It’s Complex: Working with students of refugee backgrounds in NSW public schools

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Overview

This 2-day course provides an introduction and exploration of issues around the teaching of students of refugee backgrounds. It is based on research conducted for the NSW Teachers Federation and documented in the report It’s Complex (2019).

The first day focuses on developing a conceptual language for understanding the experiences of refugee students in a culturally complex, globalised world. Practical strategies will be provided to foster participants’ understanding and classroom application of:

  • Understanding difference
  • Grappling with Complexity
  • Promoting Inclusion and Equity

The second day applies this understanding as it examines the diverse needs of these students: educational, institutional, linguistic, social and the implications of these for teachers and schools. Practical strategies will be provided to foster participants’ understanding and classroom application of:

  • The diverse needs of students of refugee backgrounds
  • Building resilience through English Language proficiency
  • Applying theories of language and culture

Please note that this course is limited to a maximum of 25 participants.

Learning Goals

Participants will:

  • develop an understanding of the complex needs of students of refugee backgrounds: and how best to balance what constitutes the pastoral and academic within these students’ education.
  • develop a conceptual language for understanding the experiences of students of refugee backgrounds and issues of ethnic diversity more broadly,
  • acquire an overview of aspects of EAL/D pedagogy for meeting the English language and literacy needs of refugee students,
  • apply this conceptual understanding, informed by theories of culture and language, in evaluating lessons drawn from research, together with considering the utility of theory for working with students of refugee backgrounds in the context of their own school and classroom.
Surry Hills (2 Days)

Day 1 – Friday 24 March 2023

Day 2 – Friday 31 March 2023

Day 1 It’s Complex – Knowing about Refugees, Examining Key Concepts

Knowing about Refugees

Examining Terms, Contesting Categories – What’s the Point?

Part 1 – Understanding Difference

Part 2 – Grappling with Complexity

Part 3 – Promoting Inclusion and Equity

Practical Theory – Using these concepts in working with students of refugee backgrounds

Day 2 It’s Complex – Working with Students of Refugee Backgrounds in NSW Public Schools

The Diverse Needs of Students of Refugee Backgrounds

Building Resilience through English Language Proficiency– What Every Teacher Should Know

Applying Theories of Language and Culture

Prof Megan Watkins

Megan Watkins is Professor in the School of Education and Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Her research interests lie in the cultural analysis of education exploring the impact of cultural diversity on schooling and the ways in which different cultural practices can engender divergent habits and dispositions to learning. Megan is the recipient of two Australian Research Council Linkage Grants: ‘Rethinking Multiculturalism/ Reassessing Multicultural Education’ and ‘Discipline and Diversity: Cultural Practices and Dispositions of Learning’. 

Prof Greg Noble

Greg Noble is Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Greg has been involved in research in multiculturalism and education for thirty years. His interests have centred around the relations between youth, ethnicity, gender and schooling, as well as aspects of curriculum and pedagogy in multicultural education programs. He also has broader research interests in issues of migration and intercultural relations, with a particular focus on the Lebanese diaspora.

Completing It’s Complex! Working with students of refugee backgrounds in NSW public schools will contribute 10 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Accredited PD in the priority area of Delivery and Assessment of NSW Curriculum/EYLF addressing standard descriptors 1.1.2, 1.3.2

from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

  • K-12 teachers
  • EAL/D Teachers
  • EAL/D Leaders

$400 for two days

Two whole-day workshops with participants actively engaged in each session and undertaking pre-course and in-between course readings.

It’s Complex Report