Dr. Bailey B. Smolarek is an Associate Researcher with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 2016, Bailey earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison specializing in language and education, education policy studies, and qualitative research. Drawing on critical social theories, Bailey's scholarship revolves around issues of educational equity from both systemic and localized understandings. Informed by her prior roles as a middle school Spanish teacher and an adult ESL instructor, Bailey's research is dedicated to cultivating socially-just educational spaces for multilingual and multicultural learners and the educators who serve them. Her dissertation used critical policy approaches to ethnographically examine the local enactment of federal and state education policies on Latinx immigrant youth at a high school in rural Wisconsin. Her current work includes, 1) the NSF funded study EMPOWER Stem (under PI Matthew Hora), which documents how faculty, postsecondary students, and workplace trainers think about and teach/train four critical 21st century competencies, 2) community based participatory action research projects with UW-Madison undergraduate students, and 3) teacher professional development workshops aimed at cultivating more equitable and culturally responsive teaching practices for working with Latinx students and families.
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