U of C Partners with CBE to Build Understanding of Barriers Faced by Immigrant and Refugee Families

Nov. 17, 2020

Dr. Rahat Zaidi, PhD, an associate professor in the Werklund School of Education and a lead member of the University of Calgary's Newcomer Research Network, partnered with the Calgary Board of Education and the Faculty of Social Work to interview 33 parents, teachers, and educational support workers. The parents who volunteered for the study had children attending the CBE's Literacy, English and Academic Development (LEAD) program, a program designed to support the needs of refugee English language learners with limited formal schooling and/or who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Zaidi's work garnered the 2020 Alberta Teachers' Association Educational Research Award.

Dr. Zaidi, who has spent more than a decade exploring ways to enhance community engagement among newcomers, recognized the value of optimizing parent-teacher relationships so that parents feel welcomed as active participants in their children's education.

Read the University of Calgary's news release “Parent-teacher relationships critical to success of students from immigrant and refugee families" to learn more about Dr. Zaidi's findings on how systematic, linguistic and cultural barriers alienate members of minority groups from Alberta's K-12 education system.

Congratulations to the teachers, parents, and support staff who participated in this study.

*Information is taken from Parent-teacher relationships critical to success of students from immigrant and refugee families, University of Calgary website, Nov. 4/20.