Nieto, Sonia 1943-

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Nieto, Sonia 1943-


Born September 25, 1943, in Brooklyn, NY; daughter of Federico (a co-owner of a Caribbean grocery store) and Esther (a homemaker and co-owner of the grocery store) Cortes; married Angel Nieto, January 4, 1967; children: Alicia Nieto Lopez, Marisa Nieto McKnight. Ethnicity: "Puerto Rican." Education: St. John's University, Brooklyn, NY, B.S., 1965; New York University, M.A., 1966; University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Ed.D., 1979.


E-mail—[email protected].


Teacher of English, Spanish, and French and coordinator of English-as-a-second-language program at a junior high school in Brooklyn, NY, 1966-68; bilingual teacher at a public bilingual school, Bronx, NY, 1968-70, curriculum specialist, 1970-72, and supervisor of summer day elementary school, 1971; Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, instructor in Puerto Rican studies and deputy head of department, 1972-75; Massachusetts Department of Education, Springfield, coordinator in Bureau of Equal Educational Opportunity, 1979-80; University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, assistant professor, 1980-88, associate professor, 1988-93, professor of language, literacy, and culture, beginning 1993, currently retired, parent/teacher trainer at Bilingual Education Service Center, 1980-83, board member of University without Walls, beginning 1983, director of Cultural Diversity and Curriculum Reform Program, 1989-92. Spanish-American Institute, teacher of English as a second language to adults, 1968; Hampshire College, adjunct assistant professor, 1977; School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT, instructor, 1979; Beijing Teachers College, member of China Scholars Program, 1988; University of Pennsylvania, Gordon S. Bodek Lecturer, 1995; University of Santiago de Compostela, visiting professor, 1997; University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Virginia Biggy Lecturer, 1999; Emory University, Dora Helen Skypek Lecturer, 2001; University of Washington, Seattle, Corbally Lecturer, 2001; Keene State College, Sidore Lecturer, 2002; Washington State University, Sherry Vaughn Distinguished Lecturer in Education, 2003; Wells College, Beckman Lecturer, 2003; State University of New York at Binghamton, Couper Lecturer, 2004; Indiana University at Bloomington, Miller Lecturer, 2004; University of Rhode Island, Robert and Augusta Finkelstein Memorial Lecturer, 2004; Trinity University, Carter Lecturer, 2005; Lingo Lecturer, Washburn University, 2006; Sarah Lawrence College, Longfellow Lecturer, 2006; guest lecturer at many other institutions, including Harvard University, University of Arizona, Queens College of the City University of New York, University of Alabama, and Brown University. Massachusetts Advisory Council on Bilingual Education, member, 1990-91; Council of Chief State School Officers, member of equity review panel of Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium, 1996. Massachusetts Advocacy Center, member of board of directors, 1983-88; National Writing Project, member of national advisory board for Project Outreach, 1995-99; Educators for Social Responsibility, member of national advisory board, 1996—; Family Diversity Projects, Amherst, member of national advisory board, 1997—; Center for Teaching and Policy, member of core advisory group, 1997—; Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, trustee, 2003—; Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC, trustee, 2006—; advisor to many other organizations. University of Massachusetts Press, member of editorial board, 1994-96; member of editorial board of periodicals, including Review of Educational Research, 1997-2000, Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 1997—, Excellence and Equity in Education, 1998—, Current Issues in Education, 1998—, Multicultural Perspectives, 1999—, Journal of School Leadership, 1999-2003, Qualitative Studies in Education, 2000—, Centro Journal, 2000—, Education for Urban Minorities, 2000—, Journal of Latinos and Education, 2000—, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies: An International Journal, 2002-05, and Teaching Education, 2004—.


National Association for Bilingual Education, American Educational Research Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Congress of Research on Language and Literacy, Phi Delta Kappa.


