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ERIC Number: EJ1014867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
The Educational Resettlement of Refugee Children: Examining Several Theoretical Approaches
Lerner, Amy B.
Multicultural Education, v20 n1 p9-14 Fall 2012
Each year, approximately 100,000 refugees arrive in the United States (Refugee Council USA). Nearly half of these arrivals are children. The number of refugees worldwide has more than sextupled since the 1950s, and according to the United States Committee for Refugees and immigrants (USCRI) this number is expected to continue to grow in coming years (Szente, Hoot, and Taylor, 2006; United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, 2009). Despite this recent history and future expectations and predictions, no formal framework currently exists for integrating refugee children into American schools. Commonly, refugee children entering the school system in this new country are placed either in first grade (regardless of their age) or in a class that corresponds to their chronological age (Szilassy and Arendas, 2007). Both options present problems. When refugee children are placed with younger classes they may experience social and emotional difficulties because of the differences that exist in the development of children of unlike age groups (e.g., physical and cognitive development). When refugee children are placed with children of a different peer group these dissimilarities can exacerbate resettlement stress (Szilassy and Arendas, 2007). On the other hand, those refugee children placed in classes with students their own age are unlikely to be able to keep up with schoolwork without intervention, as refugee students typically do not have the "prerequisite academic experience in the course subject matter" (Roxas, 2008, p. 6). Further, the vast majority of refugee children do not speak the language of their new country and thus require English as a second language which many schools lack the resources to provide (Roxas, 2008). Research has shown that educational resettlement in the U.S. is, for the most part, far from successful. Why, then, have we yet to institute policies and practices that address issues pertaining to the educational integration of refugee children? What new knowledge and perspectives would help researchers and educators approach this problem? This article seeks to shed light on the implications of these issues, for policy and practice to bring forth new questions that challenge the ways in which researchers currently view the development of refugee children. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A