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The Educational Integration of Immigrants and Their Children:


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Title: The Educational Integration of Immigrants and Their Children:

The Educational Integration of Immigrants and
Their Children
  • Update of Research Results in the Education Domain

Presentation to the 3rd Regional Conference and
  • Prairie Centre, Metropolis
  • Saskatoon, September 2000
  • Yvonne Hébert, domain leader

Original Mandate of Education Domain
  • Functionality in an official language
  • School-work transition
  • Awareness and understanding of Canadian culture
  • Appreciation of diversity

Original Research Objectives
  • Immigration and educational attainment
  • Educational settings as agents of socialization
  • Policies and programs aimed at improving
    cross-cultural relations
  • Effects of language education on integration
  • Effects of various contexts on language learning
  • Disability and immigrant populations
  • Impact of immigration on policies, programs,
    practices, and curricula

Current Priorities of Education Domain
  • Systemic Barriers to Lifelong ESL Learning
  • Nature and Impact of Racial Stereotyping and
    Discrimination within the Educational System
  • Construction and Enactment of Citizenship
  • as of October 1999

Some basic facts...
  • 13 research projects funded by PCERII
  • 18 researchers
  • 4 teams and 7 solos
  • Over 4 year period from 1996-1997 to 1999-2000

MERF Themes
  • Across the four Centres of Excellence
  • Language Learning and Literacy
  • Identity and Citizenship
  • Education and Social Mobility
  • Institutional Adaptation, Teacher Education, and
    Intercultural Competencies
  • PCERII themes

Literacy, Institutional Adaptation to Diversity,
and Social Mobility
  • Integration and Language Proficiency
  • Family and Community Literacy
  • Cultural Integration and Diversity
  • Valuing Diversity Formal and Lived Curriculum
  • Supporting Survivors of Torture
  • Informal Learning, Educational Credentials and
    Work Transitions

Citizenship, Identity and Voice
  • Citizenship Instruction for Adult Immigrants
  • Citizenship Concepts in ESL and FSL for Adults in
    Four Provinces
  • Citizenship Values
  • Influence of Contexts on Identity Formation of
    Immigrant Adolescents
  • Voices of Immigrant Children in Canadian Schools
  • Oral History Narratives Immigrant Children and

Some findings Language Learning Literacy
  • Why differential educational success? (Archibald)
  • Maintaining dual proficiency is correlated with
    success in an educational institution
  • Deficit in vocabulary
  • Kids who enter ESL at 5-7 years take more time to
    catch up than those who enter at 8-11 years
  • What is socio-cultural environment of literacy
    development? (Wason-Ellam)
  • Dreams and hopes of goodness for family
  • Alienation and isolation
  • Lack of English and focus on survival limit
    integration into new culture and its literacy
  • Hope for their children and generations beyond

Some findings Institutional Adaptation to
  • Ethno-cultural differences between secondary
    school students and teachers in 3 cities? (Carson
    et al)
  • Preservice teachers resistance refusal to
    acknowledge their own implication in
    racism/sexism passion for ignorance issues of
    cultural difference, racism and teacher identity
  • High school students complex responses to
    promotion of cultural harmony
  • Video production that highlights school-based
  • Difficulties surrounding collaborative research
    with a variety of stakeholders

More findings Institutional Adaptation to
  • Documentary Analysis of Provincial Programmes of
    Study (DePass)
  • 1989 Alberta Social Studies conceptualized within
    a structural functional perspective
  • Additive approach to inclusion of cultural and
    racial minority voices
  • Different cultural groups, at home or abroad,
    presented in a flat, unidimensional and
    stereotypical manner
  • Province and country depicted as fair, tolerant,
    Modern, industrial, high-tech society, with a
    strong reputation for being non-aggressive and a
    key peace-keeper on the world stage

More findings Institutional Adaptation to
Diversity and Intercultural Competencies
  • Supporting Survivors of Torture (Arthur)
  • identification of competencies for training
    community-based professionals and volunteers
  • unique circumstances of involuntary migration and
    especially of torture
  • parallel process of secondary traumatization
    among professionals and volunteers who work with
    survivors of torture
  • managing vicarious trauma
  • a multicultural approach to working with refugees
  • advocacy role
  • numerous program recommendations

