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Issues in Teaching Refugees in U.S. Schools

by Karla Giuliano Sarr & Jacqueline Mosselson - 2010

This chapter counters the notion of refugee-ness as a condition to overcome in favor of a holistic and actor-oriented approach to the experiences of refugee students and their families in United States schools. Examples of refugees in the U.S. as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia illustrate the heterogeneity of refugees, challenges of isolation, and expressions of agency as refugee students and parents seek possibilities for economic mobility and selectively adapt to their new host community, often characterized by class and racial struggle. The last section of the chapter presents a number of promising practices and recommendations for educators.

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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 109. No. 2.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 14, 2010, p. 548-570
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18495, Date Accessed: 5/12/2021 7:16:18 PM

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About the Author
  • Karla Sarr
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    E-mail Author
    KARLA GIULIANO SARR is a doctoral candidate at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has a Masters in Education from the same program. In addition to questions of refugee education and immigration in the U.S., she focuses on issues in West Africa, particularly the interplay between indigenous knowledge, globalization, and development. Prior to returning to her studies, Karla worked for several years at Africa Consultants International/Baobab Center in Senegal. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gabon.
  • Jacqueline Mosselson
    University of Massachusetts Amherst
    E-mail Author
    JACQUELINE MOSSELSON is Assistant Professor of International Development and Education at the Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst. She received her Ph.D. in International and Transcultural Studies with distinction from Columbia University in 2002. Her research and teaching interests include: political, social and cultural contexts of international development; cultural studies; international & comparative education; and critical psychology. She is the author of Roots & Routes: Bosnian Adolescent Refugees in New York City (Peter Lang, 2006) and some recent publications appear in the Comparative Education Review, the International Journal of Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education, and the International Journal of Education and Development. Jacqueline is also a member of the International Network of Education in Emergencies’ Working Group on Education and Fragility.
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