Journal Article: Cambodian Invisibility: Students Lost between the "Achievement Gap" and the "Model Minority"


ACHIEVEMENT gap, CAMBODIAN Americans, REFUGEE children, ALIENATION (Social psychology), PEER counseling of students, ACADEMIC achievement, LINGUISTIC minorities, TEACHER-student relationships


Wallitt, Roberta




Lawrence Erlbaum Associates


This article discusses one aspect of a research study that explored the school experiences of Cambodian American students. Due to their invisibility in the school setting and also in the literature on school reform, these children from refugee families are often overlooked as schools attempt to "close the achievement gap." Through their own words, the young people provide insight as to why the schools are so ineffective in educating them, resulting in disproportionate dropout rates and feelings of alienation. The author suggests that this situation could be remedied by, among other things, developing strong teacher/student relationships based on knowledge of their students; by providing culturally responsive pedagogy; and by incorporating smaller educational environments. Although this study focuses on Cambodian American students, educators will find applicability to other refugee students, language minority students, and any students who are marginalized from the dominant cultural approach of most schools. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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