Document Sample
					                                   Who Dares to Dream
                                   the american Dream?

                Introduction                          will	bring	greater	attention	to	the	needs	                           Rationale
                                                      of	 recently-arrived	 refugee	 students	 for	
	    In	 the	 research	 about	 the	 educa-                                                                	    The	relocation	of	refugees	is	changing	
                                                      teachers,	 administrators	 with	 refugee	
tional	 experiences	 of	 refugee	 students,	                                                              the	face	of	the	United	States	and	placing	
                                                      teen-age	students	in	their	schools,	and	for	
few	articles	describe	how	recently-arrived	                                                               unique	challenges	on	its	educational	system	
                                                      educational	policymakers.	
refugee	students	and	their	families	make	                                                                 (Portes,	2002;	U.S.	Bureau	of	the	Census,	
                                                      	     Numerous	reasons	compel	me	to	study	
their	 transition	 to	 public	 schools	 in	 the	                                                          2002).	 The	 numbers	 of	 refugee	 students	
                                                      this	particular	ethnic	group,	including	but	
U.S.	and	how	they	negotiate	success	in	a	                                                                 enrolled	in	public	schools	is	growing	apace,	
                                                      not	limited	to	the	following:	the	historical	
formal	schooling	environment.	In	order	to	                                                                the	academic	backgrounds	of	these	students	
                                                      repercussions	of	lower-caste	status	in	So-
illuminate	these	processes,	I	conducted	an	                                                               are	 becoming	 increasingly	 diverse,	 and	
                                                      malia	 for	 the	 Somali	 Bantu;	 their	 lack	 of	
in-depth	study	of	how	Somali	Bantu	male	                                                                  the	 funds	 with	 which	 to	 support	 special	
                                                      experience	 with	 formal	 schooling	 in	 their	
high	 school	 students	 and	 their	 families	                                                             programs	 are	 becoming	 scarce	 (Portes	 &	
                                                      home	 country;	 the	 discrimination	 they	
adapted	to	U.S.	public	schools	during	the	                                                                Rumbault,	 2001;	 Suarez-Orozco,	 2000;	
                                                      faced	from	other	refugees	in	refugee	camps	
2005-2006	and	2006-2007	school	years.                                                                     Suarez-Orozco	&	Suarez-Orozco,	2001).
                                                      in	Kenya;	and	their	seeming	lack	of	capital	
	    Specifically,	my	research	question	for	                                                              	    Meanwhile,	 the	 teacher	 workforce	
                                                      (financial,	social,	and	cultural)	in	navigat-
the	study	was	“What are the socio-cultural                                                                continues	 to	 be	 predominantly	 White,	
                                                      ing	the	public	school	system	in	the	U.S.
factors that influence and constrain the                                                                  middle-class,	 monolingual,	 and	 female	
                                                      	    These	 obstacles	 suggest	 that	 Somali	
success of Somali Bantu male high school                                                                  (Zeichner,	 Melnick,	 &	 Gomez,	 1996;	 Vil-
                                                      Bantu	families	and	their	children	will	have	
students?”	Primary	emphases	for	this	re-                                                                  legas	&	Lucas,	2002).	Teacher	educators	
                                                      difficulty	adjusting	to	public	schools	in	the	
search	project	have	been	on	the	contexts	of	                                                              in	schools	and	colleges	of	education	mirror	
                                                      United	States	and	may,	as	a	consequence,	
reception	for	Somali	Bantu	male	students	                                                                 these	same	characteristics.	This	increasing	
                                                      not	 succeed	 academically.	 The	 choice	 to	
at	 Central	 City	 High	 School1	 and	 in	 the	                                                           diversity	in	the	range	and	type	of	refugee	
                                                      study	Somali	Bantu	young	men	in	school	is	
local	 communities	 into	 which	 they	 have	                                                              students	and	the	lack	of	diversity	in	teach-
                                                      also	important	to	me	because	of	the	unique	
settled,	 the	 social	 networks	 they	 use	 to	                                                           ers	and	teacher	educators	is	contributing	
                                                      stresses	placed	on	these	young	men	to	be	
help	 them	 gain	 information	 and	 succeed	                                                              to	an	ever-increasing	divide	between	what	
                                                      both	 successful	 students	 in	 school	 and	
in	 school	 and	 after	 school,	 and	 how	 the	                                                           students	need	in	schools	and	what	schools	
                                                      wage-earners	for	their	families	(C.	Suarez-
cultural	capital	they	possess	is	valued	or	                                                               can	 currently	 provide	 (Goodwin,	 2002;	
                                                      Orozco,	2000;	Olsen,	1998),	the	gendered	
under-valued	by	teachers	and	other	service	                                                               Igoa,	 1995;	 Rong	 &	 Preislle,	 1998;	 Ruiz	
                                                      roles	they	must	undertake	as	males	both	in	
providers	in	Central	City.                                                                                de	Velasco	&	Fix,	2001;	Schoorman,	2001;	
                                                      the	Somali	Bantu	community	and	also	in	
	    It	is	my	hope	that	this	type	of	research	                                                            Suarez-Orozco,	2000;	Wallace,	2000).	
                                                      an	American	public	high	school	(Feliciano	
                                                                                                          	    As	 waves	 of	 children	 from	 different	
                                                      &	Rumbaut,	2005;	Valenzuela	Jr.,	1999),	
                                                                                                          refugee	 groups	 throughout	 the	 world	
              Kevin Roxas is an assistant professor   and	the	stereotypes	they	face	being	Black	
                                                                                                          continue	 to	 move	 to	 the	 United	 States,	
          in the Department of Educational Studies    males,	 refugees,	 and	 part	 of	 the	 under-
                                                                                                          the	educational	task	facing	public	school	
                        of the College of Education   class	in	U.S.	society	(Steele,	1997;	Rong	&	
                                                                                                          teachers	in	schools	in	which	these	children	
                     at the University of Wyoming,    Brown,	2002;	Davidson,	1997;	Fordham	&	
                                                                                                          enroll	proves	to	be	a	daunting	one.	Indeed,	
                                Laramie, Wyoming.     Ogbu,	1986;	Ogbu,	1987,	1991).

                                                             MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
                     the success
           of somali Bantu male stuDents
                  at an american
                    high school

                                                              Kevin Roxas

upon	arrival	in	the	U.S.,	refugee	students	           History of the Bantu in Somalia             fight	 Somalia’s	 war	 with	 Ethiopia.	 Civil	
have	difficulty	adjusting	to	public	schools	                                                      War	in	Somalia	in	the	early	1990s	created	
because	of	various	factors,	including	emo-       	     The	 Somali	 Bantus	 are	 descended	
                                                                                                  a	 situation	 in	 which	 Bantus,	 previously	
tional	 trauma	 and	 post-traumatic	 stress	     from	six	African	tribes	originally	living	in	
                                                                                                  despised	by	Somalia’s	primarily	nomadic	
disorder	 (Sinclair,	 2001;	 C.	 Suarez-Oro-     regions	 in	 what	 are	 now	 known	 as	 Tan-
Description: While some Somali Bantu families have parents, older siblings and other caregivers who have had some experience with formal schooling in Somali and Kenya, other families have no one in their family who has attended formal school for an extended period of time. [...] while some families can understand the basic "architecture" of how a U.S. public school functions and how to access help from teachers or tutors at a school, other families do not even know that they are even welcome in the building at Central City High School.
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