Learning with Children and Not Teaching Them: Pedagogy of the Refugee Children

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Tahereh ABOOFAZELI, Society for defending street and working children, Iran
Setareh GHODSI, Bahamestan, Iran
Ronak FAZLI, Bahamestan, Iran
From the aspect of access to education, there are two major groups of Afghan refugee children living in Iran; first, those who due to their illegal status of stay are deprived of benefitting from formal education system; and second group of Afghan children, who are registered and are allowed to enter into formal education system, but have been gradually eliminated and despaired due to several reasons including economic pressures, obligation to work, inadequate time to study, inappropriate mental conditions caused by war and forced migration, cultural and language differences and absence of acceptance among Iranian teachers and students. This paper draws upon our six year experience of working with Afghan refugee children in Iran, to demonstrate what the educational priorities of these children are in order prepare them to learn along with other students, and how these priorities can be identified. Sense of belonging to education system is among the motivation factors for learning and one of the main measures which will create this sense in students is their participation in identification of educational priorities. In this paper, through emphasis on Freire‘s theory of “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, we critique the banking education system and its autocracy in identification of priorities and as Ransiere interprets, in the form of their ignorant school masters, explain the successes and failures of our experience based on the principal of “learning with children and not teaching them” which can result in cultural synthesis.