Classroom Integration for Refugee Children

An Outline for Including Refugees in Canadian Education Policy

(key words: identity, integration, power imbalance)

This is a literature review of past case studies and scholastic research surrounding refugee students and their settlement among predominantly Western cultures. The article encourages educators and staff to regard each refugee child individually, as not all refugee children come from war-torn countries. Teachers and staff are encouraged to see them as valuable to the classroom, and to understand that refugee children perform well academically. The article also exposes the tendency of refugee children to be discriminated against (not only by their peers but by persons in academic authority), how teachers tend to have an imbalance of power (lording their prejudices and assumptions) and how often refugee children greatly struggle with their own identity and belonging in the classroom.

Language for Resilience: Supporting Syrian Refugees

(key words: language, host communities, social cohesion, literary skills for integration)

 A report funded by the UNCHR explores how the role of language can help Syrian refugees integrate positively, allowing their voices to be heard and giving them the social skills needed to live within their host communities. Language learning improves academic performances and creates a more inclusive and safe classroom for refugee students.

Helping Students Deal with Trauma Related to Geopolitical Violence and Islamophobia 

(key words: trauma, islamophobia, Muslim perspective, anxiety, mental health, sociological health)

 From the National Council of Canadian Muslims, this document offers an expository look at how to help Muslim students adapt, integrate and heal within the classroom of their Canadian hosts. Authored and delivered through the lens of Muslims, this report calls on educators to become implementers of change and healing through listening, understanding and patience.

Teacher Support for Refugee Children in Canada 

(key words: teacher support, integration, cultural practices, nonverbal communication)

A very helpful resource for educators to prepare themselves for the integration of Syrian children. This study is extremely beneficial for educators in how to interact with Syrian children and their families, from gestures to cultural taboos. This guide also includes practical applications of how to make the refugee children feel welcome and safe along with building initial relationships with their parents. In addition, the report includes basic ways to communicate with children having little to no English language knowledge.

Best Practices for School Settlement Workers

(key words: newcomer, culture, integration, community, youth)

This is a great resource for School Settlement Workers for their work and approach with Syrian Refugee children. 

Newcomer Outreach and Integration through Sports

(key words: sports, community, newcomer, integration)

A list of sports curriculum and activity ideas used in the schools of Ottawa. Newcomers are able to integrate through sports which help them connect with their school mates, learn the English language and enable physical health. Sports can be implemented at the school, during recesses or conducted through community centres.

Wisdom2Action: Best Practices to Support Young Refugees

(key words: community, awareness, integration, discussion, problem solving, acculturation)

The Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network (CYCC) has created a series of videos, event listings and resources for how to integrate Syrian youth in their communities, schools and work places. The site includes education sheets for educators on supporting refugee children and youth while supporting the development of involving community leaders (e.g. from the Mosque, community, etc.) for their acculturation. The CYCC has created community events where people from public and private sectors come together to learn, listen and understand integration from a Syrian perspective. Their model can be followed in almost any community and would help assist Syrian youth and their acculturation process.