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Jennifer Keys Adair is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies the role of agency in transforming the learning experiences of young children. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she is concerned with racial, cultural, and crosscultural understandings of early childhood education, particularly the experiences of teachers, parents, and children from immigrant communities.
In 2012 Dr. Adair became a Young Scholar (2012-15) with the Foundation for Child Development (FCD) to conduct research on how culturally relevant types of agency in early elementary classrooms affect the social and academic development of children from Latino immigrant communities. Dr. Adair is currently conducting research to compare how young children from indigenous and immigrant communities in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States develop dispositions towards civic action and advocacy by being able to use culturally varied versions of agency.
Dr. Adair, who is a former preschool teacher, completed a PhD in anthropology and education at Arizona State University, with an emphasis on comparative perspectives on early childhood education.
How the young children of immigrants experience their early school years may in large part determine their academic future and negatively affect their emotional, social, and mental development. This report maps the types of personal and structural discrimination that young children of immigrants may experience at school, and the consequences for children, their families, and schools.