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Refugee immigrants’ experiences of racism and racial discrimination at Australian TAFE institutes: a transformative psychosocial approach

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Abstract

This paper discusses experiences of racism and racial discrimination of seven refugee immigrants attending different courses at two Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes in South East Queensland, Australia. In doing so, the paper draws from two studies that focused on resettlement of refugee immigrants in Australia. A transformative psychosocial approach is used to explore the students’ experiences of racism and racial discrimination at the TAFE institutes. Acknowledging the historical constructions of racism in Australia, the paper proposes an anti-racism framework to buttress the students against experiences of racial discrimination at the TAFE institutes. The proposed anti-racism framework has three components; the National Anti-Racism Strategy, the vocational and education system and TAFE institutes and individual refugee immigrant students. The Bubalamai Bawa Gumada is suggested as a possible anti-racism strategy that could enable the refugee immigrant students challenge racial discrimination.

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... Hence, there is a need for teachers to find creative pedagogical practices as interventions that respond to and accommodate students' backgrounds, thereby operationalising the 'experienced curriculum' for integration, and promoting social inclusion of these students who tend to be on the margins (Onsando andBillett, 2009, 2017;Teräs and Lasonen, 2012). Although systems in both nations call for flexibility and quality training for all, the curriculum and resources tend to favour normative cohorts of students. ...
... This presents a challenge for teachers when there are tensions between organisational imperatives, vocational ideals and the needs of the students (Wärvik, 2013). Hence, there is a need for teachers to find creative pedagogical practices as interventions that respond to and accommodate students' backgrounds, thereby operationalising the 'experienced curriculum' for integration, and promoting social inclusion of these students who tend to be on the margins (Onsando andBillett, 2009, 2017;Teräs and Lasonen, 2012). ...
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In recent times practice theory has been used to analyse occupations and the dynamics of occupational reproduction. This kind of analysis throws a distinctive light on learning and teaching, which emerge as integral to the reproduction of practices . In contemporary society, however, the process of developing learners’ capacities for occupations has become an occupation in its own right within systems of vocational education and training (VET). A tension is indicated between teaching practice in VET as a process internal to the reproduction of occupational practices , and as a practice external to the occupational practices being taught. In this chapter, the theory of practice architectures is used to analyse teaching in the Australian VET system, highlighting contextual influences that shape this complex practice. Evidence is presented, that suggests the theoretical tension identified by practice theory between VET teaching as internal as well as external to occupational practices, illuminates the experience of contemporary VET teachers whose role has for some time been understood as expressing a ‘dual identity’. Practice theory helps to clarify this feature of contemporary VET teaching and identify factors underlying the tensions inherent in the system.
... One of the negative psychosocial effects of being discriminated against and of being perceived lowly on grounds of skin color is self-depreciation, a situation where an individual accepts or harbors personal beliefs of being inferior compared to his or her professional colleagues (Onsando & Billett, 2017). Moreover, an individual's awareness of how other people stereotype and perceive his or her group can place the individual at risk for internalizing the stereotypes, leading to loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, including a decline in morale (Udah, 2018). ...
... The research findings presented in this article, like previous research before it, confirm that racial discrimination is still a major aspect of African immigrants' experience in contemporary Australia. The relevance of visible markers of racial and cultural differences for experiences of racism and discrimination among participants is consistent with the findings available from existing Australian research (e.g., Colic-Peisker, 2009;Colic-Peisker & Tilbury, 2008;Hebbani & Colic-Peisker, 2012;Kwansah-Aidoo & Mapedzahama, 2018;Onsando & Billett, 2017). Similar to the findings of the study by Colic-Peisker (2009) and Kwansah-Aidoo and Mapedzahama (2018), participants reported racialized skin color as significant for their experiences of everyday racism and discrimination. ...
