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The Perceptions of High School Students from Refugee, Immigrant, and Visiting Professional Families about Their School Experiences in Pittsburgh.

Rissling, Karen (2019) The Perceptions of High School Students from Refugee, Immigrant, and Visiting Professional Families about Their School Experiences in Pittsburgh. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This phenomenological investigation examined how high school students from refugee,immigrant, and visiting professional families perceived their schooling experiences in Pittsburgh.
For more than 4.8 million (9.5%) students in the United States, English is not the language that they speak, read, or write. This statistic does not include the many students who were born abroad,have learned English, but stand out amongst their American classmates because they remain ethnically and culturally diverse. This study had two main foci. The first was to understand these students’ lived experiences from their own perspectives with an emphasis on their interpretations of the school contexts in which they participated. The second was on how the conceptual perspectives of family literacy, funds of knowledge, third space, and translanguaging provided
frameworks for analyzing and contextualizing students’ perceptions. Seven high school students, who attended four public schools in Pittsburgh, were involved
in three in-depth phenomenological interviews and ongoing two-way text conversations during a six-week period. Using these data, I created portraits of each student, foregrounding their voices and experiences while also integrating my own observations. I present suggestions for the educational community to consider in order to address some of the difficult issues and obstacles
these students identified. By creating awareness of these, I anticipate that some solutions might be
developed and then implemented. If this occurs, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse
students might feel that their needs are recognized, discover that they are valued by their school
community, and also achieve academic success.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rissling, Karenkar175@pitt.eduKar175
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKucan,
Committee MemberJuffs,
Committee MemberDonato,
Committee MemberCho,
Date: 25 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 June 2019
Approval Date: 25 September 2019
Submission Date: 13 August 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 218
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: refugee students, immigrant students, visiting professional students, phenomenological study, portraiture, student perceptions, high school students, family literacy, funds of knowledge, third space, translanguaging
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 15:27
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 15:27


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