Work in progress Social Mobility and
EducationInformal Learning, Educational
Credentials and Work Transitions
  • 2 key problems (Wotherspoon)
  • non-recognition of considerable skills and
    capacities acquired outside of formal learning
  • schools set up to ignore or de-value informal
    knowledge of immigrants
  • Research tasks to identify
  • obstacles to recognition validation
  • key issues from the perspectives of immigrants
  • strategies/initiatives used by immigrant groups
    to enable use and recognition of such knowledge

Some findings Citizenship
  • How do adult immigrants learn about their rights
    and responsibilities prior to application to
    become Canadian citizens? (Derwing)
  • Decline...
  • Reduction in civic instruction in adult ESL
  • Funding cuts introduction of multiple choice
    citizenship test
  • Test promotes superficial and reductionist notion
    of citizenship
  • Current procedures highly depersonalized

More findings Citizenship Values
  • Confusion between terms values, principles,
    dispositions, concepts
  • Analytic framework proposed (Wilkinson Hébert)
  • Four orders of logical relationships according to
    four domains of citizenship
  • Civil-civic domain loyalty, sincerity, openness
    and civic-mindedness
  • Political domain freedom, liberty, equality,
  • Socio-economic domain solidarity, self-reliance,
    valuing the earth
  • Cultural domain sense of belonging and human

Some findings Identity and Voice
  • Influence of contexts on identity formation of
    immigrant youth? (Hébert et al)
  • Mixity and fidelity to self
  • Disparate, fragmentary views of language and
  • Religion as central marker of collective identity
    within a diverse community
  • Racialized Identity as central to both individual
    and collective identity as forms of social
  • Religion as organizing concept for raising
    children in a new context

More Findings Identity and Voice
  • Voices of immigrant children youth in Canadian
    schools (Schissel)
  • Paper for Vancouver Metropolis Conference The
    Jeopardy of Victimization on the Well-Being on
    Immigrant Children in Canadian Schools in
    session on Immigrant and Refugee Youth
    Integration and Transition into Adulthood,
    November 2000.
  • Two MA theses
  • Trisha Keith, The Impact of Victimization at
    School and Away from School on Student Well-Being
    and Adjustment An Analysis of Immigrant Children
    and Youth (Spring, 2000)
  • Alison Whittmore, Immigrant Families Perceptions
    of and Experiences with Elementary Secondary
    Education Systems in Canada (in progress)

More findings Identity and Voice
  • Oral history narratives of immigrants whose
    children attend Canadian schools (Hirabayashi et
  • Two MA theses, with Sikh and Greek data
  • Racism as common experience of children
  • Diverse patterns of parenting
  • Home teaching of language and culture - fear of
    loss of heritage
  • Teasing for limited knowledge of English
  • Parents critical of quality of schooling in
  • Positive portrayals of cultures of origin
    community based activities and associations
  • Negative views of self as member of group of
    origin - distancing of cultural group membership
    and rejection from peer group for skin colour

Future Directions
  • Development of domain-driven, prairie-wide,
    multi-site research projects led by several
    senior affiliated researchers
  • Clarification of
  • Definitional issues, ex., what is culture?
  • Whose perspective(s) are reflected in analysis
    and interpretation?
  • Differences between research and student
  • Tensions in collaborative research...
  • Depth of analysis for dissemination...

More future directions...
  • Improved reporting and posting of ongoing work
  • Completion of all projects within 1 1/2 years
  • Developing workable solutions to isolation,
    individualism and fragmentation
  • Building on commonalities, ex., training of
    research assistants, exchange of readings and
    writings, drafting research proposals
  • Developing effective working teams of researchers
  • Moving towards more comparative research,
    regionally, nationally and internationally

The Educational Integration of Immigrants and
Their Children
  • Update of Research Results in the Education
  • Fall 2000, Saskatoon