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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Welcome to the Berkeley Review of Education, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal published online and edited by students from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. The Berkeley Review of Education engages issues of educational diversity and equity within cognitive, developmental, sociohistorical, linguistic, and cultural contexts. The BRE encourages submissions on research and theory from senior and emerging scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers. To submit a paper, please click on "Submit article to this journal" in the side bar.

Spring/Summer 2017

Issue cover

Editors' Introduction

Editors' Introduction

Introduction to Volume 6, Issue 2.


Translanguaging: Definitions, Implications, and Further Needs in Burgeoning Inquiry

The term translanguaging has appeared with growing frequency in research about the education of linguistic minority students. Amid increasing application of the term, concern emerges regarding the consistency of its definitions and characterizations, specifically with respect to the term’s social justice implications, which risk dilution. Early instances (García, 2007, 2009a) position the term as both a pedagogical strategy for supporting multilingual learners and a critique of existing conceptualizations of language and bilingualism that have historically marginalized particular speech communities. In this review of recent literature, I analyze 53 texts published between 1996 and 2014 for their definitions, exemplifications, and attributed implications of translanguaging, as an ontological perspective on language and as a set of teaching practices. In the review, I find that although the term has largely maintained its sociolinguistic critique, its ties to critical pedagogy appear only sporadically. I close this review by proposing avenues for new research.

From Discipline to Dynamic Pedagogy: A Re-conceptualization of Classroom Management

The purpose of this article is to re-conceptualize the definition of classroom management, moving away from its traditional definition rooted in discipline and control toward a definition that focuses on the creation of a positive learning environment. Integrating innovative, culturally responsive classroom management theories, frameworks, and strategies from contemporary educators, this article examines a new theoretical and conceptual foundation for classroom management—the Dynamic Classroom Management Approach (DCMA)—which consolidates these ideas into one cohesive framework. Four major components of DCMA are examined in detail: (a) flexibility and adaptability in one’s management style, (b) understanding the context of students’ diverse backgrounds, (c) effective pedagogy, and (d) creating a positive classroom culture and community. Each component focuses on why and how educators can meet the needs of all students to create a positive learning environment that proactively engages them while mitigating behavioral issues.

Engaging Diversity and Marginalization through Participatory Action Research: A Model for Independent School Reform

Authored by a university researcher, school practitioner, and high school student, this article examines how independent schools can utilize participatory action research (PAR) to bolster diversity and inclusion efforts. A case study approach was taken to showcase a two-year PAR project at a progressive independent school that sought to: (a) enrich institutional knowledge of student diversity, (b) capture the present-day schooling experiences of historically marginalized students in independent school settings, and (c) develop a dynamic action plan to ameliorate school issues that emerged through the PAR inquiry process. Committed to institutional research that informs school policy and practice, we argue that PAR provides a rigorous, student-centered, and democratic model for independent school reform.

The Ballot Initiative and Other Modern Threats to Public Engagement in Educational Policymaking

This paper situates recent changes in educational policymaking, especially the increased use of the ballot initiative, within larger historical trends related to democratic engagement in policy development. I conduct an integrative literature review that combines conceptual analyses with findings from empirical investigations into new policymaking tactics and their influence on policy development. Specifically, I explore (a) the discourses justifying policy priorities over time, and (b) the role of democratic engagement in dominant modes of policymaking. I demonstrate that various sources combine to tell a troubling story about the longstanding exclusion of the public from policymaking regarding its public schools. Further, I argue that, perhaps paradoxically, the increased use of the ballot initiative only exacerbates this trend. Ultimately, I use results from the reviewed research to ask if there is a better way to make policy, one that aspires to higher democratic ideals.