Schooling for Refugee Children

A social justice perspective informed by children from Syria

Eleanore Hargreaves, Brian Lally, Bassel Akar, Jumana Al-Waeli, and Jasmine Costello


ISBN: 9781800086814

Publication: May 07, 2024

Schooling for Refugee Children is a collaboration between five authors who explore their interactions with refugee children displaced from Syria to the Lebanese borders and London. Through a programme of carefully tailored research activities, they analyse the children’s representations of their personal journeys and current circumstances, especially with regard to ongoing schooling. The children’s experiences are expressed through their own words and drawings, disrupting the stereotype of children as ‘receivers’ rather than empowered actors, and challenging traditional solutions for improving schooling. Throughout, the children are eloquent about their schooling in the context of displacement. Their views and illustrations depict a keen awareness of social justice issues, including on the distribution of wealth, recognition of status and representation of voice. These are framed by the authors within Nancy Fraser’s concept of social justice as parity-of-participation. In this way, the book brings to light important representations of some empowering experiences lived through by refugee children from Syria, as well as their thoughts on what has helped their learning and what can be done better. The children’s need for care and a sense of belonging in their schools and new communities is given particular emphasis throughout the book, represented by one child, who simply requested, ‘Add some more love!’

Eleanore Hargreaves is Professor of Learning and Pedagogy at the UCL Institute of Education.

Brian Lally is an educator and researcher with extensive experience in teaching, education leadership and safeguarding/child protection.

Bassel Akar is Research Fellow at Centro de Estudos Africanos, Universidade do Porto.

Jumana Al-Waeli is a postdoctoral research fellow at Ulster University.

Jasmine Costello is a project manager at Student Achievement Partners where she designs resources and professional learning for teachers.

List of figures and tables
Authors’ note on pictures of children’s writing
Sarah Dryden-Peterson

1 Purposes of representing children’s experiences
2 Social justice in displaced children’s schooling: Children representing experiences
3 Primary schooling and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
4 Vulnerable displaced Syrian children’s representations: Case study 1 5 Representations of Syrian refugee children in an Inner London school: Case study 2
6 Fighting to keep Syrian refugee children in North Lebanon learning during school closures: Case study 3
7 Refugee children's experiences during closures, crises and COVID
8 Transforming mainstream education to empower displaced children


Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

182 Pages

1 B&W table and 47 colour photo/halftones

Copyright: © 2024

ISBN: 9781800086814

Publication: May 07, 2024

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