of this study and the significance the study can have as we continue to find ways to best support Students of Color’s academic and personal success during and beyond college.

Best Practices in Teaching Underserved College Student Populations

College demographics are becoming more diverse. However, services for underserved populations are still needed on campus. As faculty work with diverse populations, identifying and implementing best practices for these student populations will assist faculty in meeting the unique needs and circumstances of the students, and should also help in retention overall.

Book Reviews

Sex Media

Attitudes towards sexuality and sexual practices have evolved dramatically with the proliferation of technologies like dating apps, smart sex toys and virtual reality (VR), and relationships between technology and the body have become more complex. Porn is now mainstream, the sex tech industry is buzzing and sex cultures are intertwined with new media practices more strongly than ever before. Feona Attwood's Sex Media addresses these issues from a humanistic, rather than behavioral, perspective, offering a broad, but useful, introduction to the study of gender, media and sexuality.

U.S. Central Americans: reconstructing memories, struggles, and communities of resistance

U.S. Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles, and Communities of Resistance is a critical anthology focusing on the narratives, experiences, and complexities of the Central American diaspora. Historically, scholarly work has addressed Central Americans through the eyes of “outsiders”, trauma, war, and violence; while this anthology highlights those very real and traumatic histories, it also centralizes the histories of Central American resilience and resistance. At a time when Central American youth are migrating to the U.S. alone and the presidential administration sees Central American youth and their families as bargaining chips in immigration policy, this anthology presents us with a critical examination of the U.S. interventions that have propelled migration to the U.S. Within a U.S. context, the contributing authors examine questions of identity, cultural production, gendered experiences, and transnationalism. Although the anthology is not grounded in the field of education, it is a valuable contribution to any scholar who is invested in Latinx student success and equity by providing the language and analysis necessary to understand the complexities and heterogeneity of Latinxs in the U.S.