“Your Eyes Open and so do Your Ears”: Centering Knowledge of Families with Refugee Backgrounds during a Follow-up Interview

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Cynthia C. Reyes
Shana J. Haines
Hemant Ghising
Ashraf Alamatori
Madina Haji
Rachel Hurwitz


In an exploratory case study of partnerships between educators and refugee families recently resettled in the U.S, we conducted follow-up interviews with each of the ten participating families during year one. In this paper, we report on themes from these interviews highlighted in three family case studies. We used methodological approaches that enabled us to reenvision and interrogate the power structure inherent in research relationships between ‘researcher’ and ‘researched.” The purposes of the additional interview were to conduct a member check on the data we had gathered, understand what had changed since our initial interview with the family, and gather families’ feedback about our comportment and methods. The two-part question was, How might decolonizing methods from a postcolonial lens serve as guideposts for disrupting research methods with families with refugee backgrounds?, and How did partnering with transnational student researchers inform ways of representing the family narratives? The follow-up narratives suggest a complex understanding of building knowledge within the limitations of a conventional research paradigm.





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