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Educational Cultural Brokers and the School Adaptation of Refugee Children and Families: Challenges and Opportunities

  • Sophie YohaniEmail author
Article

Abstract

Canadian schools are utilizing services previously provided by settlement and community-based agencies to ensure the successful school adaptation of refugee children and families. This study examined the role of educational cultural brokers during the adaptation. Research queries addressed include strategies that cultural brokers use to facilitate the adaptation of refugee children in school settings, and opportunities and barriers to cultural brokering that exist in educational settings. A qualitative case study of eight educational cultural brokers was employed, using focus groups, critical incidents, document review, and semistructured interviews. Results suggest brokers engage in micro- and macrolevel activities through six brokering roles, with each role encompassing challenges and opportunities at the school, agency, and community level. This paper discusses aspects of these roles that have relevance for practice and policy for both cultural brokers and other providers of school-based services to refugee families.

Keywords

Cultural brokers Refugees Children and families Mental health School adaptation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I gratefully acknowledge the Prairies Metropolis Centre for funding to complete this research and community partners, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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