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Global connections amid multiple expectations : the experiences of young African refugees in Western Sydney high schools.
Global governance, educational change and cultural ecology (2006)
  • Elizabeth Cassity, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
The Africa region is currently the focus of Australia's humanitarian program and is likely to remain so for some time. Since 2002, Sudan has ranked number one with 47 percent of entrants in 2003-04. By 2004-05, that number had more than doubled. Other countries of birth are also featuring, although in smaller numbers, including Ethiopia, Congo, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi and Rwanda. Typically, young people are entering schools and Intensive English Centres under considerable stress. Teachers are overwhelmed by the challenges. Schools have roles as sites where young refugees experience and relate to the upheaval of forced migration and transition. Young people have big dreams and great expectations. Based on recent research conducted in high schools in Western Sydney with 65 young African refugees, this paper focuses on students' experiences of transition to Australian schools, and the importance of those experiences for teaching and research. Students develop multiple expectations in attempting to reconcile their hopes for the future in Australia with families and friends still in regions of conflict. Importantly, this study calls attention to the need for constructive policy solutions focusing on students and their schools, as well as the long-term participation of refugee young people in new societies. It also emphasizes important global development issues for teachers and policymakers. Conflict and upheaval add new dimensions in terms of theorizing globalisation, particularly related to education. This paper concludes by reflecting on the fundamental links and rifts between global and local contexts. [Author abstract, ed]
  • African students,
  • Cultural differences,
  • Expectation,
  • Government schools,
  • Non English speaking background,
  • Refugees,
  • School community programs,
  • Secondary school students,
  • Social adjustment,
  • Social isolation,
  • Student adjustment,
  • Student experience,
  • Student needs,
  • Student problems,
  • Transition programs,
  • Secondary education
Publication Date
Citation Information
Elizabeth Cassity. "Global connections amid multiple expectations : the experiences of young African refugees in Western Sydney high schools." Global governance, educational change and cultural ecology (2006)
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