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From policy to practice: Applying narrative research in examining educational programs as venues for social integration of refugee children in Istanbul
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CitationAlaboudi, M. (2019). From policy to practice: Applying narrative research in examining educational programs as venues for social integration of refugee children in Istanbul. The 6th International Conference on The Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, Simmons University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 10-11 June 2019.
For years, policy makers in refugee host countries have developed programs for refugee children based on the notion that they will one day return to their home countries and become productive citizens and leaders, contributing to rebuilding their homelands when the war clears. However, the sad truth, illustrated in recent statistics, is that most of these children will never return “home” (UNHCR, 2017). The situation of refugees in Turkey is no different. The current number of refugees settled in Turkey is considered among the highest worldwide, reaching 3.5 million; 48% of which are school aged individuals. This situation is placing special urgency on issues of social and economic integration, and the role of policy change especially in education. To meaningfully support these children, policy makers and educators have started acknowledging their “unknowable futures” (Dryden-Peterson, 2018) and started providing them with the tools to participate and succeed in many ways including education (Icduygu, 2015). This narrative study examines refugee education policy application through a bottom-up community-based action research project in education that sought to support integration initiatives for refugees in urban Istanbul, Turkey by interviewing 73 community stakeholders. This narrative approach fosters a dialogical, collaborative, and critical orientation by evaluating the way recent policy recommendations are designed and implemented. The results of this study emphasize the vital role of the narrative research as it provided valuable avenues to examine policy in action providing solutions for complex, intersectional issues around education, policy, migration and contextual social action.