Refugee and Immigrant Students

Achieving Equity in Education

Edited by:
Florence E. McCarthy, University of Western Sydney, Australia
Margaret H. Vickers, University of Western Sydney, Australia

A volume in the series: International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice. Editor(s): Elinor L. Brown, University of Kentucky. Rhonda G. Craven, University of Western Sydney. George McLean, Catholic Universities of America.

Published 2012

The focus of this book is on educational equity issues affecting immigrants and refugees around the world. Chapters highlight educational approaches that build from experiential knowledge, draw upon multiple languages, consider group identity, grapple with the complexities of inclusion, address family concerns, promote parental involvement, involve liaison with community agencies, and view cultural differences as educational strengths. While the book does not shy away from exploring the more challenging aspects of the refugee and immigrant experience, it avoids dwelling on victimology and rejects applying a deficit framework. Rather it offers hope, emphasizing the potential strengths of refugees, including their cultural capital and survival skills. The authors also make cogent suggestions for structural, pedagogical, and conceptual reform, with targets ranging from individual teachers to educational systems to social, economic, political, and cultural contexts.

CONTENTS: Acknowledgements. Foreword: For My Grandparents, Carlos E. Cortés. Introduction: Education for Immigrants and Refugees: Creating Equitable Pathways for the Futures, Florence E. McCarthy and Margaret H. Vickers. PART I: PEDAGOGICAL INITIATIVES ADDRESSING ISSUES OF EDUCATIONAL EQUITY FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES. Positioning Refugee Students as Intellectual Class Members, Karen Dooley. Creating Shared Learning Spaces: An Intercultural, Multilingual Early Learning Program for Preschool Children from Refugee Families, Anna Kirova. Refugees as Educators: The Potential for Positive Impact on Educational Systems, Susan Banki. Identity and Inclusion: Education in Refugee Camps in Thailand, Su-Ann Oh. PART II: REFUGEE AND IMMIGRANT SCHOOL–COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS. Still Far to Go: Systematic Programming for Immigrant and Refugee Children and Youth, Marian J. Rossiter and Tracey M. Derwing. Serving the Needs of Refugee Children and Families through a Culturally Appropriate Liaison Service, J. Lynn McBrien and Jillian Ford. Schools at the Crossroads of Competing Expectations, Linda Silka. PART III: SYSTEMIC ISSUES AND POLICIES FOR REFUGEE AND IMMIGRANT EDUCATIONAL EQUITY. Australia’s New Arrivals Policy and the Need to Reform Refugee Education Provision, Florence E. McCarthy and Margaret H. Vickers. Equity in Education for Migrant and Refugee Children: Issues from the United Kingdom, Jill Rutter. Post-Primary Education Dilemmas in Protracted Refugee Situations, Timothy Brown. Learning from the Education Programs for Sri Lankan Refugee Students in India, K. C. Saha.

"Rarely does a volume in education dealing with issues that affect both refugee and immigrant youth center on the experiences of refugee students. Although there is wide diversity in the cultural and socio-economic experiences of refugee students and families, they nonetheless face issues that are unique to the condition of forced displacement (M cBrien, 2005; Quaynor & Hamilton, 2012; Sarr & M osselson, 2010). As the editors of this volume remind us, 15.2 million persons in 2009 were registered as refugees with the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees, and 41% of this population were children under the age of 18. This book is a welcome and much-needed addition to the literature on refugee education. The contributors provide cross-national perspectives on issues involved in refugee education while rejecting deficit-based frameworks and maintaining an explicit focus on “the agency and resilience of people with refugee experience” (p. xviii)." Laura Quaynor in Teachers College Record