School & District Management

Study: Refugee Parents’ Understanding of Schools, Language Can Affect Students

By Sarah Tully — June 03, 2016 1 min read
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Refugee children often face learning challenges that can be tied to their parents’ knowledge of the school system, as well as their language ability and education, a research review has found.

A recent Reuters story by Lisa Rapaport reported on a research analysis of 34 studies of learning problems in 29 different groups of refugee children in the United States and elsewhere.

The review, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that risks of learning difficulties can be tied to “parental misunderstandings about a foreign education system,” as well as factors including teacher stereotyping and bullying.

However, parental involvement, along with teachers’ sensitivity to children’s backgrounds, could help students succeed, the story states.

Some studies in the review had different conclusions:

“One large U.S. study, for example, found kids of more educated parents did better. But two Canadian studies found parents’ knowledge of the language in their new country was more important than their education level in helping kids succeed,” the Reuters story states.

Find the full research review in Pediatrics here.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.