Migrant mothers becoming active agents in a United States midwestern context: building strengths by breaking down the outside-inside barrier

Gouwens, Judith A. and Henderson, Robyn (2017) Migrant mothers becoming active agents in a United States midwestern context: building strengths by breaking down the outside-inside barrier. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 27 (2). pp. 136-148. ISSN 1839-7387


In the current context of extensive national and cross-cultural migration, the education of migrant and refugee children is an important and critical consideration. In the U.S., the education of migrant children—who move with their farm worker parents within states, across state borders and sometimes across national borders—brings challenges that relate to educational discontinuity as well as the cultural contexts and expectations of schooling. This article reports
on research that investigated a family literacy program that catered for migrant families in one rural location in the United States Midwest. Through a multipronged approach, the program supported children’s early literacy development, provided adult education including English language instruction and parenting education, and offered liaison between the parents and their children’s schools. Research data were collected through interviews with migrant mothers who participated in the program. Using Gee’s (1996) notion of Discourse, the article considers the way that the program enabled the mothers to negotiate the outside-inside barrier of the rural community. By building their skills and strategies, the mothers were developing into active
agents who could participate in their children’s education in ways that community outsiders could not usually do.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia. Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2017 05:40
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 00:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: rural education; community education; migrant education; socio-educational development
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33102

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