Academic Adaptation Strategies in Immigrant Students from Primary and Secondary Educational Institutions in the city of Arica

Imagotipo CRIEDO
Any: 2016

The following document exposes the research results from the doctoral thesis called “Academic Adaptation Strategies in Immigrant Students from Primary and Secondary Educational Institutions in the city of Arica”, which is included in the research line related to social and community development.

The research general aim is to analyze the strategies used to promote the academic adaptation of the immigrant students joined to the primary and secondary education in the city of Arica.

This type of research looks for “specific universals” reached through the particular cases deep analysis, and from the comparison of this case with others. For this reason, an ethnographic approach is chosen by virtue of appreciating the reality as a construction that is only possible to know from the meanings given by the same subjects who construct it.

The data collection combines the literary and statistic source analysis with the development of focus groups and in-deep interviews. The informants considered are teachers who work with migrant students, migrant parents and migrant students, besides institutional managers of regional education.

Then, data is reduced though its categorization, taking into account thematic criteria. The coding process adopts a mixed character to be followed by the use of content analysis to go deep into communications in a systematic way. The analysis of oral expressions is done from the written transcriptions of themselves. In terms of data analysis, it is decided to use a double-input matrix in which the verbal information is hosted.

The research results indicate that the Chilean cultural tradition shows that its predisposition to the intercultural aspects is limited. Schools believe in the premise that it is the student the one who has to adapt to the school system. This “formal equity”, considered as a fundamental task in the educational institutions, is confirmed through normalizing procedures. Thus, the mechanisms designed to support the migrant student mainly refer to administrative support.

In addition, the unshakable belief that the situation will “normalize over time” is verified, which in practice turns into immobility.

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