Date of Award

4-14-2016

Document Type

Restricted Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Community

Department

Department of Educational Leadership, Learning, and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Kathleen C. McCabe

Committee Member

Pamela Clark

Committee Member

Debra Livingston

Abstract

This phenomenological study examines the lived experiences of eight male and four female Iraqi refugee students in two New Hampshire high schools. While the literature addresses the experiences and perceptions of immigrants in general, a hermeneutic examination of refugee students in American public schools has yet to be conducted. In this study, data was collected through interviews, field notes, and notes from a meeting with co-researchers. Three major themes evolved: relationships, trauma, and acculturation. Co-researchers explain the difficulties of navigation a new environment with little or no English language skills. They explain the importance of supportive teachers and the biases they encounter. With strong voices and some tears, they tell of their past journeys and their future goals.

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