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The Educational Integration of Immigrants and Their Children: Update of Research Results in the Education Domain
Presentation to the 3rd Regional Conference and Workshop • Prairie Centre, Metropolis • Saskatoon, September 2000 • Yvonne Hébert, domain leader
Original Mandate of Education Domain • Functionality in an official language • School-work transition • Awareness and understanding of Canadian culture • Appreciation of diversity
Immigration and educational attainment Educational settings as agents of socialization Policies and programs aimed at improving cross-cultural relations Effects of language education on integration Effects of various contexts on language learning Disability and immigrant populations Impact of immigration on policies, programs, practices, and curricula Original Research Objectives
Current Priorities of Education Domain • Systemic Barriers to Lifelong ESL Learning • Nature and Impact of Racial Stereotyping and Discrimination within the Educational System • Construction and Enactment of Citizenship Education • as of October 1999
Some basic facts... • 13 research projects funded by PCERII • 18 researchers • 4 teams and 7 solos • Over 4 year period from 1996-1997 to 1999-2000
MERF Themes: • Across the four Centres of Excellence: • Language Learning and Literacy • Identity and Citizenship • Education and Social Mobility • Institutional Adaptation, Teacher Education, and Intercultural Competencies • PCERII themes
Integration and Language Proficiency Family and Community Literacy Cultural Integration and Diversity Valuing Diversity: Formal and Lived Curriculum Supporting Survivors of Torture Informal Learning, Educational Credentials and Work Transitions Literacy, Institutional Adaptation to Diversity, and Social Mobility
Citizenship Instruction for Adult Immigrants Citizenship Concepts in ESL and FSL for Adults in Four Provinces Citizenship Values Influence of Contexts on Identity Formation of Immigrant Adolescents Voices of Immigrant Children in Canadian Schools Oral History Narratives: Immigrant Children and Schools Citizenship, Identity and Voice
Why differential educational success? (Archibald) Maintaining dual proficiency is correlated with success in an educational institution Deficit in vocabulary Kids who enter ESL at 5-7 years take more time to ‘catch up’ than those who enter at 8-11 years What is socio-cultural environment of literacy development? (Wason-Ellam) Dreams and hopes of goodness for family Alienation and isolation Lack of English and focus on survival limit integration into new culture and its literacy practices Hope for their children and generations beyond Some findings: Language Learning & Literacy
Ethno-cultural differences between secondary school students and teachers in 3 cities? (Carson et al) Preservice teachers’ resistance; refusal to acknowledge their own implication in racism/sexism; passion for ignorance; issues of cultural difference, racism and teacher identity; High school students’ complex responses to promotion of cultural harmony Video production that highlights school-based initiatives Difficulties surrounding collaborative research with a variety of stakeholders Some findings: Institutional Adaptation to Diversity
Documentary Analysis of Provincial Programmes of Study (DePass) 1989 Alberta Social Studies conceptualized within a structural functional perspective Additive approach to inclusion of cultural and racial minority voices Different cultural groups, at home or abroad, presented in a flat, unidimensional and stereotypical manner Province and country depicted as fair, tolerant, Modern, industrial, high-tech society, with a strong reputation for being non-aggressive and a key peace-keeper on the world stage More findings: Institutional Adaptation to Diversity
Supporting Survivors of Torture (Arthur) identification of competencies for training community-based professionals and volunteers unique circumstances of involuntary migration and especially of torture parallel process of secondary traumatization among professionals and volunteers who work with survivors of torture managing vicarious trauma a multicultural approach to working with refugees advocacy role numerous program recommendations More findings: Institutional Adaptation to Diversity and Intercultural Competencies
2 key problems: (Wotherspoon) non-recognition of considerable skills and capacities acquired outside of formal learning contexts; schools set up to ignore or de-value informal knowledge of immigrants Research tasks: to identify obstacles to recognition & validation; key issues from the perspectives of immigrants; strategies/initiatives used by immigrant groups to enable use and recognition of such knowledge Work in progress:Social Mobility and Education:Informal Learning, Educational Credentials and Work Transitions
How do adult immigrants learn about their rights and responsibilities prior to application to become Canadian citizens? (Derwing) Decline... Reduction in civicinstruction in adult ESL classes Funding cuts & introduction of multiple choice citizenship test Test promotes superficial and reductionist notion of citizenship Current procedures highly depersonalized Some findings: Citizenship
Confusion between terms: values, principles, dispositions, concepts Analytic framework proposed (Wilkinson & Hébert) Four orders of logical relationships according to four domains of citizenship Civil-civic domain: loyalty, sincerity, openness and civic-mindedness Political domain: freedom, liberty, equality, justice Socio-economic domain: solidarity, self-reliance, valuing the earth Cultural domain: sense of belonging and human dignity More findings: Citizenship Values
Influence of contexts on identity formation of immigrant youth? (Hébert et al) Mixity and fidelity to self Disparate, fragmentary views of language and citizenship Religion as central marker of collective identity within a diverse community Racialized Identity as central to both individual and collective identity; as forms of social action Religion as organizing concept for raising children in a new context Some findings: Identity and Voice
Voices of immigrant children & youth in Canadian schools (Schissel) Paper for Vancouver Metropolis Conference: “The Jeopardy of Victimization on the Well-Being on Immigrant Children in Canadian Schools” in session on Immigrant and Refugee Youth: Integration and Transition into Adulthood, November 2000. Two MA theses: Trisha Keith, The Impact of Victimization at School and Away from School on Student Well-Being and Adjustment: An Analysis of Immigrant Children and Youth (Spring, 2000) Alison Whittmore, Immigrant Families’ Perceptions of and Experiences with Elementary & Secondary Education Systems in Canada (in progress) More Findings: Identity and Voice
Oral history narratives of immigrants whose children attend Canadian schools (Hirabayashi et al) Two MA theses, with Sikh and Greek data respectively Racism as common experience of children Diverse patterns of parenting Home teaching of language and culture - fear of loss of heritage Teasing for limited knowledge of English Parents critical of quality of schooling in Canada Positive portrayals of cultures of origin; community based activities and associations Negative views of self as member of group of origin - distancing of cultural group membership and rejection from peer group for skin colour More findings: Identity and Voice
Future Directions • Development of domain-driven, prairie-wide, multi-site research projects led by several senior affiliated researchers • Clarification of • Definitional issues, ex., what is ‘culture’? • Whose perspective(s) are reflected in analysis and interpretation? • Differences between research and student assignments... • Tensions in collaborative research... • Depth of analysis for dissemination...
More future directions... • Improved reporting and posting of ongoing work • Completion of all projects within 1 1/2 years • Developing workable solutions to isolation, individualism and fragmentation • Building on commonalities, ex., training of research assistants, exchange of readings and writings, drafting research proposals… • Developing effective working teams of researchers • Moving towards more comparative research, regionally, nationally and internationally
The Educational Integration of Immigrants and Their Children: Update of Research Results in the Education Domain Fall 2000, Saskatoon