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Elizabeth Quintero

Professor, Education

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Elizabeth P. Quintero's teaching in higher education has focused on early childhood studies, with an emphasis on literacy and curriculum. She has also enjoyed designing and teaching courses regarding working with parents, bilingual education, curriculum for multilingual students, and courses integrating the arts and other content area disciplines. For the past six years she was director of the Early Childhood Masters Program at New York University and chair of the doctoral committee for three years.
Her books reflect her research, teaching and service. Refugee and Immigrant Family Voices: Experience, and Education, is in press with Sense Publishers in the Netherlands. This book reports on qualitative research following educators—including parents, community elders and teachers using critical literacy--in several countries and documents the ways the educators use various funds of knowledge (Moll, 2005, 1990) for self-advocacy. This story began some years ago when Quintero had the opportunity to work with a group of parents and teachers to design and implement a Bilingual Family Literacy Project in El Paso, Texas. Later, she initiated a similar project with another group of teachers and families to create a family literacy project in Minnesota with Hmong and Somali families. In summer of 2002, in Ankara, Turkey, she met refugee families on the run, seeking asylum, who taught her about strengths of human spirit and determination for learning and positive family support in deplorable conditions.

In London, in early 2004, she met families of Asylum Seekers from 68 countries who, with the collaborations of the Refugee Council, private foundations and committed teachers, had created one of the most dynamic and exciting elementary schools in the absolute poorest neighborhood in London. And currently, on an on-going basis, in New York City, she and her students work with families from Chinatown to Brooklyn to Queens to the Bronx—Latino, Syrian, Palestinian, Pakistani, Orthodox Russian Jewish, and Central American families.

Quintero has just completed a book for SUNY Press that reports on a qualitative study related to her Early Childhood curriculum work and research called Artful story: Critical literacy connecting learning, teaching, and integrated curriculum. The book reports on a qualitative study involving various groups of teacher education students and practicing teachers in urban schools in New York City. The teachers support students’ multiple languages and recognize ways that multiple knowledge sources, identities, and language forms can contribute to the formation of new relationships, new knowledge, and meanings. As a community of scholars in a wide variety of classrooms, they respect the children’s backgrounds, plan carefully for their current experiences in school, and prepare them for the future challenges of standardized testing, competitive learning programs, and a variety of future journeys.