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Title: The experience of male adolescent refugees during their transfer and adaptation to a UK secondary school
Author: Burcham, Catherine Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 4684
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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Making a successful transfer to secondary school in the UK has been linked to a range of positive outcomes for refugee children. Yet research investigating this experience from the perspective of refugee children themselves is scarce. This study aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of how male adolescent refugees experienced their transfer and adaptation to a secondary school in the UK. The research used a qualitative design, it was idiographic arid the approach adopted was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Semi-structured interviews were completed with six male adolescent refugees. The data generated three superordinate themes which reflected the participants' sense of being in need of help during the early stages of their transfer, their process of adapting to school and developing a sense of belonging in this context, and their overriding need to feel safe. Participants identified a wide range of factors as supporting and hindering their transfer and adaptation to secondary school. These are explored in relation to existing research and psychological theories. Implications for the practice of Educational Psychologists and schools are offered. In particular, results showed that older siblings were often the primary educators of participants at home. Schools that adopt a family engagement framework, rather than parental engagement, may more successfully support the learning of refugee children. All participants experienced a strong motivation to learn English and believed that speaking their first language in school would hinder this process. Further research is needed to investigate perceptions of first language use in school. Finally there is a reflection upon the applicability of using IPA with children learning English as an additional language. The author suggests that IPA can be successfully applied in research with this population.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available