Bridging the Divide : understanding interactions between international and home students in U.S. secondary schools
DisciplineMaster's Degree Programme in Educational LeadershipMaster's Degree Programme in Educational Leadership
Huizinga, Rick H. 2016. Bridging the Divide: Understanding interactions between international and home students in U.S. secondary schools. Master's Thesis in Education. University of Jyväskylä. Department of Education. The increasing numbers of international students have been well-documented in universities around the world—particularly in English-speaking nations such as the United States. Less documented, however, is the similar growth of international student numbers in private secondary schools in the United States. Unlike in university international programs, little research has been done on the topic of interactions between home and international students at this educational level. Using a qualitative research design with the intention of discovering certain trends and themes, Chinese international students were surveyed in order to further understand and characterize student interactions in American high schools. An inductive qualitative approach was deemed necessary for its ability to understand the entirety of the international student experience as it relates to their interactions with home students at school. The resulting thematic analysis found that large divisions exist between the two groups of students. Though positive interactions do occur, Chinese international students feel largely separated from home students, thus impacting their ability to interact further. Positive interactions were two-fold—those focused on class-time “helping” relationships, and those deeper-level “friendship” interactions often made during informal school events. Schools and teachers were found to play a role in fostering the interactions, while at the same time enacting practices or policies that deepened division. After further analysis of the discovered themes within the Intergroup Contact Theory and the Social Identity Theory, several practical suggestions were explored for schools to examine. ...
Alternative titleUnderstanding interactions between international and home students in U.S. secondary schools
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