College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

6-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Monkman, Karen

Second Advisor

Gardner, Joseph

Third Advisor

Kayne, Andrea

Abstract

The present research explores the experiences of Syrian refugee students in American schools. This qualitative research project is based in interviews of five Syrian students from refugee backgrounds aged between 11-18 years old who had come to the United States after the civil war raged in Syria in 2011. This qualitative research examines the educational barriers and supports, from the Syrian refugee students' perspectives, by understanding their educational and social experiences. Based on the findings, these five Syrian refugee students had both positive and negative experiences in the United States schools. Major themes were found in the data that are central to the students' educational and social experiences. These themes presented as (a) social and academic experiences in Syria, Jordan, and Egypt and then, (b) learning a new language, and then, (c) current experiences in U.S., with attention to the building of relationships. Recommendations on how educators can support their quest for belonging and inclusion are discussed. Recommendations on how Syrian refugee can be supported in the U.S. schools are discussed.

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