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Africans have become firmly part of Australian society. They account for an increasing proportion of its total population. This article draws from empirical data generated via in-depth semi-structured interviews with 30 participants in South East Queensland. The findings suggest that the discursive constructions of Africans in everyday language and social relations in Australia work to construct their lived reality of being; becoming and being positioned as a racialized subject, leading to objectification, marginalization, exclusion and disadvantage. The article advocates for systemic changes that will end the problems of everyday racism at both state and national levels, and for the introduction of programs that will encourage the inclusion, belonging and full participation of visible and ethnically marked immigrants to Australia.
... Entering higher education at any stage of your life can be a daunting prospect, but is much more complex when you have spent years as a refugee (Baker et al., 2018;Mupenzi, 2018;Naidoo et al., 2018;Demirdjian, 2012). Evidence suggests that refugee background students feel unprepared for student life and experience other issues on campus, including isolation (Langat, 2018;Onsando and Billett, 2017;Onsando, 2014;Onsando and Billett, 2009). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cent of refugees globally are enrolled in higher education p 10), yet access to higher and McFarland, 2015: 237). ...
... The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees cent of refugees globally are enrolled in higher education p 10), yet access to higher and McFarland, 2015: 237). Access to education and training is a means to developing self-esteem and confidence and above all creates opportunities for employment and a better living standard (Onsando and Billett, 2017;2009). However, potential transformative effects can be compromised and difficulties exacerbated when students enter class/lecture rooms where their history, experiences, background and knowledge are not reflected in the curriculum (Zamudio et al., 2011). ...
... This presents a challenge for teachers when there are tensions between organisational imperatives, vocational ideals and the needs of the students (Wärvik 2013). Hence, there is a need for teachers to find creative pedagogical practices as interventions that respond to and accommodate students' backgrounds, thereby operationalising the 'experienced curriculum' for integration, and promoting social inclusion of these students who tend to be on the margins (Osando andBillett 2009, Osando andBillett 2017;Teräs and Lasonen 2012). ...
Article
The study reported here used a practice theory lens to understand vocational education and training (VET) teachers’ current practices in supporting integration of learning in educational institutions and workplaces – specifically for refugee and migrant students. A case study was conducted with 10 teachers delivering aged care programmes in South East Queensland, Australia and in a municipality in West Sweden. During in-depth interviews teachers explained the enabling and challenging aspects of their practice, and specific strategies they used to support students with integration of learning in the two main sites. Analyses of data concentrated on understanding three types of arrangements in the practice architectures at the two learning sites. Teachers extended their everyday pedagogical approaches to support integration of learning and meet the specific needs of refugee and migrant students. Their teaching comprised interdependent practices of VET and aged care in two settings, each with distinct ecologies of practice. Their narratives reflect contestations between practice traditions of aged care practices in Australia and Sweden, and students’ understandings and reflections of practices in their birth countries. We conclude that teacher training and adjustments to these arrangements can bridge contestations between the enacted and experienced curriculum in the two sites.
... compulsory education to upper secondary level and higher education in Sweden and elsewhere have been compiled (Avis, Orr, and Warmington 2017;. A few studies have also considered how VET pedagogic practices deal (or fail to deal) with immigration and ethnicity issues in Sweden and other countries (Onsando and Billett 2017;Rosvall and Öhrn 2014). The findings indicate, inter alia, that some immigrants do not choose the VET route because some VET programmes (particularly male-dominated programmes) are especially associated with derogatory attitudes towards immigrants (Beicht and Walden 2017;Rosvall and Öhrn 2014). ...
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Surges of migration into Sweden and other European countries have raised needs to adjust civic education to provide Bernsteinian pedagogic rights of enhancement, participation and inclusion, both generally and in VET specifically. However, associated issues have received little research attention even in countries with colonial histories and longer traditions of immigration and non-native ethnic minorities. Moreover, most published empirical studies on race and ethnicity issues in VET have had Anglophone settings. Thus, research in other contexts is needed to broaden understanding and distinguish between general and context specific aspects. This article addresses gaps in knowledge of the construction and significance of race and ethnicity in VET, particularly in Swedish contexts. First, it examines how critical understandings of being an immigrant, immigration and ethnicity are constructed in pedagogic practices in Swedish VET programmes, then analyses students’ and teachers’ discussion of these issues. Content related to immigration and ethnicity was sparse in monitored VET classes, but the presence of immigrants increased instances of both spontaneous and planned content. We conclude that pedagogic practices do not reflect the large increase in numbers of students in Swedish schools with immigrant backgrounds, and greater intercultural awareness is needed to safeguard their pedagogic and general democratic rights.
