Social, Emotional, and Academic Adjustment of Newcomer Syrian Refugee Children Within the School Context

  • Author / Creator
    Ghazyani, Raabia
  • The conflict in Syria has now reached its seventh year (UNHCR, 2018b) and has been the greatest producer of refugees internationally (United Nations, n.d.). Given the state of this crisis, 52, 720 Syrian refugees were admitted to Canada between November 2015 and March 2018 (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2018a). Schools are one of the first and most impactful systems that young refugees enter (Kia-Keating & Ellis, 2007) and the quality of early school experiences significantly influences how successfully and quickly they settle (Hek, 2005). Yet, there is limited research examining the school experiences of refugee children (Anderson, Hamilton, Moore, Loewen, & Mathieson, 2004) and within this limited information, there is a paucity of research considering early childhood education (Hoot, 2011; Prior & Niesz, 2013). Furthermore, little is known about the settlement experiences of Syrian refugee populations. Thus, the purpose of this focused ethnography study was to explore the social, emotional, and academic adjustment experiences of newcomer Syrian refugee children between the ages of five to eight years within Edmonton schools. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with three newcomer Syrian refugee children, their mothers, and teachers. Non-participant observations within schools were also conducted. Data was analyzed using Roper and Shapira’s (2000) framework for analyzing ethnographic data and the following themes emerged: (1) Role of Language in Adjustment, (2) Attitudes and Perspectives Towards Education, (3) Bonds and Relationships, (4) Initial Frustrations, Anxieties, and Fears, (5) Children’s Unique Strategies for Adapting in School, (6) Parental Involvement in the Schooling Process, and (7) Role of Personal Qualities in Adjustment. Implications for service-providers, including counsellors and educators, are discussed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.