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Professor co-edits book on education of refugee-background students

Professor Co-Edits Book on Education of Refugee-Background Students

There is a dearth of research on the education of refugees, and much of the research that has been done focuses on young learners in primary grades. Mary Jane Curry, associate professor at the Warner School, and two co-editors address these gaps in the literature in Educating Refugee-Background Students: Critical Issues and Dynamic Contexts (Multilingual Matters, 2018).

The volume focuses specifically on what happens to adolescents and adults who have been forced to flee their native country, find temporary asylum in one country, and ultimately are relocated permanently to a third.

The educational background of these refugee-background students may vary widely, and the psychological and social effects of experiencing civil conflict, forced migration, and long-term residence in refugee camps “can linger for decades after resettlement,” writes co-editor Shawna Shapiro, an associate professor at Middlebury College, in the introduction.

“Perhaps most important, educational research has rarely engaged directly with the question: To what extent do the educational needs, experiences, and assets of refugee-background students differ from those of other immigrant groups?”

The book addresses two themes: language and literacy, and access and equity. It includes opportunities modern technology offers for refugee-background students to stay connected to their heritage, but also forge bonds in their new communities.

Mary Jane CurryCurry is an associate professor in teaching and curriculum at the Warner School, where she also directs the Writing Support Services. She is co-editor of TESOL Quarterly’s Brief Research Reports section and Multilingual Matters’ series, Studies in Knowledge Production and Participation. Her research focuses on access to academic writing and knowledge production by scholars and students using English as an additional language.

The other co-editor is Raichle Farrelly, assistant professor of applied linguistics at Saint Michael’s College.

(Featured in the May 18, 2018 issue of Research Connections)