Participatory action research

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The value of Catholic early childhood education – the role of parents and kindergarten as perceived by Ukrainian women
The article addresses the role of Catholic early childhood education, the parents and the kindergarten in setting the developmental background for the child's future life perspectives and personal development. This research subject is analysed in the context of the situation in Ukraine, and the article focuses on how the respondents - Ukrainian female refugees - perceive the value of the…
Refugee and migrant children’s views of integration and belonging in school in Ireland – and the role of micro- and meso-level interactions
Schools are chief among the social institutions impacted by migrant flows as key sites of integration and support for migrant children. This article focuses on micro-and meso-level interactions and their importance to experiences of belonging and socio-educational integration for migrant children. It explores outcomes from qualitative research in Ireland conducted as part of a European research project investigating the socio-educational…
Asylum seekers’ experiences of participatory barriers in the educative pre-integrational programmes
How a society supports its most vulnerable individuals can serve as a barometer of social inclusion. By engaging in previous debates on how the influx and resettlement of refugees and asylum seekers challenge European educational spaces, this study investigates asylum seekers' non-engagement and non-participation in one engaged learning project in Finland (the KOTO project - Kotoutuminen taidolla ja taiteella [Integration…
Language learning for refugee women in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic: Restorative pedagogies for integrating to place—Perspectives from Scotland
As we reflect and learn from the lessons lived during the COVID-19 pandemic that severely disrupted our ways of being in the world, in this article we call for restorative pedagogies which can reconnect us to each other and to the places we live in. We present the language learning needs and experiences of four newly arrived refugee women in…
From Engagement to Strategy: The Journey Towards a Civic University
Between 2002 and 2018, at a time when UK universities were being increasingly measured in economic and financial terms, Staffordshire University established a dedicated public engagement unit. Staffed by an experienced team of “pracademics” (Posner, 2009), the Creative Communities Unit (CCU) engaged with community members and voluntary organizations through teaching, research, and consultancy. Underpinning CCU practice was a clear set…
An ecological, multilingual approach to language learning with newly reunited refugee families in Scotland
Although academic literature and Scotland's refugee integration strategy recommend multilingual, decolonising approaches, language classes for refugees in Scotland usually focus only on the target language (English) and are predominantly teacher-led. This paper argues that newly reunited refugee families can be better supported through an ecological, multilingual approach by presenting empirical data from a five-month teaching study using qualitative methods (semi-structured…
Germany has become the most important destination country for young refugees in Europe (Destatis, 2021). Vocational education and training can make an important contribution to overcome educational barriers and gain participation in society (Will & Hohmut, 2020). Since 2015, rural regions have faced new challenges in establishing effective support systems for young apprentices with forced migration experience (Ohliger et al.,…
Educational Transitions in War and Refugee Contexts: Youth Biographies in Afghanistan and Austria
This article addresses educational transitions under conditions of multiple insecurities. By analyzing empirical data of two research projects with youths in Afghanistan and refugee students in Austria, we show how young people make sense of the social and educational inequalities they encounter on their educational pathways within different national, socio‐political, and institutional contexts. We present in‐depth analyses of two cases…
‘First and foremost, we are teachers, not refugees’: Requalification measures for internationally trained teachers affected by forced migration
This article looks deeper into the educational careers and barriers faced by internationally trained teachers with refugee backgrounds. Highly skilled teachers experience among others formal barriers due to the two-subject regime in Austria. This study analyses the barriers and measures that disable or enable the re-qualification of internationally trained teachers who wish to continue their profession in Austria. Guided by…
Supporting languages: The socio-educational integration of migrant and refugee children and young people
Recent unprecedented levels of migration, while adding cultural and linguistic diversity, places increased pressure on host countries to develop strategies for effectively integrating new arrivals into society. This article draws on data from IMMERSE which uses participatory and co-creation methodologies with children, parents, educators and policy-makers to examine and develop key indicators of migrant children's socio-educational integration. It discusses Irish…
Promoting the mental health and well-being of first-generation immigrants, asylum seekers and refugee young people in schools: A participatory action research study
Background: There is a dearth of literature that reports on what first-generation immigrants, asylum seekers and refugee young people see as effective self-help tools in matters relating to mental health. Some 50 million first-generation migrant children and young people may have experienced violence, loss and displacement. This can lead to young migrants suffering with negative psychological and social impacts, and…
Beyond the vulnerability paradigm: fostering inter-professional and multi-agency cooperation in refugee education in Italy
Children and families from a refugee background seem to escape the technical view usually adopted by educational and health practitioners, which is based on a mixture of diagnostic tests and special needs policies. This approach struggles to cope with the multiple needs–in terms of health, culture, language, and learning–involved in taking care of refugee children. Even though services multiply their…
Visiting the forced visitors-critical and decentered approach to global citizenship education as an inclusive educational response to forced youth migration
-Migrant and refugee youth face complex challenges pertaining to educational and social inclusion in Europe and international contexts.-Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has gained increased prevalence as an educational response to globalizing processes such as forced migration and resulting cultural diversity.-It is argued that a critical and decentered model of GCE can be applied as an inclusive educational response to refugee…
