This book discusses the educational systems into which students with refugee backgrounds are placed when relocated into many of their new homelands. It discusses the current climate of neo liberalism which pervades schooling in many western countries and the subsequent impact on curriculum focus and teaching strategies. It proposes ways in which these students, who are currently the most vulnerable students in school, can be educated with policies and perspectives which respect the diversity and uniqueness that characterises the world today as the result of the global unrest and subsequent diaspora. The impact of power, politics, people and pedagogies on the prospects of these is investigated and a model for holistic education, which includes the wisdom and care of pedagogical love is discussed as way in which a more human and compassionate approach to education for these and all students of difference can be integrated into school communities despite neo liberal imperatives in education. Research indicates that schools which are spaces of safety and belonging, through leadership of care and empathy, can provide successful educational opportunities for students who have asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds and experiences.
Informed by postmodern perspectives on education and its purposes and drawing on the interdisciplinary wisdoms of critical scholars, this book presents a theoretical introduction to the educational landscape as found in many of the countries in which students with asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds are placed as the result of forced resettlement in new homelands. It discusses the impact of reductionist pedagogical and epistemological policies which are the foundations of neo liberalism. It challenges educators and policy makers to see beyond superficial differences and competition and to focus instead on the very significant impact of trauma and loss that these students have experienced as children and young people. The book dares educators at all levels of policy and practice to become truly human again and to consider the role of educational love and care that formed the cornerstones of educational endeavours for authentic pedagogues for decades. The book concludes with a research-based study of a school in a regional Australian town which not only educates with an ethic of pedagogical love and care, promoting a sense of belonging and emotional wellbeing for all students, 30% of which are of asylum seeker and refugee backgrounds, but celebrates high academic standards needed for student success, as well.
Dr Maura Sellars is a lecturer at the School of Education, University of Newcastle NSW, Australia.
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Target group: researchers and lecturers in education and political science; policy makers; school leaders; teachers