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From Recognition to Knowledge Creation: Education of Refugee Youth Learners in Alberta and British Columbia Open Access


Other title
Social Justice
Education Practices
Refugee Learners
Education Policy
Educational Policy and Practice Recommendations
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Asadi, N.
Supervisor and department
Abdi, A. Ali (Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia)
Shultz, Lynette (Educational Policy Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Kirova, Anna (Department of Elementary Education)
Prochner, Larry (Department of Educational Studies)
Guo, Yan (Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary)
Taylor, Alison (Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia)
Department of Educational Policy Studies
Theoretical Cultural and International Education
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Educational success for many refugee learners in the Canadian education system has been a difficult if not challenging achievement. Educational institutions mirror the values and practices of the larger society. Similar to the values and practices nationally and internationally, in educational organizations refugees as a specific group of learners have been largely disregarded. The invisibility of refugee learners in educational institutions has resulted in limited academic success of these learners (Kanu, 2007; Keddie, 2012; Ngo, 2009a; J. Rutter, 2006; Stead, Closs, & Arshad, 2002; Taylor & Sidu, 2012). Through multiple case study analysis, this research examines the underlying reasons for the low educational achievement of refugee learners in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Under the framework of race equity and social justice, this study presents a detailed document analysis of Alberta’s and British Columbia’s educational policies as they relate to refugees. Further, through interviews with various stakeholders, such as educational policy makers and policy implementers in schools the impact of policies and existing practices for refugee learners are explored. Analysis of data identifies the underlying causes for refugee youths’ failure to succeed as a lack of recognition and cognitive justice as pillars of policy design and enactment. This study concludes with recommendations to improve refugee youths’ educational opportunities by enhancing policy design and implementation based on the conscious recognition of all students’ histories and knowledge. As well as an awareness of epistemic understanding of self and recognition of power relations.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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