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Call for Chapter Proposals: Educating Refugee-Background Students
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When: 10/15/2015

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Call for Chapter Proposals: Educating Refugee-Background Students: Critical Issues and Dynamic Contexts 

Click here to read the call online.

Editors: Shawna Shapiro, Raichle Farrelly, and Mary Jane Curry 

Publisher: Multilingual Matters 


This collection will offer an in-depth exploration of key issues in the education of adolescents and adults with refugee backgrounds who have been resettled in the main refugee receiving areas of North America, Australia, and Europe. Until recently, educational researchers have devoted little attention to refugee-background students, despite the high numbers of refugees living in these areas. Although research on other immigrant groups sometimes references refugees and/or asylum-seekers, much of that literature fails to take into account the particular educational backgrounds, migration experiences, and identity preferences of this population (McBrien, 2005). Hence, this volume will address geographic and thematic gaps in existing educational research. 

Undergirding our approach are several key assumptions: 

1) Research on refugee-background students has sometimes promoted a deficit perspective, constructing refugees as lacking in social, cultural, psychological, and linguistic resources (Feurherm & Ramanathan, forthcoming). To counteract this trend, we seek research that foregrounds students’ goals, experiences, and voices (Gunderson, 2000; Ngo, Bigelow, & Lee, 2014). 

2) Education of refugee-background students is shaped not just by what happens in classrooms, but also by the broader context of school and society (Matthews, 2008; Rutter, 2006). We seek contributions that include discussion of contextual factors that inform the analysis, including macro-level social, political, or cultural dynamics, as well as local factors, such as school climate and family histories. 

3) Recognizing that researchers are not neutral or passive observers (Ngo, Bigelow, & Lee, 2014), we are interested in studies in which the authors consider their own biases and assumptions in the analysis, and address implications of their study for educators, administrators, and/or policy-makers. 

The chapters will be clustered according to three themes: Adjustment, Literacy, and Equity. The section on Adjustment focuses on how refugee-background students enter and interact with school communities. We are interested not only in psychological, social, and cultural factors, but also in how educational policies, curricula, and classroom practices mediate student experiences. Chapters may examine questions such as: What does belonging look and feel like for refugee-background students? What factors contribute to (or detract from) the integration of refugee-background students in schools and communities? What role do families, teachers, peers, and the curriculum, play in the adjustment process? 

The Literacy section will examine how the past education and literacy experiences of refugee-background students might impact their experiences with schooling in countries of resettlement. We are interested in chapters that explore questions such as: What forms of literacy instruction are most effective for Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)? How do students with educational “gaps” develop a sense of scholarly identity and agency? How can a literacy curriculum build on the linguistic and cultural assets of refugee-background students? 

The section on Equity will explore issues related to perception, opportunity, and fair treatment of refugee-background students. This section will engage questions such as: How do refugee-background students in various educational settings envision success, and what are the barriers to achieving that vision? Where are the potential mismatches in conceptions of educational equity among students, educators, and administrators? How can educators tap into the “funds of knowledge” (Moll et al., 1992) of refugee-background students and work with them as advocates for educational justice? How can educators understand and respond to perceived resistance from refugee-background students? 


Proposals of 750-1000 words that detail the proposed chapter’s data sources, main argument, theoretical framework and research methodology and follow APA guidelines will be accepted until October 15, 2015. 

Please submit proposals to Shawna Shapiro at 

Tentative Timeline: 

- October 15, 2015: Proposals due 
- December 1, 2015: Editors’ evaluation of proposals and decisions about which proposals will be invited to develop as full chapters 
- May 1, 2016: Full chapter drafts due for consideration 
- July 1, 2016: Feedback to authors on chapter drafts 
- October 1, 2016: Revised drafts of accepted chapters due to editors 
- February 1, 2017: Manuscript delivery to publisher 

We expect that contributors will be willing to engage in peer review of one chapter to be included in the book. Authors will be responsible for getting publisher permission for any copyrighted material used in their chapters, and for delivering a manuscript with complete references, tables, etc. 

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