About This Project

Thank you for visiting my blog! I intend to use this platform to disseminate some of the knowledge and information that I will be discovering over the course of this 4 month project. I want what I learn about the young Syrian refugees in our Alberta schools to get into the hands of people who can use the information and help make a difference.

Here is a little bit of background of my project:

The war in Syria (2011-present) resulted in almost half of Syrians being displaced and fleeing to other countries. The resulting Syrian Refugee crisis led to an influx of refugee students in schools worldwide. Nearly 40 thousand Syrian refugees have settled in Canada since December 2015. These families and more than 1000 students in Alberta (Cryderman, 2016)[1] have unique needs due to the students’ interrupted formal education, cultural differences, and potential trauma (Block, Cross, Riggs, & Gibbs, 2014; Clark-kasimu, 2015; Tran & Hodgson, 2015). How Alberta schools are welcoming and supporting these new students is a pertinent issue to the students’ success in our system. Alberta schools need new teaching strategies, because the “traditional model of how we expect [them] to access schooling. . . is rarely the case for these students” (Clark-Kasimu, 2015, p. 24).  I will examine how Alberta Education and school jurisdictions have responded to the increase of Syrian refugee students in schools.

I will complete a document analysis examining the measures implemented to accommodate Syrian refugee students in Alberta schools. I will analyze policy documents between the announcement of special funding by the Alberta Government[3] (Fall 2015) and the present (Spring 2017). The objectives of this project are to assess the current efforts to support Syrian refugee students. My goal is to assess how Syrian refugee students are supported in the Alberta system specifically. This document analysis is thematic research intended to produce recommendations for teachers on strategies for meeting the needs of this growing population. To propose alternative solutions from those currently in use in Alberta, I will look at how other countries are supporting Syrian refugee children.

[1] http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/alberta/albertas-biggest-school-boards-welcome-syrian-refugees-but-ask-forhelp/article30113476/

Block, K., Cross, S., Riggs, E., & Gibbs, L. (2014). Supporting schools to create an inclusive environment for refugee students. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(12), 1337–1355. http://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2014.899636

Clark-kasimu, N. (2015). Serving refugee students and unaccompanied minors: More than just learning english, 20–25.

Tran, D., & Hodgson, B. R. (2015). Meeting the needs of refugee and immigrant students and families in a culturally responsive way. Voices in Urban Education, (41), 7–15.

[3] Government press release: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=389037F2B1B73-B12A-C843-667A3A9DC0593E33

 

Photo Credit: European Parliament on Flickr

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