04 SES 16 C, Migrant Children and Reception Contexts: Risks and potentials in inclusive education Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 04 SES 17 C
Postmodern societies are characterized by cultural pluralism, which brings changes both at the level of subjective constitution and at the level that institutions are organized and structured (Vetrovec, 2007). In the current setting, refugee and newly arrived migrant (NAM) students face enormous challenges with respect to second language acquisition, teaching procedures and the acquisition of new knowledge. In other words, the particularly complex educational needs of refugee children are difficult to be met within the formal educational system settings (Essomba, 2017; Pastoor, 2017). The main aim of this presentation is to depict the challenges and needs for non – formal education policies addressed to refugee and NAM children in Greece today. It strives for depicting what refugee children think as necessary for their education at the host country while acquiring L2. As sample of the study are unaccompanied refugee minors, who are provided accommodation at protected shelters run by International NGOs in Athens city centre. The minors come from different countries (e.g. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria etc.), bear different cultures and speak different heritage languages. This suggests the need for appropriate methods in approaching them, such as implementing multimodal learning and emphasizing on different modes of learning, like Identity Texts (Cummins & Early, 2011). Exploring their funds of knowledge (Moll et al., 1992) and activating their prior knowledge (Cummins, 2001) can assist in promoting a child-centered approach. Emphasis on Intercultural Dialogue shows how it provides voice to voiceless, encourages debate and discussion, enhances exchange of opinions, demolishes stereotypes, enriches the educational procedure, welcomes and appreciates diversity, acceptance and inclusion of the ‘other’ (Vieira et al, 2017). Encouraging refugees to actively take part in the whole educational procedure is not just an act of inclusiveness but an act of agency as described by Malkki (1996). The presentation aims to give prominence at the necessity of inclusive educational policies, as a means of enabling social interaction amongst all diverse students. International collaboration with experts in the field is promoted in search of methods and tools that would strengthen linguistic integration and societal inclusion for all.
Cummins, J. (2001). Negotiating Identities: Education for empowerment in a diverse society. 2nd Edition. Los Angeles: California Association for Bilingual Education. Cummins, J., & Early, M. (2011). Identity texts – the collaborative power in multilingual schools. Hockley, UK: Trentham Books. Essomba, M.A. (2017). The right to education of children and youngsters from refugee families in Europe, Intercultural Education, 28(2), 206-218. Malkki, L.H. (1996) Speechless Emissaries: Refugees, Humanitarianism, and Dehistoricization. Cultural Anthropology (11) 3, pp.377-404. Moll, L. C., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992, Spring). Funds of knowledge for teaching using a qualitative approach to connect homes and Classrooms. Theory Into Practice,XXXI (2), pp. 133-141. Pastoor, L. d. W. (2017) Reconceptualising refugee education: exploring the diverse learning contexts of unaccompanied young refugees upon resettlement, Intercultural Education, 28(2), 143-164. Vetrovec, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(6), pp. 1024-1054. Vieira, A., Marques, J.C., Gomes, M.P., Vieira, R. (2017). The inclusion of the other in ourselves: reception and comprehension of refugees in Portugal, Intercultural Education, 28(2), 196-205.
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