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GROUP 1. Connecting citizenship, language, and literacy for refugee students: A comparative case study

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This proposed dissertation is under the supervision of Dr. Carole L. Hahn, Emory University. In May 2011, I will be completing data collection for the dissertation and beginning data analysis and the writing of findings.
“Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me”: Purpose and Research Questions
Although more refugee students resettle in the United States than in any other country, little research examines the ways that schools in the United States prepare these students to participate in their political community. For immigrant and refugee families new to American society, schools are the main conduit to mainstream American culture (McBrien, 2005). Refugee youth from multiple backgrounds report placing a high value on education, and in some cases seeing education as a potential source of security in an insecure world (Davies, 2008; McBrien, 2005b, Mosselson, 2006; Roxas, 2008; Vang, 2005).
Yet, these same students reported receiving limited and uneven ESOL services (Roxas, 2008); experiencing discrimination by teachers (McBrien, 2005b; Oikonomidoy, 2007) and other students (Davies, 2008). Refugee students are positioned as “a problem for teachers” (Gitlin, Buendia, Crosland, & Doumbia, 2003, p. 105). Even more troubling, one researcher documented a teacher working with refugee students who characterized her own students as threats to U. S. security (Ford, 2007). In response to the challenges refugee youth face in U.S. schools, a number of schools serving refugee youth have adopted a variety of models intended to provide cultural and language support and foster global citizenship (Basford, 2008, Davies,2008). This study investigates citizenship education in International Baccalaureate schools, which have expanded within the United States, from use in 88 schools in 1997 to use in797 schools in 2007 (Cech, 2007).
The broad purpose of this study is to understand how two different schools positioned within a rhetoric of celebrating global citizenship prepare refugee students for citizenship in the United States. Guiding this research project are the following research questions: First, how does the implemented curriculum, including content, pedagogy, and climate, educate students for citizenship? What are students taught about different levels of affinity (community, national, global, and transnational citizenship)? What are students taught about citizenship as a status, practice, and feeling? Second, how are citizenship, literacy, and the use of English connected within these classrooms? Third, what does citizenship mean to refugee youth in these schools? Do their conceptions relate to what has been taught in school?
Students as the center or as the periphery?: A Post-Colonial Theoretical Framework
This study is grounded in the Octagon Model developed for the Civic Education study of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) (Torney-Purta, Schwille, & Amadeo, 1999).
The CivEd researchers intended this conceptual model to be a broad description of the variety of influences upon youth’s civic understanding. Based on Bronfenbrenner’s (1988) ecological developmental approach and Lave and Wenger’s (1991) situated cognition theories, the model places the individual student at the center of a layered set of influential factors.
I propose to approach this study using a modification of this common framework. After thematically coding qualitative data, I will use a post-colonial lens to understand the relationships between factors in the IEA model. Post-colonialism recognizes that the relationship among citizenship, literacy, and language is deeply embedded in an unequal world system where stronger countries influence the political and economic realities of weaker countries (Spring, 2008; Willinsky, 1998). A post-colonial interpretation of the Octagon Model recognizes that the influences of the “macrosystem” and “microsystem” on an individual student exist within unequal structural realities.
Capturing Experiences and Voices: A Methodology
I will use a comparative case study design (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992) to explore this topic. This study will take place at two sites in a suburban area in the Southeastern United States that contains largest concentration of refugees in the southeast. Participants in this study will include sixth grade students at both schools; their social studies, ESOL, and language arts teachers; administrators; and teaching assistants.
As a study of the “lived curriculum” (Clandinin, 2006), the case study will be grounded in participant observation in 6th grade classrooms during the school year to provide direct information about daily events and interactions in the classroom (Delamont,1992; Dewalt & Dewalt, 2002). I will interview teachers and teaching assistants (Rubin & Rubin, 2005) and conduct two focus groups at each school with students who self-identify as refugees. Focus groups, rather than individual interviews, are important in examining the beliefs of pre-adolescents and adolescents (Alviar-Martin, 2008; Groth, 2006; Hahn, 1998).
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486485_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Quaynor, Laura. "GROUP 1. Connecting citizenship, language, and literacy for refugee students: A comparative case study" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486485_index.html>

