Education of Immigrant Youth: Psychological Perspectives
This course examines the current status of immigrant students in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. Particular attention is given to strategies employed by immigrants of all ages to adjust to U.S. schools and culture. Special attention is given to the psychological dimensions of adjustment of immigrant students and their families, and the role of teachers and schools serving these students since these are critical factors to consider in understanding their academic experiences and outcomes. The course also addresses the challenges imposed on educational agencies which must serve both native-born U.S. students and immigrants while confronted with overcrowded classrooms; limited financial resources at the local, state, and federal level; fierce controversy over “special” programs for immigrants (e.g., bilingual education, newcomer centers); the backlash seen in recent years against immigrants (e.g., California’s Propositions 187 and 229); the school reform movement and national standards; and students needs that extend beyond education (e.g., health, counseling, and social services). Finally, educational policies and their impact on immigrant students will be discussed. The readings in the course come from a variety of sources that also explore the dilemma of adult immigrants in the U.S. and the difficulties faced by their children in schools.