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Portraits of young refugee women’s identities, experiences, and beliefs in relation to college-going

Portraits of young refugee women’s identities, experiences, and beliefs in relation to college-going This study aims to explore the stories of two young refugee women, Sue Mar and Amora, and how their adolescent identities, experiences, and beliefs, partially shaped by their English teacher, helped pave their paths to higher education.Design/methodology/approachThis study is guided by the lens of critical literacy as “a way of being and doing” (Vasquez et al., 2019). The authors chose portraiture, a participant-centered methodology, as a response to the historical marginalization of refugees, to bring their voices to the forefront (Lawrence-Lightfoot and Davis, 1997). They draw from interviews conducted with Sue Mar and Amora, document analysis, and an interview with the English teacher.FindingsIn Sue Mar and Amora’s portraits, aspiration and determination are seen as primary factors in their college-going. In addition, Sue Mar and Amora were propelled by their English teacher’s support through the cultivation of a loving relationship, high expectations, and critical pedagogical practices. Their family and community fostered beliefs about the power and potential of education, and other refugees served as important role models.Research limitations/implicationsResearchers should explore refugee students’ experiences accessing higher education.Practical implicationsEnglish educators should connect literature to the lived experiences of their students to show that they value their students’ knowledge and past experiences.Social implicationsPolicymakers should consider the role that community colleges play in the lives of refugee students and should support programs including tuition reduction for refugee students.Originality/valueAs only 6% of refugees currently attend college (UNHCR, 2023), it is essential to understand factors that contributed to students’ college-going. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png English Teaching Practice & Critique Emerald Publishing

Portraits of young refugee women’s identities, experiences, and beliefs in relation to college-going

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References (34)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1175-8708
DOI
10.1108/etpc-07-2022-0085
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study aims to explore the stories of two young refugee women, Sue Mar and Amora, and how their adolescent identities, experiences, and beliefs, partially shaped by their English teacher, helped pave their paths to higher education.Design/methodology/approachThis study is guided by the lens of critical literacy as “a way of being and doing” (Vasquez et al., 2019). The authors chose portraiture, a participant-centered methodology, as a response to the historical marginalization of refugees, to bring their voices to the forefront (Lawrence-Lightfoot and Davis, 1997). They draw from interviews conducted with Sue Mar and Amora, document analysis, and an interview with the English teacher.FindingsIn Sue Mar and Amora’s portraits, aspiration and determination are seen as primary factors in their college-going. In addition, Sue Mar and Amora were propelled by their English teacher’s support through the cultivation of a loving relationship, high expectations, and critical pedagogical practices. Their family and community fostered beliefs about the power and potential of education, and other refugees served as important role models.Research limitations/implicationsResearchers should explore refugee students’ experiences accessing higher education.Practical implicationsEnglish educators should connect literature to the lived experiences of their students to show that they value their students’ knowledge and past experiences.Social implicationsPolicymakers should consider the role that community colleges play in the lives of refugee students and should support programs including tuition reduction for refugee students.Originality/valueAs only 6% of refugees currently attend college (UNHCR, 2023), it is essential to understand factors that contributed to students’ college-going.

Journal

English Teaching Practice & CritiqueEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 31, 2023

Keywords: Refugee students; Critical literacy; High school persistence; College-going; Caring teacher; English teacher; Portraiture

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