Award from Parents United in Education and the Development of Others, 1984; Human and Civil Rights Award, Massachusetts Teachers Association, 1988; award for outstanding accomplishment in higher education, Hispanic Caucus, American Association of Higher Education, 1991; Point of Excellence Award, Kappa Delta Pi, 1994; Drylongso Award for Anti-Racist Activists, Community Change, 1995; award for service to the Latino community, Latino Scholarship Fund, 1995; Teacher of the Year Award, Hispanic Educators of Massachusetts, 1996; National Association for Multicultural Education, Multicultural Educator of the Year Award, 1997, New England Educator of the Year Award, 1998; senior fellow in urban education, Annenberg Institute, 1998-2000; meritorious service citation, city of Paterson, NJ, 1998; "critics' choice" selection, American Educational Studies Association, 1999, for The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities; D.H.L., Lesley College, 1999; resident at Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy, 2000; Chancellor's Medal University of Massachusetts, 2000; honorary doctorate, Bridgewater State College, 2004; named outstanding educator in the language arts, National Council of Teachers of English, 2005; Enrique T. Trueba Lifetime Achievement Award, Journal of Latinos and Education, 2006; senior scholar award and distinguished career award, both American Educational Research Association, 2006.


Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education, Longman (New York, NY), 1992, 4th edition, Allyn & Bacon (Boston, MA), 2004.

(Editor, with Ralph Rivera, and contributor) The Education of Latino Students in Massachusetts: Issues, Research, and Policy Implications, Gaston Institute for Latino Public Policy and Community (Boston, MA), 1993.

The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities, Teachers College Press (New York, NY), 1999.

(Editor and contributor) Puerto Rican Students in U.S. Schools, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (Mahwah, NJ), 2000.

Language, Culture, and Teaching: Critical Perspectives for a New Century, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (Mahwah, NJ), 2002.

What Keeps Teachers Going?, Teachers College Press (New York, NY), 2003.

(Editor) Why We Teach, Teachers College Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to books, including Images and Identities: The Puerto Rican in Two World Contexts, edited by Asela Rodriguez de Laguna, Transaction Books (New Brunswick, NJ), 1987; Teaching Multicultural Literature in Grades K-8, edited by Violet J. Harris, Christopher-Gordon (Norwood, MA), 1992; Shifting Histories: Transforming Schools for Social Change, edited by Capella Noya, Kathryn Geismar, and Guitele Nicoleau, Harvard Educational Review (Cambridge, MA), 1996; Learning as a Political Act: Struggles for Learning and Learning from Struggles, edited by J.A. Segarra and R. Dobles, Harvard Educational Review, 1999; and Lifting Every Voice: Pedagogy and Politics of Bilingual Education, edited by Zeynep Beykont, Harvard Education Publishing Group (Cambridge, MA), 2000. Editor of the book series "Culture, Language, and Teaching," Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Journal of Teacher Education, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, School Administrator, Harvard Educational Review, Multicultural Review, and Theory into Practice. Editor of special issues, Bulletin of the Council on Interracial Books for Children, 1983 and 1986, and Educational Forum, 1994.

What Keeps Teachers Going? has also been published in Spanish.


Sonia Nieto once told CA: "I write on the issues about which I am most passionate: the education of children and young adults, especially those who have been historically neglected by our schools; that is, young people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those who live in poverty. The reasons for my steadfast interest in these issues are many, including my own experiences as a child, my education and training, and my life as a teacher, mother, and grandmother.

"I believe, and I know through my own experience, that negative beliefs about cultural, linguistic, gender, social class, and other kinds of diversity leave their imprint on students, teachers, and schools. Even well-meaning teachers who care about their students may have stereotypic beliefs and hold low expectations for them. At the same time, and equally injurious to the life chances of poor students and students from culturally and linguistically diverse families, are the conditions in the schools they attend. These conditions include disgracefully inadequate levels of funding, rigid ability tracking, unmotivated pedagogy, and irrelevant curriculum. My purpose in writing is to use my research and that of others to broaden the perspectives of educators, and indeed of citizens in general, about diversity. I am convinced that differences are not the problem; the problem resides in the negative perceptions concerning culture, race, gender, and language that are deeply embedded in our history. In my writing, I address this problem and focus my attention on the positive role that teachers and schools can play in teaching students of all backgrounds to high levels of achievement."



Welcome to Sonia Nieto's Web Page,˜snieto (February 10, 2007).