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Recent immigrants and refugees — both children and their families — often struggle to adapt to Canadian education systems. For their part, educators also face challenges when developing effective strategies to help these students make smooth transitions to their new country.

In Immigrant and Refugee Students in Canada, researchers join educators and social workers to provide a thorough and wide-ranging analysis of the issues at the preschool, elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. By understanding these issues within the unique Canadian context, educators can work more effectively with newcomers trying to find their way.

This book pursues three lines of inquiry:

  • What are the main challenges that immigrant and refugee children and families face in the Canadian education system?
  • What are the common aspects of successful intervention?
  • What can we learn from the narratives of researchers, educators, social workers, and other frontline workers who work with immigrant and refugee families?

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Working together to navigate the Canadian education system, Michael McCabe and Courtney Anne Brewer
2. School readiness: A review of literature, Courtney Anne Brewer and Michael McCabe
3. Immigrant students’ health: An overview of the need to improve our awareness and response to the health of immigrant children and their families within the educational context, Taunya Wideman-Johnston
4. School-based interventions for refugee children and youth: Canadian and international perspectives, Marta Young and K. Jacky Chan
5. Immigrant mothers’ use of a discussion group in becoming school ready, Courtney Anne Brewer and Michael McCabe
6. Matching policies to needs in early childhood development programs in newcomer populations, Linda Ogilvie, Darcy Fleming, Anna Kirova, Lucenia Ortiz, Sandra Rastin, Catherine Caufield, Elizabeth Burgess-Pinto, and Mahdieh Dastjerdi
7. Cultural negotiations of sense of place through shared parent–child art-making in a preschool for immigrant children, Anna Kirova, Patti Pente, and Christine Massing
8. African refugee women’s songs and stories: Possibilities for diversifying literacy practices in early childhood education, Christine Massing
9. Refugee families with preschool children: Looking back, Darcey M. Dachyshyn
10. Refugee students in Canadian schools: Educational issues and challenges, Samuel Tecle and Carl E. James
11. The value of language in refugee youth’s construction of identity, Neda Asadi
12. The Accelerated Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) program in the Waterloo Region District School Board, Kimberly Hird-Bingeman, Michael McCabe, and Courtney Anne Brewer
13. Building community capacity to support Karen refugee youth in schools, Lisa Sadler and Nancy Clark
14. Fostering solidarity in the classroom: Creative expression workshops for immigrant and refugee students, Caroline Beauregard, Marie-France Gauthier, and Cécile Rousseau
15. “More than winning the lottery”: The academic experiences of refugee youth in Canadian universities, Martha K. Ferede
16. Managing expectations through building cultural competencies, Ashley Korn, Michelle Manks, and Jacqueline Strecker
17. How do I get in? Exploring the underemployment of immigrant teachers in Canada, Christine L. Cho

Courtney Anne Brewer

Courtney Anne Brewer, MEd, is a part-time instructor at Nipissing University’s Brantford campus in the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Schulich School of Education. She is presently pursuing doctoral studies at Western University in London, Ontario. Her research interests include supporting families as they prepare for school after resettling in Canada as well as studies of critical friendship.

Michael McCabe

Michael McCabe, PhD, teaches at the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University in Brantford, Ontario. His research focuses on community engagement in the schooling process and he has published works related to parent involvement in mathematics learning, and the use of technology to assist in the process of engaging parents in schooling.