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Migrant Children: Research Results, Problems and Horizons

On October, 25, 2011 Daniel Alexandrov delivered a paper “Migrant Children: Research Results, Problems and Horizons” at the seminar “Contemporary Research and Investigations in Education”.

On October, 25, 2011 Daniel Alexandrov delivered a paper “Migrant Children: Research Results, Problems and Horizons” at the seminar “Contemporary Research and Investigations in Education”.

Daniel Alexandrov presented major results of a four-year-long project on migrant children at schools that is being conducted by SESL. Such wide-scale surveys in this field haven’t been conducted before in Russia. 12 thousand frontal face-to-face polls of high school students in 150 schools have been conducted in 4 years, about 10% of them are migrant children.

To analyze integration of migrant children in school life network analysis of communication networks was made on a subsample of 600 classes. Quantitative data is expanded by interviews and case-studies of selected schools. During this project more than 300 interviews with migrant children and their parents are collected, as well as with teachers and school administrators. There are questions in questionnaire on migration and language status of students’ families that helps to group students in categories and analyze influence of migration status separately from ethnicity per se.  All this information forms a comprehensive database which can be used for profound analysis (though analysis is not finished yet).

Discussants at the seminar were Vladimir Mukomel, the head of Extremism Prevention and Xenophobia Studies Department at the RAS Institute of Sociology, and Elena Tyurukanova, director of Migration Studies Center.  

In the audience was Moscow ombudsman for children Evgeny Bunimovich, sociologists, economists and demographers as well as journalists and educators of different levels.

It was possible to tell only the major results of research in a 40-minutes speech, and that is why professor Alexandrov focused on the points that are of special interest for educational policy-makers.

Scholars in the audience had various interests and for this reason it was a hard task to answer all their questions. Some were interested in statistical analysis, others – in qualitative part or in school characteristics. Each of these topics requires a separate paper to be well covered.

For example, Alexey Bessudnov, assistant professor at HSE Sociology Department, was concerned about adjusting samples, the head of the Institution of Sociology of Education Vladimir Sobkin asked questions about history of schools that were in scope of our research, especially about the schools with significant ethno-cultural component. One of the American colleagues asked whether we plan to organize cross-country comparative research project in this field. Moscow ombudsman for children Evgeny Bunimovich took an interest in practical implications and recommendations.

 By Valeria Ivanushina