By: Claire Quigle
College of Education Postdoctoral Research Scholar Enrique “David” Degollado was recently recognized with a Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow Excellence Award 2021.
David Degollado, a postdoctoral scholar in language education, researches and facilitates professional development on bilingual and ESL education methods for in-service and pre-service teachers as part of a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant entitled Advocacy, Capacity, and Collaboration for English Learners (ACCEL).
His research focuses on how bilingual education teachers’ lived experiences and language and literacy ideologies inform their practices. This includes the intersections of biliteracy, critical literacies, social justice issues, anticolonial and antiracist education.
Degollado’s research was recently recognized when he received the Postdoctoral Research Scholar/ Fellow Excellence Excellence award. Degollado received the award from the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research. He was one of four people from the UI College of Education who received recognition.
This Postdoctoral Research Scholar/ Fellow Excellence award honors Postdoctoral Research Scholar/Fellow research performance and scholarly activity that is recognized as highly original work and makes a significant contribution to the field.
One nominator wrote, “His research on raciolinguistic ideologies is innovative, unique among our faculty, and beneficial for his students as they interrogate how beliefs about language interact with racism in U.S. schooling.”
Degollado says he became interested in this area of research when he learned about dual language programs in graduate schools. As someone who is from the border and speaks two languages, he did not know they existed.
“When I started teaching, I saw how bilingual education programs had different end goals, and how teachers’ ideologies carried across these programs,” Degollado says. “These ideologies were often rooted in deficit perceptions of Spanish. Yet, we were Spanish speakers and raised bilingually. Teachers used Spanish in their classrooms to humanize the teaching and learning process which was contradictory to what they said. I became fascinated with the contradiction and where it came from: our lives, the spaces we inhabit, historically pervasive discourses.”
Another nominator wrote, “Dr. Degollado is a productive researcher. Since coming to the UI, he has had three journal articles accepted for publication in top-tier journals; one book chapter published and another accepted for publication with well-respected publishers.”
The UI College of Education recently started a bilingual education specialization within the Teacher Education Program. A nominator says Degollado helped design the specialization, including curricular changes and new developments within the coursework. The nominator said the work is important for ensuring equal educational opportunity for students throughout Iowa, and that Degollado’s contributions have been crucial for developing the vision and infrastructure to make the University of Iowa a leader in Bilingual Education teaching and research.
Degollado has also developed and led professional development workshops for teachers at the UI.
He has given 10 refereed conference presentations at premier conferences, including the American Education Research Association and the American Association of Applied Linguistics.
Moving forward, Degollado wants to continue to theory border literacy as part of biliteracy. He also wants to better understand how pre-service teachers take up, negotiate, or leave behind critical biliteracy practices that are rooted in antiracist or border literacies as they enter their first years of teaching.
This fall, Degollado will begin his tenure track position at the UI as an assistant professor in multilingual education in the College of Education’s Department of Teaching and Learning.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for the work we do,” Degollado says. “At the same time, so much of what I do is tell other people’s stories. Without my participants, I wouldn’t have anything to write about and this award is only possible because they so willingly shared their experiences with me.”