Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

George Zhou


Canadian school experience, Resettlement, Syrian refugee students




The purpose of this mixed-methods study is to investigate the experiences of Syrian refugee students in elementary public schools in a southwestern region of Ontario, Canada. This region has experienced an influx of Syrian refugee families since 2015 as a result of the war in Syria. Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that children have the right to express their opinions on matters that affect their lives and for those opinions to be considered, was used as a frame to guide this study. Students and parents were given an opportunity to share their views about the children’s education in Canada. Data collection consisted of two types: a questionnaire completed by the students (quantitative component) and a semi-structured one-on-one interview with students and parents (qualitative component). Students completed 75 questionnaires, and I conducted 10 one-on-one interviews with students and 10 one-on-one interviews with parents. Data from the questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques, and data from the interviews was analyzed using an open-coding technique to identify themes and patterns. The results from data analysis were then merged to compare and examine. Most of the students in this study had their education interrupted or missed years of education prior to resettlement in Canada. Most students are experiencing some difficulty with learning due to a gap in their education as a result of missed school opportunities prior to resettlement in Canada. The students are having positive socio-cultural experiences in school in Canada and are happy with educators’ welcoming and supportive approach. The parents are doing their best with school involvement and parental engagement to make meaningful contributions to their children’s education. Based on the findings, this study proposes recommendations to support the educational experiences of Syrian refugee students.