Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Availability

Open Access Dissertation

Abstract

Several studies have focused on the disproportionate representation of students from historically multiply marginalized communities in special education (Artiles, 2011, 2013; Artiles et al., 2005; Brayboy et al., 2007; Cavendish et al., 2018; Cooc & Kiru, 2018; Dunn, 1968; Hosp & Reschly, 2004; O’Connor & Fernandez, 2006; Voulgarides et al., 2017). Only recently, researchers have begun to explore the connections between immigrant and refugee students and special education (Migliarini, 2017; Song, 2018; Qing, 2018). Missing in this literature are the critical accounts of students and (a) their perspectives about the nature of dis/ability and their placement within special education and English as a Second Language (ESL) Classrooms and (b) the internal processes of how they respond, feel, resist (if needed), and navigate these spaces, and (c) their intersectional identity formation in their new schools in the U.S., and their navigation of intersectional identities in inclusive education systems. The purpose of this study was to fill this gap in the literature by exploring participants’ meaning making of their Special Education and English Language Learner (ELL) experiences, their intersectional identity formation in their new schools in the U.S., and their navigation of intersectional identities in inclusive education systems. This dissertation research study used qualitative methods, specifically adopting a hermeneutics phenomenology perspective, and employed a pluralistic theoretical framework approach to explore the educational experiences of immigrant and refugee students in K-12 education. Specifically, I asked: 1) How do first generation Black African immigrant and refugee students, with and without dis/abilities, make meaning of English as a Second Language and/or Special Education experiences?

2) How do first generation Black African immigrant and refugee students, with and without dis/abilities, engage in identity formation in a new school and culture? 3) How do first generation Black African immigrant and refugee students with and without dis/abilities experience schooling/inclusion and navigate their intersectional identities on a daily basis? The analysis of participants’ identity formation and educational experiences revealed six themes: 1) understanding intersectional identities in new social and educational life, 2) privileging the self-selected voice, 3) identifying salience within multidimensional identities, 4) establishing a collective multidimensional sense of belonging, 5) experiencing intersectional disablism, and 6) neutralizing assimilation and visible resistance. The participants of this study made meanings of English as a Second Language (ESL) and/or special education services as segregated and exclusive practices in schools. Their intersectional navigation included acts of assimilation to ‘fit in’ the system, and resistance to the deficit views about their ethnic-cultural identities.

Year of Submission

2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Department of Special Education

First Advisor

Susan L. Etscheidt, Chair

Date Original

5-2022

Object Description

1 PDF file (xi, 409 pages)

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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