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This essay describes the importance of transnationalism in the lives of U.S. immigrant students and their families and how public school educators and researchers have neither adequately recognized nor situated this lifestyle. The authors discuss globalization and what propels transnational movement and argue that existing immigrant adaptation research from the fields of sociology and anthropology focuses on immigration processes extensively without making connections to the classroom. The authors maintain that transnationalism remains largely undertheorized in educational research. Drawing on their experiences as researchers and teachers, the authors provide a glimpse into the lives of these ‘overlooked’ transnational students through a series of vignettes. The essay concludes by addressing the teaching and learning implications of working with transnational students.


Originally published in:

Sanchez, Patricia; & Kasun, G. Sue. (2012). Connecting Transnationalism to the Classroom and to Theories of Immigrant Student Adaptation. Berkeley Review of Education, 3(1). ucbgse_bre_9203. Retrieved from:

(c) The Authors