Schooling experiences of male Iraqi refugees at San Antonio public high schools

Date
2016
Authors
Hajj, Majed A.
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Abstract

The purpose of this transcendental descriptive phenomenological original study was to explore, understand, and describe the meanings and essences of the shared lived schooling experiences of Iraqi refugees at the public high schools in San Antonio. Bourdieu's theoretical framework of habitus, forms of capital, and field was employed to guide the study and provide interpretations of the phenomenon under examination. The data source was a purposeful criterion sample of five Iraqi male refugees. Semi-structured open-ended interviews were the sole tool of data collection. This study adopted the modification developed by Moustakas of the Van Kaam method of analysis of phenomenological data. The key themes or findings of this research are organically interconnected and embody the schooling experiences of the Iraqi refugees: language, learning, cultural capital, social capital, cultural dissonance, alienation, discrimination, and identity. The English language constituted a central theme of the lived schooling experiences. It has a directly proportional relationship with learning, social, and cultural capital. Also, the mainstream language has an inverse relationship with the other experiences of alienation, discrimination, and cultural dissonance. This study has implications for policy and educational practice that should be culturally responsive and geared towards inclusion and meet the learning needs of this marginalized slice of the student population. Additional qualitative and quantitative research should be conducted to gain more in-depth understanding of the phenomenon of Iraqi refugee schooling experiences and, consequently, educationists will be able to provide solutions to issues of English illiteracy, cultural dissonance, inclusion, and student achievement.

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Keywords
Bourdieusian Theory, Cultural and Social Capital of Iraqi Refugees, Iraqi Refugees in U.S.A, Qualitative Research on Iraqi Refugees, Schooling Experiences of Iraqi Refugees in U.S.A, Transcendental Descriptive Phenomenological Study
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Department
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies