Acculturation of Adolescent Sudanese Refugees - for Teachers
Adolescent SudaneseRefugees in AustralianSchools – A culturalperspective
Before we begin…. Who am I? Mobile Phones Your safety Who are you?
Session Outline The Sudanese Refugee experience Culture Ethnic Identity Difficulties faced by Sudanese adolescent refugees How can I support Sudanese adolescent refugees? Resources
The Sudanese Refugeeexperience Everyone in Australia, but theAboriginal was an immigrant, without continued immigration our nation would not be what it is today. (Grambs, 2001)
The Sudanese Refugeeexperience 2010-2011 169 Sudanese adolescent refugees arrived in Victoria (Department of Immigration & Citizenship) The Lost Boys of Sudan
The Sudanese Refugeeexperience Humanitarian conditions are the worst in the world Civil war commenced 1983 2 million Sudanese lost their lives 5.5 million people were displaced War & drought led to chronic food shortages and famine in the South (Schweitzer, Greenslade Kagee, 2007)
The prize-winning image: A vulture watches a starving child in southern Sudan, March 1, 1993. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5241442
The Sudanese Refugeeexperience Sudanese have left situations of: Extreme violence Significant trauma Hardship Loss of Family Interruptions to school & work. (Schweitzer, Greenslade Kagee, 2007)
The Sudanese Refugee experienceRefugee teens face 3 main challenges: Refugee Adolescence Settlement Experience •Learning English •Identity FormationViolence: •Gaining •Restarting school•Political independence •Adjusting to new•Religious •Finding place in culture•Intercultural community •Separation from •Relationships with extended family•Persecution peers & family •New systems and•Oppression environment •Discovering•Armed Conflict sexuality •Forging new social networks (Victorian Settlement Planning Committee, 2005)
Activity 1 – Cultural Perceptions How did it feel being on the receiving end of your partner’s perception? How did it feel revealing your perceptions? Were you surprised by any perceptions made? How did it feel to have the responsibility for making a perception on your partner?
Culture The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society The attitudes and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group(Oxford Dictionary, 2011) Drinking Culture What cultures can you think of?
Culture Culture refers to not only the racial or ethnic groups we are born into but also the groups we choose to belong to, such as religious or social groups. Culture is a combination of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviour patterns that are shared by racial, ethnic, religious, and social or organisation groups. Culture provides guidelines for how we live each day. We often move between cultures. (Teaching Tolerance, 2011)
Culture Culture of Culture of Students School Personal Culture (Teaching Tolerance, 2011)
Activity 2 – African culture inAustralian Schools“It takes a village to raise a child” (Washington, 2005)
Culture How might your culture affect the culture of others? How might your culture be different from the students in your classroom or school? How might the culture of the school be different from your culture?
Ethnic Identity‘Australian kids… see you like you’re stupid or something’, ‘…. Talking to them and they pretend that they doesn’t hear’ Sudanese Youth (Poppitt & Frey, 2007)
Culture Our ‘self’ identifies with the culture of origin, its values and rules and is linked to our self-esteem. (Nesdale & Mak, 2003) When moving between cultures our self-esteem acts as a mediator of ethnic identity crisis and mental health. (Oppedal, Roysamb & Sam, 2004). Self-esteem is affected by discrimination. (Rumbaut, 1994) Discrimination against immigrants in the form of ostracism, bullying and difficulties at school is not uncommon. (Kunz, 2000)
Culture Feeling of belonging to both ethnic and majority cultures is also part of social group identity which has plays an important part in the well- being of adolescent immigrants (Sam, 2000).
Difficulties faced by Sudanese adolescent refugees Minimal formal education Interrupted schooling and Limited English Period of cultural adjustment including the culture of their school Developing new peer networks Learning new cultural cues Social adjustment such as making friends and Wanting to belong in their new school, community and country. (Xu, Bekteshi, Tran, 2010)
How can I support Sudanese adolescent refugees? School is a critical element of adolescent social- emotional development. (Roeser, Eccles, & Sameroff, 2000). Support from schools can have a direct, positive effect on adolescent’s health, development and psychological well-being. (Rosenfeld, Richaman, & Bowen, 2000; Torsheim & Wold, 2001) Teachers and classmates can provide a wide range of support to students including: help with schoolwork, reinforcement of self-worth, sense of belonging, and role models. (Xu, Bekteshi, Tran, 2010)
What can you do as a teacher:1. Build strong ties between families and schools2. Encourage parents to actively engage with their children’s learning3. Develop cultural awareness4. Teach students about refugee and immigrant populations5. Openly discuss racism and discrimination6. Address and prevent bullying7. Develop and orientation program for refugees and immigrants8. Access support for English learning9. Develop homework clubs10. Encourage culturally appropriate sporting activities eg. Soccer (Xu, Bekteshi, Tran, 2010; Bridging Refugee Youth & Children Services, 2008)
Additional Reading Grambs, J.D. (2001) Immigrants and Refugees: Or Ethnicity Ain’t What It Used to Be, Theory Into Practice, XX (3), 158-163. Poppitt, G., & Frey, R. (2007). Sudanese Adolescent Refugees: Acculturation and Acculturative Stress. Australian Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 17 (2), 160-181. Schweitzer, R., Greenslade, J., & Kagee, A. (2007). Coping and resilience in refugees from Sudan: a narrative account. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 41, 282-288. Xu, Q., Bekteshi, V., & Tran, T. (2010). Family, School, Country of Birth and Adolescents’ Psychological Well-Being, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 8 (1), 91-110. doi:org/10.1080/15562940903379142 Welcoming and Orienting Newcomer Students to U.S. Schools. (2008, Spring). Bridging Refugee Youth & Children Services. Retrieved from http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/brycs_spotspring2008-2.pdf