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Educational Responses to Refugees
Transcript of Educational Responses to Refugees
Ayotte (1998) informs as that ''much of the literature in relation to young refugees
and asylum seekers criticises current government
policy that treats children as asylum seekers first
rather than children in need, and immigration legislation that becomes ever harsher'' (Hek 2005, p16)
Labels and stereotypes of refugees in literature..
''‘...A refugee is I, you, or they if circumstances decree it. It is a survival which is not glamorous, often sordid, and has to be made the best of. It is a state to shake off as quickly as possible''....... (Gershon, 1966).
Who is a refugee?
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR or international convention), ''a person with refugee status is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence''
.......A refugee has a well founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group'' (UNHCR, 1951)
Who is an asylum seeker?
''... An asylum seeker is a person who has crossed an international border in search of safety, and refugee status, in another country.. ''(ibid, 1951)
The UK is a signatory country of the convention among 147 countries
And an economic migrant..?
...Is someone who moves from their country in order to improve future prospects for themselves and their families..
An economic migrant normally leaves a country voluntarily to seek a better life while a refugee leaves a country involuntarily
Zetter informs us that some millions of forced migrants are categorised - labelled - as refugees with an internationally recognised legal status... (Zetter, 1991)
..By the end of 2010, there were 43.7 million forcibly displaced people worldwide (UNHCR, 2011)
According to Wood (1985:1) labelling Is a way of referring to the process by which policy agendas are established and more particularly the way in which people, conceived as objects of policy, are defined in convenient images..(Zetter, 1991)
... is also a process of stereotyping which involves disaggregation
, standardisation, and the formulation of clear cut categories.. (Ibid, 1991)
A Negative stereotype can lead to doubt about refugees and resistance to accepting refugees and asylum seekers into the community
According to the secretary of the Swiss Refugee Council ''a stereotype that asylum-seekers are drug dealers and criminals is factually wrong, hurtful and degrading for those affected'' (Swiss Refugee Council, 2009)
Loisos (2002) argues that There is a tendency to create a simple universal idea of refugees & who they are (Hek, 2005)
..''He warns that creating such an
image can lead to stereotyping, and a misconception of the actual needs of individual refugees'' (ibid, 2005 p. 15)
Refugees' Mental Issues
Hamilton and others inform us that migration itself is both a challenging and a stressful experience (Hamilton et all, 2004 p13)
Hodes study (1998) has shown that 40% of asylum
seeking children may have psychiatric disorders such
as depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
and other anxiety related difficulties ) (Hek 2005, p. 24)
What about the conditions of refugees?
Escape - Armed conflicts
Loss of Parents and other family members........
Richman (1998a) argues that School policies are a powerful tool for helping a refugee child feel safe and
normal again, and begin to learn. They can promote the child’s confidence and
integration, and prevent isolation and frustration. Failure in school can have a
disastrous impact on children who are trying to reconstruct their lives and their self
esteem, and develop hope for the future. Educational progress and emotional well-being
are mutually dependent. (Hek, 2005)
Language of host country
Refugees with Torture and
Psycho - Social
''There is a high degree of confusion and lack of knowledge...''
....''There are no degrees of separation between asylum and immigration partly because of a lack of clarity and a muddying of the waters in the area
between these two issues'' (Prior, 2008 p 90)
At the time of the greatest numbers of asylum seekers (2003) entering the Uk the media has not helped to create an objective and clear debate about asylum (Prior, 2003).
Due to the way the issue was reported, particularly in
the tabloid press, exaggeration of the facts and
misinformation created the impression that the country
was being ‘over-run’ by asylum seekers (ibid, 2008)
Being a refugee, cultural barriers seem to be a very serious threat to the possibility of finding educational provision and work. Different religious beliefs, different ways of thinking and behaving and having different attitudes make their lives, at times, very traumatic.
This is a major problem with significant implications for migrants' written and oral
Those refugees who come from war-ravaged countries have special needs which require the assistance of specialised health organisations and therapeutic interventions.
This is another major barrier faced by forced migrants at schools or for adults in finding a work.
How can interventions help and include diversity?
Fluchtilinge aus Africa
Germazy and others (2000) argue that Literature on children's experience of stress and trauma within the school environment has documented that children have the competence and resilience to cope (Hamilton et al , p29)
Trauma and School Context
HOwever, there are researchers (Kinzie et al, 1986) who argue that a significant number of children who have experienced loss and trauma exhibit emotional problems on resettlement (Ibid, 2004)
They are expressive therapeutic tools for traumatised children, and help them to integrate the past, present and future in a way that restores a sense of identity, meaning of continuity, and belonging (Hamilton et al, 2004)
Children are often forced to join
the army and become child soldiers.
According to Yoldi (1998) ''during 1995-1996 children participated actively in 33 armed conflicts'' (Yoldi, 1998)
Art is a natural form of communication for children because it is easier for them to express themselves visually rather than verbally (American Art Therapy Association)
.................There were three of them, with guns. ... Then they took my uncle upstairs, and then my
dad came out and they made my uncle run, and then they started shooting and there were
bullets in him. He had no chance and my father just stood by because he was just scared.
(15 year old young man from Somalia) (Hek & Sales, 2002)
Hek., R. (2005). The Experiences and Needs of Refugee and Asylum
Seeking Children in the UK: A Literature Review. University of Birmingham
Zetter., R (1991)Labbeling Refugees: Forming and Transforming a Bureaucratic Identity. Journal of Refugees Studies Vol. 4. No. 1: Oxford University Press
Ron., B.(1983) The psychosocial problems of refugees. British Refugee Council:uk
UNHCR: Available at: http://www.unhcr.org.uk/
Prior., J. (2008) Asylum Matters: Restoring Trust in the UK Asylum System.: Britain
Swiss Regugee Council (2009) Article on web: Campaign tackles "hurtful" refugee stereotypes.
Available at: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/Campaign_tackles_hurtful_refugee_stereotypes.html?cid=7467114
Accessed Oct 2011)
Hamilton., R., Moore., D. (2004) Educational Interventions for Refugee Children. RoutledgeFalmer: London and New York
Yoldi., O. (1998) Children at War. Trransitions STARTTS. Sydney, pp9-10
American Art Therapy Association. USING ART IN TRAUMA RECOVERY WITH CHILDREN Available at: http://www.tlcinst.org/arttx_traumaCM.pdf
Recent emphasis has been on giving children activities that will encourage them to create environments in which they feel safe and able to live a 'normal' existence, instead of psychological analysis and treatment.
According to Victor Nylund, 'through painting, children and adults can express emotions which are too difficult to express verbally, and other people can see what they are feeling'' (Nylund 1999, p3)
Nylund., V.B. (1999) The role of Art in Psychological Care and Protection for Displaced Children .
Choose an image from those on the table
''Imagine you are one refugee in one image ......Write, show (by performance) or draw a short narrative describing your experience, your feelings, your situation etc...''
Images on the table: