“We Wanna Feel Like We Are America”: Examining the Inclusive and Exclusionary High School Experiences of New Americans in a Small City
Keywords:New Americans, North Dakota, high schools, inclusive education, phenomenology
This transcendental phenomenology centers on the perceptions and experiences of New Americans from Africa and Asia who attended high schools in a smaller urban area located in North Dakota. Using Anderson et al.’s (2014) ecology of inclusive education (EIE), we identify environmental factors that promoted or undermined inclusive education experiences for the New Americans in our study. Themes include: collaborative and welcoming EL teachers, differences between mainstream and EL classes and teachers, problematic experiences with school administrators, valued connections with American peers, and balancing family responsibilities with school. Implications for policy and practice that support the inclusion of New Americans in all schools are provided, including ways to disrupt bias in schools and approaches to providing supports for New Americans and their families.
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