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Urban schools expert Sonia Nieto to present next Landscape of Urban Education Lecture Dec. 4

November 25, 2008

Patrick Farrell
(315) 443-5421

Patrick Farrell

Sonia Nieto, professor emerita of language, literacy and culture in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will present the next Syracuse University School of Education Landscape of Urban Education Lecture. Titled "Urban Schools, Diverse Communities: Learning from Caring Teachers," her presentation will take place Thursday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. in the Public Events Room (Room 220) in Eggers Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. Paid parking is available in the Irving Avenue Garage.

NietoA nationally known advocate for improving urban education, Nieto writes, "Although for over a century our nation has advanced the ideal that a high-quality and excellent public education is the birthright of all children, our schools cannot fulfill this ambitious and noble purpose unless all of us-parents, policymakers and the general public-commit ourselves to sustaining education as a public trust and a promise to future generations." (From "Why We Teach," Teachers College Press, 2005.)

Nieto has taught students at all levels, from elementary grades through graduate school, and she continues to speak and write on multicultural education, teacher preparation and the education of Latinos and other culturally and linguistically diverse student populations.

Nieto was born and raised in Brooklyn and educated in the New York City public schools. She attended St. John's University's Brooklyn campus, where she received a B.S. in elementary education in 1965. Upon graduation, she attended New York University's Graduate Program in Madrid, Spain, and received her M.A. in Spanish and Hispanic literature in 1966. A junior high school teacher of English, Spanish and ESL in Ocean Hill/Brownsville, Brooklyn, in 1968 she took a job at P.S. 25 in the Bronx, the first fully bilingual school in the Northeast. Her first position in higher education was as an instructor in the Department of Puerto Rican Studies in Brooklyn College, where she taught in a bilingual education teacher preparation program co-sponsored with the School of Education. Moving to Massachusetts with her family in 1975, she completed her doctoral studies in 1979 with specializations in curriculum studies, bilingual education and multicultural education.

Her book "Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education" (Allyn & Bacon, 5th ed., 2008, with co-author Patty Bode), is widely used in teacher preparation and in-service courses throughout the nation and beyond. Her other books include "What Keeps Teachers Going?" (Teachers College Press, 2003) and "The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities" (Teachers College Press, 1999). She has published dozens of book chapters and articles in such journals as Educational Leadership, Multicultural Education, Theory into Practice and The Harvard Educational Review.

Nieto's many awards for scholarship, advocacy and activism include the 1989 Human and Civil Rights Award from the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the 1996 Teacher of the Year Award from the Hispanic Educators of Massachusetts and the 2005 Outstanding Educator award from the National Council of Teachers of English. She also has received several awards from the American Educational Research Association, including the 2006 Enrique T. Trueba Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship, Mentorship and Service; the 2008 Social Justice in Education Award; and the Division K (Teacher Education) Legacy Award.

For more information about the lecture, contact Florence DiGennaro at (315) 443- 4696 or

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