Language Education Policy Studies
An International Network

LEP by World Region

LEP by World Region

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CONFERENCES (2017) Displaced & Refugee Students: Madison (part I)

     INLEPS strives to have two conferences per year. This year's conferences were in two parts and dealt with the urgent issue of the currently at least 65 million who are refugees, displaced, economic migrants (including Native Americans and many displaced groups) and whose children must face the assimilative norms of schools. 

The conferences were funded by the Spencer Foundation.

As co-organizer of the conference, I want to reflect on the success of the conference; and what we have learned in terms of research methods and crucial research questions using notes that I took, and the brief reports that most of the roundtable facilitators sent[1]. Many educators, at least one administrator, community members & activists, and interested people convened. Besides Education, people in fields such as Latino Studies, French…. From locations in the U.S. (Wisconsin, Kansas, Indiana), Canada, France, Spain, Colombia (12 total) gathered.

A few of the topics discussed are critical media literacy, the lack of linguistic democracy, the implications of special education, neoliberalism: how to identify and research its effects, undocumented students; the racialization of students; implications for identity and mother tongue maintenance; types of bilingual programs; strategies for teachers.

The conference roundtables fostered implications for research methods. The following are methods that could be used for the issues discussed:

  • Policy analyses: national to local level; in addition to program evaluations.
  • Vertical case study: interviewing school administrators, teachers, students from one school. This could also be comparative if possible to visit two or three sites (in one region, different countries, etc.)
  • Interviews: teachers, students, families, school administrators, policymakers. A larger sample of one of these groups. For teachers: identify practices, attitude, background knowledge, experiences; students’ experiences; school administrators’ perceptions; policymakers concerns.

One of the successes of the conferences coming soon Cool is another edited volume in the LEP series.
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