Skills for transition: the perspectives of women seeking asylum in Ireland
Purpose: Current domestic and international research predominantly examines the past experiences of people seeking asylum and the negative influences such experiences have on health and well-being. However, few studies address the future needs of people seeking asylum, as they transition from Direct Provision. This study aims to address this gap in knowledge by exploring the perspectives of women seeking asylum…
Practicing critical media literacy education with/for young migrants: Lessons learned from a participatory action research project
During settlement, migrant youth negotiate between various transitional spaces, which include educational, mediated and transnational spaces. To what extent can critical media literacy education acknowledge and strengthen young migrants’ resilience? In this article, we evaluate the Netherlands-based participatory action research project Critical media literacy through making media. Gathered empirical data include participant observation in two classes, in-depth interviews with 3…
Theorising policy and practice in refugee education: Conceptualising ‘safety’, ‘belonging’, ‘success’ and ‘participatory parity’ in England and Sweden
Across the world, children are forced to leave their homes for far-flung destinations. This global phenomenon has particular impact in Europe, where there are now more child refugees than since World War II. Education plays an important role for children with extraordinary experiences seeking to build meaningful lives in their new context. This article offers a new theoretical approach to…
You and me, we’re the same. You struggle with Tigrinya and I struggle with English.’ An exploration of an ecological, multilingual approach to language learning with New Scots
Increased migration into Europe has placed integration and language learning for refugees at the centre of political and public discourses. Scotland’s Refugee Integration Strategy recognises the importance of linguistic diversity and academic literature also highlights the benefits of multilingual learning. However, most support for language learning for refugees is delivered monolingually, creating a gap between policy, literature, and practice. Research…
An emancipatory study exploring the educational experiences of unaccompanied children and young people
This research was set within the context of the refugee crisis and children and young people’s (CYP) rights. This study aimed to explore the educational experiences of unaccompanied children and young people (UCYP), a particularly high-risk group who are separated from their parents due to reasons such as war, persecution or violence, and whom do not have the protection of…
Refugees in neoliberal universities
Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) at the University of East London has been preparing forced migrant students for university in the UK since 2019. One of the main barriers for creating meaningful support for forced migrants is the hostile environment which shifts border control to educational institutions; ever increasing bureaucratic pressures to follow and document procedures; and the neo-liberalisation of universities…
Participatory parity in schooling and moves towards ordinariness: a comparison of refugee education policy and practice in England and Sweden
Within the current global refugee crisis this paper emphasises the fundamental role of education in facilitating the integration of young new arrivals. It argues that a humanitarian problem of such scale requires a commensurate humanitarian response in the form of socially-just educational policies and practices in resettlement contexts within Europe. Utilising the theoretical concepts, ‘participatory parity’ (Fraser) and ‘resumption of…
Refugee children’s integration in Greece: training future teachers to face new educational challenges
The aim of this paper is to present an action research project focusing on refugee children’s integration to the formal Greek education system as it relates to their mothers’ Greek language learning. Drawing on the interrelation between formal and non-formal education, this project took place at the Open Reception facility of Eleonas in Athens and addressed graduate and postgraduate students,…
Art and/as open education: A collaborative action with refugee artists
The article illustrates the potential of engaged arts-based pedagogies in higher education with respect to integration interventions for young refugees in Europe. It discusses the conception and implementation of the collaborative initiative “Find Refuge in Art”, which was part of the research Project PRESS at the Hellenic Open University. This example shows how artistic synergy may become an integral part…
Redistribution, recognition and representation
This chapter introduces the second theoretical framing for the book, Nancy Fraser’s theory of social justice as ‘participatory parity’, and the associated tripartite components of redistribution, recognition and representation. The chapter argues for a socially just frame for inclusion. It begins with an overview of the concept of social justice in relation to the topic of meaningful and high-quality inclusion…
The educational needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in UK in one local authority in England: Professional and child perspectives
This two-part small-scale research is positioned within a social constructionist interpretive epistemology. Both parts of the research used qualitative methods. Part One explores the perspectives of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) in relation to their educational experiences in the UK. It also considers the experiences, opportunities and challenges for school and college staff with supporting the educational needs of UASC in…
“They’ve no control over their lives at the moment”: An investigation into critical pedagogical approaches to refugee and asylum seeker English language classes in Ireland
This study investigates critical pedagogical approaches within local contexts of refugee and asylum seeker English language classes within Ireland. Intrinsic to this study is cognisance of the landscape of the setting both in Ireland and worldwide. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that the current time is unprecedented in terms of the scale of displaced peoples, asylum…
Education with and within borders – challenges of refugees beyond the age of obligatory schooling by using the examples of heterogenuous school and transitions related to education [Bildung mit und innerhalb von grenzen – herausforderungen für Flüchtlinge jenseits des pflichtschulalters am beispiel heterogener schule und bildungsbezogener Übergänge]
Enabling access of refugees to education institutions causes challenges for those countries in Europe, which have accepted large numbers of refugees in 2015. Services are being saturated because of high numbers of refugees, questions regarding living and service provision (as such) become more and more pressuring. Financial means are limited. The Austrian school system has succeeded in providing for those…