APA Citation:

Quaynor, L. , 2011-05-01 "GROUP 1. Connecting citizenship, language, and literacy for refugee students: A comparative case study" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486485_index.html

Publication Type: CIES New Scholar Fellow Proposal
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This proposed dissertation is under the supervision of Dr. Carole L. Hahn, Emory University. In May 2011, I will be completing data collection for the dissertation and beginning data analysis and the writing of findings.
“Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me”: Purpose and Research Questions
Although more refugee students resettle in the United States than in any other country, little research examines the ways that schools in the United States prepare these students to participate in their political community. For immigrant and refugee families new to American society, schools are the main conduit to mainstream American culture (McBrien, 2005). Refugee youth from multiple backgrounds report placing a high value on education, and in some cases seeing education as a potential source of security in an insecure world (Davies, 2008; McBrien, 2005b, Mosselson, 2006; Roxas, 2008; Vang, 2005).
Yet, these same students reported receiving limited and uneven ESOL services (Roxas, 2008); experiencing discrimination by teachers (McBrien, 2005b; Oikonomidoy, 2007) and other students (Davies, 2008). Refugee students are positioned as “a problem for teachers” (Gitlin, Buendia, Crosland, & Doumbia, 2003, p. 105). Even more troubling, one researcher documented a teacher working with refugee students who characterized her own students as threats to U. S. security (Ford, 2007). In response to the challenges refugee youth face in U.S. schools, a number of schools serving refugee youth have adopted a variety of models intended to provide cultural and language support and foster global citizenship (Basford, 2008, Davies,2008). This study investigates citizenship education in International Baccalaureate schools, which have expanded within the United States, from use in 88 schools in 1997 to use in797 schools in 2007 (Cech, 2007).
The broad purpose of this study is to understand how two different schools positioned within a rhetoric of celebrating global citizenship prepare refugee students for citizenship in the United States. Guiding this research project are the following research questions: First, how does the implemented curriculum, including content, pedagogy, and climate, educate students for citizenship? What are students taught about different levels of affinity (community, national, global, and transnational citizenship)? What are students taught about citizenship as a status, practice, and feeling? Second, how are citizenship, literacy, and the use of English connected within these classrooms? Third, what does citizenship mean to refugee youth in these schools? Do their conceptions relate to what has been taught in school?
Students as the center or as the periphery?: A Post-Colonial Theoretical Framework
This study is grounded in the Octagon Model developed for the Civic Education study of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) (Torney-Purta, Schwille, & Amadeo, 1999).
The CivEd researchers intended this conceptual model to be a broad description of the variety of influences upon youth’s civic understanding. Based on Bronfenbrenner’s (1988) ecological developmental approach and Lave and Wenger’s (1991) situated cognition theories, the model places the individual student at the center of a layered set of influential factors.
I propose to approach this study using a modification of this common framework. After thematically coding qualitative data, I will use a post-colonial lens to understand the relationships between factors in the IEA model. Post-colonialism recognizes that the relationship among citizenship, literacy, and language is deeply embedded in an unequal world system where stronger countries influence the political and economic realities of weaker countries (Spring, 2008; Willinsky, 1998). A post-colonial interpretation of the Octagon Model recognizes that the influences of the “macrosystem” and “microsystem” on an individual student exist within unequal structural realities.
Capturing Experiences and Voices: A Methodology
I will use a comparative case study design (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992) to explore this topic. This study will take place at two sites in a suburban area in the Southeastern United States that contains largest concentration of refugees in the southeast. Participants in this study will include sixth grade students at both schools; their social studies, ESOL, and language arts teachers; administrators; and teaching assistants.
As a study of the “lived curriculum” (Clandinin, 2006), the case study will be grounded in participant observation in 6th grade classrooms during the school year to provide direct information about daily events and interactions in the classroom (Delamont,1992; Dewalt & Dewalt, 2002). I will interview teachers and teaching assistants (Rubin & Rubin, 2005) and conduct two focus groups at each school with students who self-identify as refugees. Focus groups, rather than individual interviews, are important in examining the beliefs of pre-adolescents and adolescents (Alviar-Martin, 2008; Groth, 2006; Hahn, 1998).


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