Experiences of Higher Education Refugee-Background Learners
Keywords:refugee-background learners, academic agency, deficit thinking, higher education, first-person narratives
This paper discusses the academic agency of refugee-background individuals who have resettled to the United States of America and the responsibility of higher education to value refugee-background learners as knowledge creators. Contrary to deficit thinking that views learners as unable to succeed due to their refugee background, this study explores how their experiences demonstrate their multiple capacities to succeed in higher education. The essence of these experiences is presented using self-reflexive collaborative speaking and writing inquiry. Three main themes drawn from the results were the capacities of refugee-background learners to adapt cultures, maintain multiple social connections, and exercise agency.
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