Sonia Nieto Essay

Sonia Nieto’s research has focused on the education of culturally and linguistically diverse students, multicultural education, bilingual education, teacher education, educational equity, and curriculum reform.

A graduate of the New York City public schools, she began her career as a fourth-grade teacher in the Northeast’s first completely bilingual school. In addition to numerous articles, her books include Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education (1992), The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities (1999), and What Keeps Teachers Going? (2003). She also edited the books, Puerto Rican Students in U.S. Schools (2000) and Why We Teach (2005).

Nieto has worked tirelessly toward educational equity for all students by serving on national and international boards and commissions, including the Massachusetts Advocacy Center, Facing History and Ourselves, and Educators for Social Responsibility. Nieto’s work has been particularly important in the areas of teacher training and multicultural education.

Through her twenty-six years as a professor in language, literacy, and multicultural education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, she has advocated for children and families. She has firmly espoused the ideas that all children can learn, that the role of families is paramount in children’s learning, that all people have culture, that a student’s language and culture should be honored, that multicultural education benefits all children and all people, and that education can be a force for positive social change.

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