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Leadership and Policy Dilemmas: Syrian Newcomers as Future Citizens of Ontario, Canada

Education, Immigration and Migration

ISBN: 978-1-78756-045-1, eISBN: 978-1-78756-044-4

Publication date: 10 July 2019


This case study focuses on the perceptions of frontline educators, including social workers and settlement workers, across all levels of two Canadian school boards in Central and Southwest Ontario. These jurisdictions attracted significant numbers of Syrian newcomers since January, 2016, both those sponsored publicly and privately, but also directly among Syrians themselves who had heard about the ‘great reputations’ of these school boards. The case study describes how educators responded innovatively – on the fly – to meet new needs, through policies, structures, staffing, partnerships and curricular changes. We documented educators’ stories, hopefully capturing the optimism as well as the stress created by welcoming the newcomers. Our findings and implications remain tentative as in ‘too soon to tell’, thus the expressions of dilemmas in leadership and policy as we witnessed successes towards Syrian integration into schools, communities and Canadian society.



Bogotch, I. and Kervin, C. (2019), "Leadership and Policy Dilemmas: Syrian Newcomers as Future Citizens of Ontario, Canada", Arar, K., Brooks, J.S. and Bogotch, I. (Ed.) Education, Immigration and Migration (Studies in Educational Administration), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 33-51.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © Ira Bogotch and Cole Kervin, 2019