Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Schooling Experience of Syrian Child Refugees in Turkey
by Erden, Ozlem, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2017, 461; 10606366
Abstract (Summary)

After the Syrian Civil War began, refugee exodus gained unprecedented momentum. Turkey, as one of the major destinations of Syrian refugees, experienced problems regarding the accommodation of a high number of refugees (Dorman, 2014; UNICEF, 2014; USAID, 2015). The scholars widely debated the problems regarding educating refugee (Akkaya, 2013; Arabaci et al. 2013), but the available studies do not focus on experiences of refugee students in the schools.

This dissertation study, therefore, examines the schooling experiences of Syrian child refugees in a Turkish public school with a developing conceptual framework named as Middle East Refugee Protection Model (MRPM). The MRPM originates as a result of the different expectations and motives among the host countries located in Europe and the Middle East.

This study uses Critical Qualitative Research. The data is collected through interviews and classroom observations. I employed the reconstructive data analysis strategies and used NVivo qualitative data analysis software to analyze the data.

The results show that the Syrian refugee students’ experiences in the school in Turkey are not dependent on the liability of the legal instruments but social norms and values. The school staff and classroom teachers use a child-centric approach to educate and integrate refugee students through accentuating values such as transparency and honesty, determination and commitment, and approving authority. Syrian refugee students in the public school face challenges due to their language skills, the host communities’ social expectations, and the lack of sustainable refugee education policy. As they continue facing challenges, refugee students begin constructing survival skills and these survival skills help them become an independent being and develop a sense of agency.

Based on the interpretation of the results, I have created two models to explain the refugee education strategies in the school, and how refugee students make sense of the school staff's approach in educating them. The first model is the refugee education and protection model. It explains the concepts and principles that school staff uses to regulate their refugee education system. The second model is agency and independence development, which explains the stages that refugee students go through to be an agent and an independent student. This dissertation suggests theoretical, political and practical implications of the use of models and effective strategies for educating refugees.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flinders, David J.
Commitee: Carspecken, Phil F., Kubow, Patricia K., Levinson, Bradley A.
School: Indiana University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Education Policy
Keywords: Education in emergency, Forced migration, Refugee crisis, Refugee education, Schooling experience, Syrian refugees
Publication Number: 10606366
ISBN: 9780355146042
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