Strategies for Adopting Children's Refugee Literature in the Multicultural Classroom


  • Sang Hwang West Texas A&M University
  • Janet Tipton Hindman West Texas A & M University



Celebrate the culture, Effective strategies, Multicultural education, Refugee literature.


Although many studies currently detail refugee experiences about famine, war, and frightening events like the holocaust, little research about the portrayal of the refugee experience in children’s literature exists (Hope, 2008). This lack of research or gap creates a problem of understanding for educators and students in the multicultural classroom. These refugee children have had little or no formal education and this has created a major learning block for them in American classrooms. This study seeks to answer the question: what are examples of refugee children’s literature and effective strategies to help children better understand and appreciate one another and their cultures? A book review of selected refugee children’s literature and an analysis of pedagogy of effective instructional strategies were the methodologies used in the study. Study findings indicate four refugee children’s books represent similarities and the uniqueness of the literature and identify effective instructional strategies and activities to enhance greater understanding of the refugee experience. Policy implications from the study suggest strategies that educators may employ to adopt children’s refugee literature in the multicultural classroom. The path to embrace, to enhance, and to celebrate the life experiences of refugee children may be accomplished through the implementation of these effective instructional strategies in the multicultural classroom to help children better understand and appreciate one another and their cultures.          

Author Biographies

  • Sang Hwang, West Texas A&M University
    Dr. Sang Hwang is an associate professor in the department of education at West Texas A & M University. She teaches"Evaluation of Reading Performance,""Reading Skills in the Content Field,""Diagnosis and Remediation," and "Emergent Literacy in Family and Cultural Context" for undergraduate and graduate students. Her research interests include reading evaluation, teaching strategies, refugee literature, Dyslexia, the use of technology, and ESL methodology. Dr. Hwang serves as a program chair in Reading and Early Childhood Education and cooridinates the America Reads Program at West A & M University.
  • Janet Tipton Hindman, West Texas A & M University
    Dr. Janet L. Hindman is the director of accreditation and an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at West Texas A & M University. She has served as an assistant superintendent; director of curriculum and instruction, special/federal programs; an education specialist in Title I/SCE and secondary language arts/Advanced Placement for Region 16 Education Service Center; an adjunct professor; a high school AP English teacher, UIL Ready Writing and girls' athletic coach; an AP Reader and consultant for the College Board; a staff developer; and a Fulbright Scholar to Japan. Hindman received both her B.S. and M.A. from West Texas A & M University and her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Texas Tech University. Her research interests include chaos theory, leadership, democracy and democratic values in schools, school improvement and innovation, technology, literature, writing, and art.


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