Pedagogies of Welcome: Simple yet profound acts to support refugee students

Bagelman, Caroline (2021) Pedagogies of Welcome: Simple yet profound acts to support refugee students. In: Mental Health and Identity in UK Schools. Routledge, Liverpool. (Unpublished)

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Schools are a key access point in the resettlement of ‘new arrivals’ (which includes asylum seekers, and refugees) and teachers, therefore, tend to largely shoulder this great challenge and honour (Kia-Keaton & Ellis, 2007). While schools emphasize the import of teacher-to-student relationship for providing support and welcome, this can be a limiting approach. This paper begins by suggesting that the often neglected but vital teacher-to-community relationship deserves more attention. It will provide examples of how such community or ‘cross-sector’ approaches can provide new arrival students and their families more robust welcome and support than schools and teachers alone. Likewise, this paper outlines how strengthening teacher-to-teacher relationship within and between schools also strengthens the support to new arrivals in surprising ways. It will look at the Schools of Sanctuary movement (involving the sharing of resources and expertise between teachers to support new arrivals and awareness of forced migration), and more minor acts such as staff room chats, which reveal the power of teacher solidarity. Turning an eye to specific teaching approaches, this paper suggests that in the initial stages of their resettlement, new arrivals require a focus on ‘form’ (how the classroom functions, what routines are in place, what is the nature of play in this school) over ‘content’ (grasping the prescribed learning outcomes and even EAL lessons). Understanding how learning, socializing, and playing operates within their new school is the foundational knowledge which will enable them to build curricular knowledge in the future (Bourdieu & Moishe 1993). This means that teachers must be able to identify and reveal elements of the ’hidden curriculum’ for new arrivals in order to provide them vital access to school culture, norms and expectations (Lynch, Lynch, 1989). This paper will propose some pedagogical approaches as well as tangible actions to support this foundational learning. Lastly, it will offer guidance on celebrating the ‘funds of knowledge’ new arrivals bring with them, and how this seeks to prevent the assimilation of new arrivals (González, Moll, Amanti, 2006).

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: Carly Bagelman
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2021 12:07
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2021 12:07

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