Schools have the potential for significant impact on the lives of Australian students with a refugee background. Many of these young people speak at least one language other than English, have previous histories of interrupted schooling or have experienced trauma during times of displacement and forced migration. Combined with the further challenges of settling within an unfamiliar cultural frame, these students experience a range of circumstances which are not present for many of their Australian-born peers. Australian students with a refugee background have diverse skill and abilities, with many showing independence and resilience. Opportunities for academic learning and development of social capital within the school context can be enhanced with relevant pedagogy and policy which draws upon and highlights the positive individual qualities that these students exhibit. Australian school practices are shaped by both state and federal education policies, which are interpreted and applied by individual schools within their own frameworks. This review considers recent literature on the experiences of Australian students with a refugee background as they participate in schooling, with a focus on the ways in which schools provide either opportunities or barriers to engagement.
SOURCE: Emily Miller, Tahereh Ziaian & Adrian Esterman, “Australian school practices and the education experiences of students with a refugee background: a review of the literature”, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Published online 05 Sep 2017
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