Evolving Approaches to K-12 Immigrant Education

Solutions Journalism

Solutions Journalism Network

New Haven, CT, United States

NPO/NGO/Social Enterprise

From U.S. to Canada to Finland to Israel, education systems have developed in response to the integration of immigrants and refugees and empowered new arrivals to shape their own education trajectories. To combat years of English-only policies, one California town has started a teacher residency program that prepares instructors to work with immigrant students and families. In Colorado, a new initiative offers formal training in early childhood education to  undocumented workers who provide much of the invisible childcare support to their families and other children in their immigrant networks. Across the U.S., programs provide courses to immigrant parents so they can help their children with their homework and have a better understanding of short- and long-term expectations for their child's education. A school in Tel Aviv is emerging as a model for teaching immigrant students about the norms of the new country while maintaining their connection with their home country. Finland has refocused its emphasis on social mobility in the classroom to increased teacher assistants and technology tools for a growing population of immigrants.

This collection explores the challenges and successes schools have experienced in a quest to help immigrant and refugee students learn new languages and cultures.  Moreover, immigrant children in these educational positions offer opportunities for native-born children to learn from their special presence.