Being a rara avis: the educational experiences of Bulgarian children in schools in London

Book chapter


Valkanova, D. 2009. Being a rara avis: the educational experiences of Bulgarian children in schools in London. in: Eade, J. and Valkanova, D. (ed.) Accession and Migration: Changing Policy, Society and Culture in an Enlarged Europe Farnham Ashgate. pp. 133-142
AuthorsValkanova, D.
EditorsEade, J. and Valkanova, D.
Abstract

This chapter explores the educational experiences of Bulgarian children in Britain. It draws on a study of Bulgarian children in London which was designed to identify key issues in the learning experiences of recently arrived children of Eastern European and a grounded conceptualisation of their educational needs. The general aim of the study was to inform policy towards creating educational opportunities, which suits the specific needs of these newcomers. The study sought to identify what the learning experiences of the Bulgarian children during the transition from their home countries to the UK are. It considered their prior learning experiences in their home country as well. In addition, the study sought to examine parents’ understandings of the philosophy of schooling in Britain in relation to the needs of their children and the way they seek to attain them. The research methodology, which was informed by cultural-historical activity theory, revealed the ways in which the experiences of the young people were mediated through the economic, social and cultural dynamics associated with the transition process. The study reported findings from in-depth interviews with 12 children and their parents. The results would appear to suggest that children’s experiences were shaped by their parents’ strategies. Their parents’ lack of confidence, increased anxiety and misunderstandings about British schooling appear to be key influences on children’s successful adjustments to the new learning environment. As for the school environment, both children and parents found that practices designed to support children’s adjustment to the life in the new country do not consider the families’ particular needs in terms of their parents’ language fluency and their ability to access information which was necessary for the children’s education.

Page range133-142
Year2009
Book titleAccession and Migration: Changing Policy, Society and Culture in an Enlarged Europe
PublisherAshgate
Output statusPublished
Place of publicationFarnham
ISBN9780754675037
Publication dates
Print28 Aug 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Mar 2011
Related URLhttp://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754675037
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