... In this context, experiences of discrimination feature prominently in the resettlement accounts of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia and abroad, including in employment, access to social services, and within neighbourhoods (e.g. [37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44]). Moreover, institutional discrimination is evident in government policies, particularly through restrictions on services for those on temporary visas [36]. ...
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Background: Research has shown that discrimination is harmful to health, but there is relatively little known about discrimination experienced by people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds in resettlement countries and associated health effects. This qualitative-focused mixed methods paper reports on discrimination experienced by refugees and asylum seekers, responses to discrimination, and impacts on health. Methods: As part of a broader study of housing, social inclusion and health, surveys were completed by 423 adult refugees and asylum seekers living in South Australia who had been in Australia for up to 7 years. The survey included questions on discrimination based on skin colour, ethnicity and religion, as well as questions on hope, trust, belonging, sense of control and health (including the SF-8). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 65 survey participants, purposively sampled by visa status, continent and gender, further exploring experiences of discrimination. These and survey open-ended responses were analysed thematically. Results: Twenty-two percent of survey participants reported experiences of discrimination since arriving in Australia (14% in the last year), and 90% of these felt that discrimination had harmed their health. Key settings of discrimination were public transport, within the neighbourhood, and in relation to employment. Those who reported discrimination had significantly worse mental health (p < .000) but not physical health. Discrimination was also associated with less sense of belonging (p = .001), lower levels of trust (p = .038), reduced sense of control (p = .012) and less hope (p = .006). Incidents described in interviews and the open-ended survey responses included incivility, physical assault, and denial of services, experienced across intersecting characteristics of race/ethnicity, religion, gender and visa status. Responses to discrimination spanned affective, cognitive and behavioural dimensions, ranging across types of experience, participant characteristics and context, with most individuals reporting multiple response types. While some of the responses were reported by participants as protective of health, participants' reflections indicated significant negative impacts on mental health in particular. Conclusion: Discrimination featured in the resettlement experiences of a significant number of refugees and asylum seekers, with participants reporting clear negative impacts on mental health. Addressing discrimination is a key resettlement and health issue requiring urgent action.
... This might be due to lack of the minimum language and literacy requirements for admission/completion of a VET qualification; or they may struggle with the unfamiliar requirements/culture of the workplace experience linked to the qualification. There is also the potential of racial discrimination within the organisation where they are studying their qualification which can negatively impact on their learning (Onsando and Billett 2017). However, research shows that for those migrants who do complete study/job training in Australia, labour force participation is greater than for migrants without such attributes (Cheng, Wang, and Taksa 2019). ...
Article
For refugee migrants, proficiency in the language of their host country is a significant factor affecting their chance of integration and employment in their new society. For this reason, many Western nations provide host-country language training for such migrants. Australia thus offers English language training within its Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to assist in refugee settlement. This study draws on qualitative interview data collected from a group of male Muslim refugee migrants attending these Australian training programs. Applying a Bourdieusian analysis to the data, the study's findings suggest that language training alone does not meet their linguistic and vocational needs. The paper argues first that the current language training programs need to be reconceptualised to consider the intersection of language training, work experience and vocational qualification; and second, that there must be a confluence of these three factors if refugee migrants are to have any chance of gaining meaningful employment opportunities. The notion of capital as 'vocational currency' is proposed as a new term to identify the complex relationships within this confluence. The article concludes with discussion of the implications of this study for language training within these VET programs. ARTICLE HISTORY
... The post-migration factor that was most significantly associated with reporting chronic pain in our study was stress arising from discrimination. Experiences of discrimination are commonly reported in the resettlement accounts of refugees in Australia and feature prominently in settings of social support, in work and within neighbourhoods [36][37][38][39][40]. A recent study showed that 22% of refugees who resettled in South Australia reported experiencing discrimination, the majority of whom felt that the discrimination had negatively affected their health [41]. ...
