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ERIC Number: EJ929569
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3124
Building Bridges between Refugee Parents and Schools
Rah, Yeonjai; Choi, Shangmin; Nguyen, Thu Suong Thi
International Journal of Leadership in Education, v12 n4 p347-365 2009
This interview study examines the way practitioners in Wisconsin public schools created conditions to facilitate refugee parent involvement. Practitioners' perceptions of barriers to refugee parents' school involvement are explored as well as the strategies used to promote meaningful parent involvement. Interviewees included nine school practitioners who worked closely with recently arrived Hmong students. The findings of the study suggest school practitioners considered the following barriers to refugee parent involvement: (1) language proficiency; (2) time constraints due to family socio-economic status and traditional family structures; (3) deferential attitudes towards school authority. Strategies viewed as useful to the interviewees included: (1) creating a parent liaison position; (2) tapping into existing community service organisations; (3) providing parent education programmes. While the findings illuminate ways school practitioners and policy-makers may better facilitate transitions of recently resettled refugee students into host communities, our discussion challenges school practitioners and policy-makers to question an absence of community control in traditional conceptions and enactments of parental involvement. Further, we raise concerns over technical rational approaches to social integration of refugee families and critique a colonial discourse of "helping" these vulnerable communities. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin