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A Case study: exploring the experiences of educational stakeholders in relation to refugee education at a public school in Mamak

Erçakır Kozan, Begüm
The aim of this study is to investigate the experiences of educational stakeholders in relation to the refugee education process in a public school in Mamak district in Ankara that serves refugee students as well as special need students. A qualitative case study was conducted. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with five administrators, ten teachers and five refugee and five local parents. Descriptive analysis was used for the analysis of the participants’ data and the thematic analysis was used for the analysis of the main data. The findings of the study indicated that educators experienced difficulty in communicating with refugee students and their parents due to the language difference which is considered as the biggest factor influencing the educational process. There are also issues arising from working conditions such as crowded classrooms. Educators have not received any training based on teaching diverse groups before and they have reached no support in terms of their professional development to prepare them to better cope with the process. Moreover, teacher and school factors are seen as the most beneficial factors for students’ wellbeing. The results indicated that although the experiences of educators were generally negative, their attitudes towards refugee students were not negative. While the statements of local parents revealed their negative attitudes against these students, the statements of refugee parents showed their satisfaction regarding the education that their children access. Finally, the study presents some recommendations for including refugee students into mainstream classes, increasing their adaptation and ensuring high quality education.