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Background Refugee women are potentially at increased risk for chronic pain due to circumstances both in the pre-migration and post-settlement setting. However, this relationship between refugee-related challenges introduced along their migration trajectories and chronic pain remains unclear. This study will therefore examine the association between pre- and post-migration factors and chronic pain in refugee women five years into resettlement in Australia. Methods The first five waves of data from the ‘Building a New Life in Australia’ longitudinal study of humanitarian refugees living in Australia was analysed using logistic regression models to investigate the association between predictor variables and chronic pain. The study outcome was chronic pain and predictors were migration process and resettlement factors in both the pre-and post-settlement setting. Results Chronic pain was reported in 45% ( n = 139) of women, and among these a further 66% ( n = 120) also reported having a long-term disability or health condition that had lasted 12 months. Pre- migration factors such as increasing age (OR 1.08; 95% CI 1.05, 1.11) and women who migrated under the Women at Risk Visa category (OR 2.40; 95% CI 1.26, 4.56) had greater odds of experiencing chronic pain. Interestingly, post migration factors such as women with better general health (OR 0.04; 95% CI 0.01, 0.11) or those who settled within metropolitan cities (OR 0.29; 95% CI 0.13, 0.68) had lower odds of experiencing chronic pain, and those who experience discrimination (OR 11.23; 95% CI 1.76, 71.51) had greater odds of experiencing chronic pain. Conclusion Our results show that there is a high prevalence of chronic pain in refugee women across the initial years of resettlement in Australia. This may be in part due to pre-migration factors such as age and migration pathway, but more significantly the post migration context that these women settle into such as rurality of settlement, poorer general health and perceived discriminatory experiences. These findings suggest that there may be many unmet health needs which are compounded by the challenges of resettlement in a new society, highlighting the need for increased clinical awareness to help inform refugee health care and settlement service providers managing chronic pain.
... This is an attractive career opportunity for many, as interprovincial Red Seal certified journeypersons have increased labour mobility, more employment opportunities, and higher wages than uncertified workers (Frank and Jovic 2015). While the international VET literature demonstrates that VET is not immune from the effects of systemic racism (Chadderton and Wischmann 2014;Onsando and Billett 2017;Strathdee and Cooper 2017;Tran and Vu 2016), in their annual report of 2015-2016, Manitoba's Apprenticeship and Certification Board, the provincial body responsible for promoting apprenticeship education and supporting employer participation in apprenticeship training, reaffirmed its commitment to the ongoing recruitment of, and successful completion of Indigenous apprentices (Apprenticeship and Certification Board 2016). An approach to VET that considers the unique needs of Indigenous learners would provide an important opportunity for raising the educational and employment potential of Canada's growing Indigenous population. ...
Article
With a focus on the Western-Canadian province of Manitoba, this article aims to develop a conceptual and empirical exploration of how apprenticeship learning can be transformed to meet the needs of Indigenous apprentices. Conceptually, the article layers an articulation of decolonising education onto apprenticeship learning in such a way as to explicitly support apprentices’ prior knowledge and recognise the socio-political context within which apprenticeship learning occurs. Empirically, the article draws on qualitative in-depth interviews with Indigenous carpentry apprentices about their experiences with on-the-job training in order to better understand how Indigenous adult learners negotiate well-documented systemic barriers to education and employment. By contrasting participants’ experiences in industry worksites to their experiences with Indigenous-centric curriculum offered by the Manitoba-based social enterprise BUILD, the article develops a discussion of how market-driven apprenticeship programmes limit the potential achievements of Indigenous learners and how a decolonising approach to apprenticeship learning that prioritises Indigenous epistemologies may result in higher levels of learner success.
... Proceeding with a professional career through training is a way forward for refugees who are in the margin of being included (Osando and Billett 2017). Choy and Wärvik (2019) suggest that refugees' needs embrace learning in both classrooms and worksites 'that are socially and culturally foreign to them' (88). ...
