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I felt a part of the class…. The journey of a group of Nigerian migrant secondary students from isolation to integration


Kidmas, L and Ashman, GI and Short, M, I felt a part of the class . The journey of a group of Nigerian migrant secondary students from isolation to integration, Proceedings of the NZARE Annual Conference 2017, 20-22 November 2017, Waikato, New Zealand, pp. 1. (2017) [Conference Extract]

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Relocating to a new country presents challenges to migrant students in relation to settling down and adjusting to new cultural norms. In the classroom, teaching styles, student-teacher expectations, classroom dynamics and pedagogical practices add to the challenges of connection. It could be argued that the connections which are formed within the socially constructed environment of ‘school’ assist students to flourish. These partnerships can take a variety of forms and the expressions of such partnerships impact upon student’s capacities to integrate and flourish within the new environment.

In this study, the experiences of Tasmanian high school students from a Nigerian background were explored in relation to the development of school based partnerships. A qualitative methodology was employed, using an interpretative research paradigm. A case study approach was utilised, with interviews as the main data collection tool. A major focus for the data collection and analysis was to provide opportunities to privilege the ‘student voice’ in the data collection. Through asking the Nigerian background students to share their perspectives on schooling in Tasmania, significant social, academic and cultural partnerships were identified. Socially, students found friendship and involvement in extracurricular activities providing a foundation for relationships. Academically, most of the students reported a predominance of teacher-centered pedagogical approaches in their Nigerian schooling environments in contrast to the student- centered teaching approaches within their Tasmanian schools. Their adjustments to these differences in pedagogical approaches varied with some students finding it easier than others to form a bond with their teachers and a capacity to become part of the classroom environment. The study revealed, for relationships to succeed, there was a need for balanced pedagogical strategies in order to cater for the varying preferences students may have, as well as opportunities for interactions both within and outside of the classroom. Verbal and non-verbal communications were cultural elements identified as significant in students' connecting to their learning environments. Although, language is often regarded as the major barrier to migrant students’ adjustments to new learning environments, this was not a significant impediment to these students.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:Nigerian secondary students, schooling, adaption, pedagogy
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Primary education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Kidmas, L (Mrs Lois Kidmas)
UTAS Author:Ashman, GI (Dr Greg Ashman)
UTAS Author:Short, M (Dr Megan Short)
ID Code:121972
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-10-24
Last Modified:2018-01-23

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