The Karen Resettlement Story: A Participatory Action Research Project on Refugee Educational Experiences in the United States

Blog post written by Eunbae Lee for the article by Daniel Gilhooly and Eunbae Lee

No topic today garners more attention than the issue of refugees and refugee resettlement. Yet, rarely are the voices of those refugees incorporated in the media or in academic journals.  This study represents the collaboration between three Karen brothers and their American English tutor.

In 2001, after months of preparing questionnaires and establishing contacts they traveled to various Karen communities in the US to help chronicle the story of these new immigrants. Together, the team learns how to conduct research and offers their findings on 5 themes related to Karen resettlement: English language divide, parental involvement in their children’s schooling, bullying, gangs, and gender.

Gilhooly and Lee

Through their interviews, photographs, casual conversations, and stories they are told, they are able to learn about the challenges of refugee resettlement as well as the benefits that such collaborative research can have. The article will give readers some background of the Karen people and the ways collaboration can help us grow as individuals and as researchers.

You can access this article for free for the next 30 days starting January 12 by using this link.

After you’ve had a chance to read this piece, please share your thoughts, ideas, or experiences with our community so we can continue this discussion! The AR+ site is hosting a discussion forum for us to talk about our reactions and experiences related this topic. You can access the discussion forum HERE.