The recent world refugee crisis has mobilized societies all around the globe and has led to the multiplication of initiatives calling for support to refugees. Given the fact that one-third of the displaced population were children, measures for their immediate integration into schools were taken in most European countries. Although in Greece children with refugee experience first attended schools in 2017, teachers were not adequately prepared to cope with students who had lacked schooling for many years and with whom they couldn’t easily communicate due to language barriers. New teaching methodologies were needed for pre-and in-service teachers to bridge the gap between existing knowledge and the needs of refugee students. In this context, the authors designed a project called “Literacy through Drama” in the reception class of a public school in Volos, Greece involving 12 pre-service teachers. The findings of the study highlight that drama-based informal learning may provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to develop valuable knowledge about learners in authentic settings and pedagogy in practice. Faculties of education could facilitate effective community partnerships with organizations that work with refugee families and children and the school system and propose holistic curricula which include refugee student experiences. Moreover, pre-service teachers could gain skills and knowledge in supporting refugee students, identify refugee students’ needs, communicate in creative ways, and overcome deficit beliefs about refugee students. © 2023 by Emerald Publishing Limited.

DOI: 10.1108/S1479-367920230000045015
ISSN: 14793679