The final report of a CERIC-funded University of Winnipeg project into how career development can make school more meaningful for newcomer and refugee youth is now available. Although not based in Ontario, those who work with refugee and newcomer youth in Ontario may find some of the research findings to be relevant.
The report provides details of a three-year research program led by Dr Jan Stewart that investigated schools and communities in Calgary, Winnipeg and St John’s. It contains recommendations for creating culturally responsive career development programs that address the unique needs of children who may be experiencing the effects of trauma, interrupted learning and acquiring a new language.
The research findings are intended to prepare counsellors and teachers who provide student career development, and to help create stronger networks between community partners, universities, organizations and schools throughout Canada. The major output of the research will be a data-informed curriculum guide entitled Bridging Two Worlds: Culturally Responsive Career Development Programs and Services to Meet the Needs of Newcomer and Refugee Children in Canada: A Guide to Curriculum Integration and Implementation.
In particular, the first section of the guide includes nine consistent themes uncovered in the research. These are considered in-depth as they relate to school-based learning and teaching: conflict awareness, social determinants of health, peace and sustainability, refugee characteristics, building personal and community connections, cultural competency, trauma-sensitivity, career planning and teacher self-care.