Educational Interventions for Refugee Children: Theoretical Perspectives and Implementing Best Practice

Educational Interventions for Refugee Children: Theoretical Perspectives and Implementing Best Practice

Educational Interventions for Refugee Children: Theoretical Perspectives and Implementing Best Practice

Educational Interventions for Refugee Children: Theoretical Perspectives and Implementing Best Practice

Synopsis

How can schools best prepare themselves to successfully educate refugee children? By focusing on the education of refugee children, this book takes a rare look at a subject of increasing significance in current educational spheres. Highlighting the many difficulties facing refugee children, the editors draw upon a wealth of international experience and resources to present a broad, informative and sensitive text. Educational Interventions for Refugee Children i dentifies school-based interventions, whilst suggesting methods and measures with which to assess the efficacy of such programmes. It also develops a useful model that provides a standard for assessing refugee experience, offering diagnostic indicators for: * Evaluating support services for refugee children * Future avenues of research * Practical implications of creating supportive educational environments for refugee children The need to identify and prepare for the education of refugee children is an international issue, and this is reflected in the broad outlook and appeal of this book. The editors have developed an overall model of refugee experience, integrating psychological, cultural and educational perspectives, which researchers, practitioners and policy makers in education will find invaluable.

Excerpt

The impetus for reviewing the literature on refugee education was a New Zealand Ministry of Education contract related to the evaluation of educational services to Kosova refugees entering the country in 1999-2000. The comprehensive review was focused on theory and research (both national and international) on the education of refugee children. We felt that while there was a large and diverse body of international literature around refugees addressing social, medical, political, linguistic and educational issues, there is a paucity of material specifically concerned with refugee children, and only a small proportion of this is about school-based interventions and programmes.

As we sifted through the research we started to see the possibility of deriving an overall model that would not only help in our evaluation of the specific Kosova refugee initiative but also other educational interventions for the education of refugees. In addition, we felt that we could contribute to the overall understanding of the plight of refugee children by integrating multiple diverse theoretical and research perspectives.

Within our initial literature review and in this expanded book, we have adopted an ecological model to impose some order on the wide array of contextual factors to be considered. Bronfenbrenner developed such a model, which illustrates the influence of the environment, or context, on child development. This perspective contrasts with others that could have been employed (for example, medical, psychiatric, psychological, sociological) and provides a useful and integrative conceptual frame in which to consider theory and research originating from these other perspectives. A review of this work has allowed the identification of what we believe are key indicators of both the resilience of the refugee child and his or her family and community, and the supportive qualities of the school system in which the refugee child is placed. Our intent in reviewing a broad array of research literature from a variety of disciplinary perspectives was to create a model which would apply across different refugee populations and host country education systems. Within the context of this ecological model, the intent of the book is to describe school-based interventions to help refugee

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