Investigating Migration through the Phenomenon of School Integration: Anaya’s Experience of Resettlement in Canada

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Using a social justice framework, this arts-based engagement ethnography (ABEE) investigated the phenomenon of school integration among newcomer youth who migrated to Canada. Defined broadly, this phenomenon captures the adjustment of newcomer youth across all aspects of student life – both inside and outside the school context, including English Language Leaning (ELL), academic performance, classroom behaviour, social networking, emotional and familial well-being, involvement in school life, and understanding of the educational system. Specifically, two research questions were investigated: 1) How do newcomer youth experience school? and 2) How do these experiences influence their positive integration into the school system? Results from one participant – Anaya, a 19-year-old cisgender female who migrated to Canada from India with her family at the age of 12 – are presented to illustrate the manner in which the phenomenon of school integration can be used as a point of entry to study migration. These result included the following five themes: 1) The Struggle to Fit In / “I regard myself as a social outsider”, 2) Managing Parental Expectations / “Our values started to clash”, 3) Implications of Self-Exploration / “I was kind of in the middle”; 4) Finding a Passion and Getting Involved / “I became a lot more friendly”, and 4) Embracing a Multicultural Identity / “I am reembracing my heritage.”
Social justice framework, arts-based engagement ethnography, school integration, newcomer youth, migration
Kassan, A., Priolo, A., Goopy, S., & Arthur, N. (2019). Investigating migration through the phenomenon of school integration: Anaya’s experience of resettlement in Canada. Proceedings from the 2018 Canadian Counselling Psychology Conference, 41-55.