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This research investigates professional development with Syrian refugee women teachers settled in Lebanon and Sweden. Both countries offer professional training programmes for migrant teachers, enabling them to proceed with their careers. The purpose is to investigate how moving to a new country calls for an opportunity to engage in practice development and the role digital literacy plays in the refugees’ lives. We conducted interviews with twenty women in Lebanon and Sweden. The outcomes show that engaging in further career development is empowering and beneficial for strengthening and developing teaching and learning skills, and mobile literacy plays a role in overcoming the language barrier.
... This may be regarded as a form of institutional/structural racism (Colic-Peisker, 2011). Research has demonstrated that racism and/or belonging to a disadvantaged social group can adversely affect both the English learning of refugees (Norton and Toohey, 2011;Onsando and Billett, 2017) and also their employment outcomes (Hugo, 2014). ...
Article
Purpose: Muslim refugee migrants are a growing ethno-religious disadvantaged minority group in several Western societies, and host-country language proficiency and employment are essential factors in reducing this disadvantage. This paper thus explores the efficacy of English training programs in facilitating the settlement and employment of a group of male Muslim refugees in Australia. Design/methodology/approach- This study is qualitative in nature, with data collected using semi-structured, in-depth interviews with the eight participants in the study. Analysis was conducted using Bourdieu's concepts of field, capital and habitus. Findings- English training programs offered to Australian Muslim men are problematic in their aim of linking them to employment. Areas of concern are identified in respect to the training hours offered, their learning environment, their content and pedagogy, their lack of focus on employment and their failure to recognise the existing work skills of the migrants. Research limitations/implications- The study is conducted with a small sample of male Muslim migrants: while the findings may be similar for other refugee groups, further research is necessary to confirm this. Practical implications- There is a need to restructure the current English training programs offered to refugee migrants in Australia, Muslim or otherwise. This study identifies several areas where such restructuring might occur, both at the policy and pedagogical levels. Originality/value- Few studies focus on Australian male Muslim migrants. This study enhances understanding of this under-researched group and their struggles to learn English, find employment and rise above their disadvantaged societal position.
... Asylum seekers are required to withstand chronic stress for the duration of their RSD -a process over which individuals have little control. However, a ''transformative psychosocial approach'' maintains that individuals faced with social exclusion can revivify personal agency and re-establish identity through social participation (Onsando & Billett, 2017). Indeed, gainful activity and supportive social relationships appear to counteract the deleterious emotional effects of separation from family and protracted uncertainty. ...
Article
This study aimed to explore the ecological influences on subjective well-being identified by current and former community-dwelling asylum seekers engaged in the process of Refugee Status Determination in Australia. This article presents the qualitative component of a prospective mixed-methods study of 131 asylum seekers and refugees (T1, N = 131; T2, N = 56). The Framework Analysis method was employed to qualitatively analyse the narrative data derived from 187 semi-structured interviews documenting pre-, peri-, and post-migration experiences, and the impact of Australia’s asylum policies and procedures. Four overarching themes comprising 15 sub-themes emerged: The Refugee Status Determination process (Waiting; Uncertainty; Worry) ; Psychosocial factors (Un/employment & gainful activity; Medicare; Accommodation; Family separation & loneliness; Loss) ; Health and well-being (Mental health; Physical health & somatic issues; Hopelessness; Helplessness) ; and Protective factors (Hope; Support & social connectivity; Religion). The complex interface between the Refugee Status Determination process, un/employment, and mental health concerns was the most salient finding. Policy implications are discussed in relation to the application of the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Guidelines on the Judicial Approach to Expert Medical Evidence.
