Study finds first-generation immigrants struggling in education system

Jan 13, 2010
Shaljan Areepattamannil examined the results of 2,636 13-year-old first-generation immigrant students from British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Credit: Michael Onesi/Queen's University

First-generation immigrant adolescents in Canada performed below average in math and science in recent testing indicating that these students may be struggling to succeed in the educational system. These results from a study by Queen's University Faculty of Education PhD candidate Shaljan Areepattamannil are surprising because they contradict findings of other studies.

"Immigrant children are the fastest growing sector in the Canadian child population and account for nearly one in five Canadian children. Therefore, the integration of into schools should be an important issue for educators," says Mr. Areepattamannil (pronounced "A-ree-pat-a-man-ill"). "How these adapt and the educational pathways they take will clearly have profound implications for Canadian society."

The study examined the results of 2,636 13-year-old first-generation immigrant students from British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec who took part in the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

The data reveals those students' math and science results were "substantially below" the TIMSS scale average of 500.

Because TIMSS 2007 Grade 8 assessment was administered in only three Canadian provinces, Areepattamannil feels more research using Canada-wide data is needed. Still, he feels the findings should raise some concerns.

"Most of the parents of first-generation immigrant students arrived in Canada from China and India. Unlike schools in Canada, both curriculum and instruction in schools across these countries emphasize rote memorization," says Mr. Areepattamannil, who came to Canada from India in 2004. "I'd like to further explore the factors that precipitate first-generation immigrant students' disengagement from Canadian schools with a view to understanding what needs to be changed to better accommodate the needs of first-generation immigrant students in the Canadian school setting."

Explore further: Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Immigrant Blacks More Likely to Attend Elite Colleges

Aug 11, 2009

A larger proportion of immigrant black high school graduates attend selective colleges and universities than both native black and white students in America, according to a study by sociologists at Johns Hopkins University ...

Recommended for you

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

13 hours ago

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

Jul 23, 2014

(AP)—Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

Perthites wanted for study on the Aussie lingo

Jul 23, 2014

We all know that Australians speak English differently from the way it's spoken in the UK or the US, and many of us are aware that Perth people have a slightly different version of the language from, say, Melbournians - but ...

User comments : 0