Field-based program of studies for future teachers provides opportunities for powerful learning through a dialectical union of reflection and action. Methods courses in academic disciplines are linked with seminars and coursework on community partnerships, critical pedagogy and culturally responsive education. This article illustrates the processes of planning, implementation and evaluation of this approach, highlighting the impacts of community service learning on parents, families, students, and schools with a focus on validating native language literacy, increasing parental involvement and providing conceptually correct science education. The project indicates that two-way dual language programs with a strong parent engagement component can help improve educational outcomes for English language learners (ELLs) and immigrant children in science and other academic subject areas. The focus of these school programs is on academic enrichment for all students, enabling teachers to learn to use students’ and their families’ linguistic and cultural experiences as a resource for learning. The study highlights qualitative data findings from ten months of a science education project in a multilingual, multicultural K-8 school on the U.S./Mexico border, providing insights for teacher educators working to close the achievement gap for English language learners and/or immigrant students in diverse communities.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robertson/19/