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Australian Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions are perhaps the most heterogeneous of the nation's educational sectors. However, their capacity to provide inclusive education is constrained by their curriculum focus and pedagogical practices and culturally-premised assumptions that may inhibit learning for students from diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences. This paper reports a study that investigated the experiences of learning for African students from refugee backgrounds in TAFE institutions. Adopting phenomenological methodology, the paper illuminates ways in which the students' earlier and current experiences shape their learning at TAFE institutions. The findings indicate that, while greatly appreciating being in a safe environment, African students from refugee backgrounds nevertheless experience racial discrimination and social exclusion as they resettle in Australia. Also, the pedagogical practices at TAFE institutions do not always recognise or accommodate their socio-cultural backgrounds and refugee life experiences. In all, the 'experienced curriculum' created unhelpful dissonance's for these students. Consequently, the paper argues that in order to benefit more fully from their educational experiences in TAFE and more effectively engage in Australian society, including employment, African students from refugee backgrounds require particular interventions from these institutions and those who teach in them. It is proposed that a transformative learning approach is required for these students in TAFE institutions. Yes Yes
Thesis
Across the world, including in Australia, the numbers of refugee immigrants are growing. Yet, understandings about how best their resettlement needs can be addressed remain unclear and under-informed. The Australian federal government, through its Humanitarian Program, aims at offering refugee immigrants safe and productive environments for such resettlement objectives. However, despite being in relatively safe environments, adult refugee immigrants in Australia continue to experience poor educational, occupational, and social resettlement outcomes. These three outcomes have been identified as amongst key indicators of successful resettlement for immigrants in a new country. The research critiques existing adult developmental theories to construct a transformative psychosocial theoretical framework that informs resettlement of refugee immigrants in Australia. Findings of the study indicate that participants’ life experiences offered social structural affordances that constrained their capacities to exercise personal agency required to fully contribute and participate in society. Such constraints adversely affected their adult development and readiness for successful resettlement in Australia. The poor resettlement outcomes for adult refugee immigrants in Australia may be due to compounded effects of their possible traumatic and difficult past refugee life experiences, current distressing and challenging resettlement experiences, as well as the dissonances between earlier life experiences and what makes for effective engagement in a resettlement country, such as Australia.
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Refugee immigrants’ past traumatic personal histories as well as their present social exclusion experiences are likely to adversely affect their exercise of personal agency and resettlement in Australia. Efforts to improve their capability to exercise agency and resettlement should be premised on social structural affordances and environments that support their participation and contribution to Australian society. One way that these supportive affordances could be created is through refugee immigrants’ improved access to and meaningful engagement with the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector and its technical and further education (TAFE) institutes. This paper identifies significant agentic factors associated with refugee immigrants’ past personal histories as well as social exclusion experiences linked to their present resettlement, and explores ways that the VET sector and publicly funded TAFE institutes could address these issues. In conclusion, a set of recommendations are provided as guidelines on how the VET sector and TAFE institutes could address personal agency and social exclusion challenges for refugee immigrants in Australia.
Article
This introduction attempts to place the essays in the disciplinary context of social geography and in terms of the wider social-science literature on 'race' and racism. It comprises commentaries on: social geography and spatial sociology; the social construction of 'race'; forms of contemporary racism; and the geography of racism. -after Editor
Article
Until recently geographers have used the terms race and race relations uncritically, following the commonsense language of political discourse and academic social science. Two essays of Lawrence in The empire strikes back provide a critical reading of this literature and reveal that, despite their liberal intentions, social scientists have often simply reflected the racist categories and prejudices of the society in which their work is embedded. This chapter begins by defining race as a social relation between groups of people across deeply entrenched lines of inequality. It then retheorizes the significance of space in the development of particular social relations of race by exploring some specifically territorial forms of racial oppression. -from Authors
Article
Millions of refugees today are trapped in protracted encampment where they are dependent on external support for basic necessities. Growing up in a refugee camp, many young people are eager to attain Higher Education but lack the opportunities and freedoms their non-refugee peers enjoy as they transition into adulthood and look for meaningful ways to support themselves. This article explores three main assumptions surrounding barriers to Higher Education in Protracted Refugee Situations both theoretically as well as in relation to the particular case of Burmese refugees in Thailand. Following a rights-based approach and adopting post-structural theories, this literature-based article demonstrates how dominant educational discourse emphasizes externalities and thereby neglects the practical realization of the individual's right to Higher Education, while powerful narratives of refugees as dependent victims have shaped reality in justifying mechanisms for international protection and incapacitating refugees. The article concludes that Higher Education could be both a means to refugee empowerment and a form of empowerment. We must not believe the many, who say that free persons only ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosophers, who say that the educated only are free (Epictetus, 55-135 AD).
