About the Authors

Dr. Alison Dover

Dr. Ferran Rodríguez-Valls

Dr. Alison G. Dover is a professor in the Department of Secondary Education at California State University, Fullerton. She holds a doctorate in social justice education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has taught English Language Arts and service learning in diverse urban school districts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Dr. Dover works extensively with local and national students, educators, and school communities to advance social justice, agency, and culturally sustaining pedagogies in K–12 and teacher education. She is co-author of Preparing to Teach Social Studies for Social Justice: Becoming a Renegade (2016, Teachers College Press) and Radically Inclusive Teaching with Newcomer and Emergent Plurilingual Students: Braving Up (2022, Teachers College Press), and has written numerous journal articles and book chapters related to literacy, equity-oriented approaches to teacher education, and teaching for social justice. Dr. Dover holds leadership roles in the American Educational Research Association (Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education) and the California Alliance of Researchers for Equity in Education (CARE-ED), and is the principal investigator for a Spencer Foundation Research-Practice Partnership Grant titled Project LEARN: Language, Equity and Action Research with Newcomer Students.

Dr. Fernando (Ferran) Rodríguez-Valls is a professor at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). Dr. Rodríguez-Valls has created partnerships with school districts and local educational agencies to develop and implement community-based [bi/-multi]literacy programs. At CSUF, Dr. Rodríguez-Valls coordinates the Bilingual Authorization Program and the World Languages Program. In this capacity, he recruits and prepares future educators to design, implement, and evaluate asset-based and heteroglossic practices. Dr. Rodríguez-Valls’s publications, including his first book Teaching and Supporting Migrant Children of Farm Worker Families: A Cultural Proficiency Approach (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), focus on equitable and linguistically inclusive methodologies for emergent plurilingual, newcomer, and [im]migrant students as well as on the sociocultural factors affecting their academic achievement, educational continuity, and school engagement. Dr. Rodríguez-Valls has directed and co-directs grant projects in which teacher candidates have the opportunity to create brave learning spaces where teaching overpowers instruction, where learning surpasses drilling, where languages conquer monolingualism, and where critical thinking eradicates fanaticism and a fake sense of monoglossic and univocal identity.

Dr. Renae Bryant (guest co-author) serves as the director of Plurilingual Services at Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) in Anaheim, California, where she leads efforts to increase student access, opportunity, equity, and success through the Plurilingual/English Learner, World Languages and 2019 CSBA Golden Bell Award–winning Spanish and Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion programs. Previously at Westminster School District, Dr. Bryant led a team to implement the first Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion program in California, which was awarded the California School Board Associations Golden Bell in 2017. She is the founder and facilitator of the Leadership Book Chat (#Ldrshpbkchat), where she leads national book studies about equity and leadership in education. Dr. Bryant serves as the director of Public Relations for the Association of California School Administrators Region 17 and as president of the California Association for Bilingual Education Riverside Chapter #6, and she was recently named a 2020 Woman of Distinction for the 34th Senate District by Senator Thomas J. Umberg. Dr. Bryant earned a doctorate in organizational leadership at the University of La Verne in 2017 and completed the ACSA Superintendents Academy, AASA/USC Urban Superintendents Academy, and the AASA Aspiring Female Superintendents Academy, and she is currently enrolled in the Stanford EdLEADers Program. Dr. Bryant has served as an award winning National Board Certified elementary and secondary teacher, as well as site and district administrator.

Are you interested in bringing a Language Explorers program to your school site? Drs. Dover and Rodriguez-Valls are available for keynotes, guest lectures and virtual book groups, and can work with you to design site-based and virtual professional learning workshops for educators in your district. We also provide professional development, curricular guidance, and technical support for districts interested in launching enrichment programs for newcomer and emergent plurilingual students. For additional information, please email us.