Aotearoa Migration Research Network (AMRN) seminar

Date Tuesday 10 May 2022
Time 11am - 12pm
Presenter Dr Alejandra del Pilar Ortiz Ayala and Associate Professor Vivienne Anderson (University of Otago)
Contact Jessica Terruhn
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Schools and teachers as resettlement brokers for refugee-background young people

Strikingly little research has explored refugees’ subjective experiences of belonging in resettlement contexts. This article draws on a three-year research project with refugee-background young people in southern Aotearoa New Zealand, to explore how young people’s experiences at secondary school, including their interactions with peers and teachers, impacted their sense of belonging and inclusion. Based on the accounts of the students and their families, we argue that schools and teachers are key agents in relation to refugee resettlement, and representatives of the State. As such, school practices and teacher actions play a critical role in promoting or disrupting resettled refugees’ sense of social inclusion or exclusion, access to basic rights and resources, and sense of existential safety. We argue that governments must recognise the critical role schools play in relation to resettlement, and ensure that school resourcing (including access to teacher professional development) facilitates positive resettlement outcomes.

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