Book
1. Exercise of personal and collective efficacy in changing societies Albert Bandura 2. Life trajectories in changing societies Glen Elder 3. Developmental analysis of control beliefs August Flammer 4. Impact of family processes on self-efficacy Klaus A. Schneewind 5. Cross-cultural perspectives on self-efficacy beliefs Gabriele Oettingen 6. Self-efficacy in educational development Barry Zimmerman 7. Self-efficacy in career choice and development Gail Hackett 8. Self efficacy and health Ralf Schwarzer and Reinhard Fuchs 9. Self-efficacy and alcohol and drug abuse Alan Marlatt, John S. Baer and Lori A. Quigley.
Article
This article presents an agentic theory of human development, adaptation, and change. The evolutionary emergence of advanced symbolizing capacity enabled humans to transcend the dictates of their immediate environment and made them unique in their power to shape their life circumstances and the courses their lives take. In this conception, people are contributors to their life circumstances, not just products of them. Social cognitive theory rejects a duality between human agency and social structure. People create social systems, and these systems, in turn, organize and influence people's lives. This article discusses the core properties of human agency, the different forms it takes, its ontological and epistemological status, its development and role in causal structures, its growing primacy in the coevolution process, and its influential exercise at individual and collective levels across diverse spheres of life and cultural systems. © 2006 Association for Psychological Science.
Article
Migration across national borders has resulted in demographic changes in the United States, causing the country to become more multi-ethnic. This presents considerable challenges for graduate level educators who need to be responsive to the unique academic needs of diverse populations by considering students' previous experiences, values, and beliefs. This change requires educators to incorporate various teaching styles and to create a classroom atmosphere where security, trust, and openness can be achieved. Developing cultural competence and creating a transformative learning environment is essential for social work educators teaching in multicultural environments in the 21st century. This article provides a brief overview of Burchum's (2002) Evolutionary Perspectives that will help to assist readers in obtaining a clear understanding of cultural competence. It also presents Blunt's Model of Cultural Competence for Transformative Education, which can promote both transformative learning and assist social work educators in fostering a transformative learning environment.
Article
The present study investigates the experiences of Sudanese refugees by exploring the themes that characterize participants’ experiences in Sudan, en route, and at their Australian destination. In particular, the research identifies several factors that may be seen as ‘helps’ or ‘hindrances’ to Sudanese refugees’ adaptation. Participants were 12 Sudanese refugees aged between 19 and 40 years old who had been residing in Australia for five years or less. A qualitative phenomenological approach to data collection and analysis was employed. Examination of the interview transcripts revealed that all participants identified both ‘hindrances’ and ‘helps’ toward adaptation and indicated that positive adaptation is not only possible, but probable for Sudanese refugees in spite of their past experiences of trauma and present resettlement difficulties. Several practical implications were elicited from the research including a need for programs that actively promote refugees’ adaptation by encouraging the broadening of social networks.
Critical and autonomous thinking must take precedence over the uncritical assimilation of knowledge. Transformative learning is a route to the development of critical thinking.
Article
Interpreting the ideas of Jurgen Habermas, the nature of three generic domains of adult learning is posited, each with its own interpretive categories, ways of determining which knowledge claims are warranted, methods of inquiry as well as its own learning goals, learning needs and modes of educational intervention. Perspective transformation is seen as one of the learning domains and the domain most uniquely adult. The nature and etiology of perspective transformation is elaborated with particular focus on the function of reification and of reflectivity. Implications of a critical theory for self-directed learning and adult education are explored. A Charter for Andragogy is suggested.
