Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2011 Issue »

    Whose Deficit Is This Anyhow?

    Exploring Counter-Stories of Somali Bantu Refugees’ Experiences in “Doing School”

    LAURA A. ROY and KEVIN C. ROXAS
    HER Fall 2011 SmIn this article, Laura Roy and Kevin Roxas draw from two studies with Somali Bantu refugee families in South Texas and Michigan. Findings from both study sites revealed a disconnect between how educators perceived the Somali Bantu families’ educational goals and Somali Bantu families’ actual views of education. In contrast to educators’ perceptions, Somali Bantu caregivers stressed the high value they placed on education through their storytelling practices in the home that related past struggles, including experiences of violence and poverty. The stories told and advice given by parents and elders showed an embedded value of education within the community and a counter-story to the way in which Somali Bantu families were viewed by the majority of their teachers. The authors conclude that the discourse employed by educators was grounded in a deficit-based paradigm that created missed opportunities for connecting with Somali Bantu parents and marginalized students by blaming them rather than evaluating the lack of education provided to families in how to “do school” in the American context.

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    Laura A. Roy is an assistant professor of language and literacy education in the Education Division of Penn State University, Great Valley. Roy’s research interests include immigrant and refugee education, second-language acquisition, and the intersections of race, language, and culture in the classroom. Her work has appeared in Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education, System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, and Teacher Education and Practice. Prior to her faculty appointment at Penn State, Roy worked with K–12 and university students in Nebraska, Georgia, and Texas.

    Kevin C. Roxas is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of Wyoming. Roxas’s research interests include the contexts of reception for refugee students and their families in U.S. public schools, the educational experiences of immigrant and refugee children, and culturally responsive teaching. His most recent research focuses on the educational experiences of recently resettled refugee children and their families in rural areas and the ways in which communities and school districts can proactively and positively respond. His work has appeared in journals such as Urban Education, Multicultural Perspectives, Democracy and Education, and Teacher Education and Practice. Prior to his faculty appointment and doctoral studies, Roxas was a teacher at a high school in the Bronx, New York, and a principal at an international school in Kobe, Japan.
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    Fall 2011 Issue

    Abstracts

    Immigration, Youth, and Education
    Editors’ Introduction
    Soojin S. Oh and North Cooc
    The Power of Context
    State-Level Policies and Politics and the Educational Performance of the Children of Immigrants in the United States
    Alexandra Filindra, David Blanding, and Cynthia Garcia Coll
    Growing Up in the Shadows
    The Developmental Implications of Unauthorized Status
    Carola Suárez-Orozco, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Robert T. Teranishi, and Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco
    “Because We Feel the Pressure and We Also Feel the Support”
    Examining the Educational Success of Undocumented Immigrant Latina/o Students
    LAURA E. ENRIQUEZ
    Things I’ll Never Say
    Stories of Growing Up Undocumented in the United States
    INGRID HERNANDEZ, FERMÍN MENDOZA, MARIO LIO, JIRAYUT LATTHI, and CATHERINE EUSEBIO Educators for Fair Consideration
    Undocumented to Hyperdocumented
    A Jornada of Protection, Papers, and PhD Status
    AURORA CHANG
    Whose Deficit Is This Anyhow?
    Exploring Counter-Stories of Somali Bantu Refugees’ Experiences in “Doing School”
    LAURA A. ROY and KEVIN C. ROXAS
    Toward a Pedagogy of Acompañamiento
    Mexican Migrant Youth Writing from the Underside of Modernity
    ENRIQUE SEPÚLVEDA III
    Elementary Forms of Cosmopolitanism
    Blood, Birth, and Bodies in Immigrant New York City
    Maria Kromidas

    Book Notes

    Immigrants Raising Citizens
    Hirokazu Yoshikawa

    Balancing Acts
    Natasha K. Warikoo