SARASOTA, Fla. (June 13, 2019) – The politically charged debate over migration often focuses on refugees and asylum seekers while ignoring the most vulnerable participants of this vexing issue, the thousands of child refugees not included in decisions to leave their homelands.
Jody L. McBrien, PhD, examines the academic challenges created by this issue from the perspective of six English-speaking refugee resettlement countries in her book, Educational Policies and Practices of English-Speaking Refugee Resettlement Countries (Brill/Sense), out this month.
A professor of education in USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, McBrien has devoted much of her scholarship to refugee studies. Her book examines resettlement efforts in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland against a backdrop of increasing global migration.
In 2018, UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, estimated the number of displaced persons at 68.5 million worldwide, a record high. This influx, meanwhile, has stirred polarizing debates and produced, in many cases, a climate of fear toward immigrants fueled by politicians and media. Caught up in the issue are thousands of children who flee their homelands both with their families and unaccompanied.
“Our hope is not only to compare challenges, but also to describe successes by which teachers and policymakers can consider new approaches to help refugee and asylum-seeking children,” McBrien said. “Policymakers, teachers, social service providers and the general public need to understand ways to help resettled refugees become productive members in their new countries of residence.”
In addition to findings from her own research, McBrien’s book includes contributions from 20 other researchers, including Briana Byers, an academic advisor at USF Sarasota-Manatee and graduate (master’s degree) of USFSM’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences.
For more information about programs at USFSM’s College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, visit usfsm.edu/academics/college-of-liberal-arts-and-social-sciences/index.aspx. For more about USFSM, go to usfsm.edu/.