Article
The vast majority of refugees arriving in Australia are between the ages of 16 and 35 years, and some refugee youth are embarking on university education. While there has been research conducted on refugee youth experiences at secondary school there is little research about their experiences in university education. Most refugee youth have experienced a range of traumatic experiences that compound the difficulties in adjusting to a new country. Many of these youth have experienced disrupted schooling in the past and have to take on household duties that make secondary education difficult in their resettled countries. Currently, it is unknown to what extent these challenges are also experienced by refugee tertiary students and if there are other challenges that are unique to the university environment. This paper reports on the findings of a study undertaken with students from refugee backgrounds studying at university in Victoria and Western Australia, Australia. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were used in the study to capture the voices and perceptions of refugee students. The results reveal that refugee students experience a variety of difficulties and barriers to success that are often not recognized by universities.
Article
I examine the central theoretical construct of ecological psychology, the concept of an affordance. In the first part of the paper, I illustrate the role affordances play in Gibson’s theory of perception. In the second part, I argue that affordances are to be understood as dispositional properties, and explain what I take to be their characteristic background circumstances, triggering circumstances and manifestations. The main purpose of my analysis is to give affordances a theoretical identity enriched by Gibson’s visionary insight, but independent of the most controversial claims of the Gibsonian movement.
Article
Obra que estudia los métodos cuantitativos y cualitativos de la investigación educativa. Contiene: El estudio científico de la educación; La naturaleza de la investigación científica; Investigación cualitativa; Investigación cuantitativa; El problema de investigación; Evaluación del problema; Identificación de la población y las variables; Revisión de la información; Las hipótesis; El análisis estadístico; Estadística descriptiva; Muestreo y estadística inferencial; Herramientas de investigación; Validez y confiabilidad; Métodos de investigación; Investigación experimental; Investigación ex-post facto; Investigación correlacional; Encuesta; Análisis de datos y elaboración de reportes; Lineamientos para redactar propuestas de investigación; Análisis, interpretación y reporte de resultados en la investigación cuantitativa.
Article
Uncertainty persists about the impact of trauma on the long-term mental health of resettled refugees. The present study aimed to assess the contributions of trauma and PTSD to overall mental disorder and related need for services amongst Vietnamese refugees resettled for over a decade in Australia. The data were compared with a survey of the host population. The study involved a probabilistic sample of Vietnamese refugees (n = 1,161) resettled in Australia for 11 years. The Australian-born sample (n = 7,961) was drawn from a national survey using the same diagnostic measure, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). The PTSD prevalence for both groups was 3.5% and the diagnosis was present in 50% of Vietnamese and 19% of Australians with any mental disorder(s). Trauma made the largest contribution to mental disorder in the Vietnamese (odds ratio >8), whereas amongst Australians, younger age (odds ratio >3) and trauma (odds ratio >4) each played a role. PTSD was equally disabling in both populations but Vietnamese with the disorder reported more physical, and Australians more mental disability. Approximately one in three Australians and one in 10 Vietnamese with PTSD sought help from mental health professionals. Trauma and PTSD continue to affect the mental health of Vietnamese refugees even after a decade of resettlement in Australia. The tendency of Vietnamese with PTSD to report symptoms of physical disability may create obstacles to their obtaining appropriate mental health care.
A Conversation on Trust: Community Policing and Refugee Settlement in Regional Australia. Hobart: Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES)
  • Danielle Campbell
  • Roberta Julian
Wealth of All Nations: Identification of Strategies to Assist Refugee Young People in Transition to Independence. Hobart: National Youth Affairs Research Scheme
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The Racial Hatred Act 1995. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia
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Social Inclusion: Origins, Concepts and Key Themes. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies
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Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia
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Making up for Lost Time: The Experiences of Southern Sudanese Young Refugees in High Schools
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Race and Racism in Australia
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Transformative Research and Evaluation
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TAFE English Language and Literacy Services (TELLS): Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) Brisbane: Department of Education, Training and Employment
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TAFE Queensland Student Rules
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The Australian Commonwealth Racial Discrimination Act 1975. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia
  • Commonwealth
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Brisbane: Department of Education, Training and Employment
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