Title: An imagined 'haven' for refugee Muslim families: slowly remaking the school

Authors: Hannah Soong; Barbara Comber

Addresses: School of Education, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia ' School of Education, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia

Abstract: This paper explores how one Catholic school in Australia set out to reculture its practices with the goal of increasing the social and academic capabilities of their refugee students. It draws on Appadurai's (1996) meditation on social imagination to show that educational innovation requires new ways of thinking and doing, both in and beyond the school. Rather, the work of imagination is what enables the remaking of the ethos and practices of a school. Drawing on qualitative data produced through a rapid ethnography approach, our analysis shows how the gradual negotiation of whole-school sustained innovation can begin to produce a space of haven for Muslim refugee families. The study found that it takes time and perseverance to contest the deficit discourses that surround refugee students and their families. The school community has to work across many sites of practice to become a hopeful and enabling space.

Keywords: whole-school innovation; Muslim refugee families; imagined future; reculturing of learning and teaching; cultural and religious diversity; school ethos.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIIE.2017.088094

International Journal of Innovation in Education, 2017 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.89 - 106

Received: 02 Nov 2016
Accepted: 31 May 2017

Published online: 15 Nov 2017 *

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