The role of schools: Middle eastern and North African newcomers’ challenges in restorative versus non-Restorative ethea high schools

Ikbal Noureddine, Julian Vasquez Heilig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Students who are newcomers to the United States–as English Learners (ELs)–face barriers to learning, and their academic success often lags behind their native-English-speaking peers. Notably, there is paucity in the literature about Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) high school student newcomers’ academic challenges as ELs and the practices that schools implement to address the unique issues that refugee students face. The researchers employed qualitative methods to explore teachers’ perspectives of MENA newcomers’ challenges from Restorative and non-Restorative ethea of care and socio-emotional learning. Twenty-two teachers (N = 22) were interviewed using the focus groups method at two Restorative ethos high schools and two non-Restorative ethos high schools to understand the differences in leadership and practices targeted towards newcomers. Our results suggest that MENA students’ challenges were enhanced by non-Restorative organizational structural and leadership deficits, and the lack of communication and cultural awareness within the same school in addition to other ecological system challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-305
Number of pages22
JournalMulticultural Education Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Jushan Bai, In Choi, Hans Genberg, Michael McAleer, Hashem Pesaran and Michael Salemi for insightful discussions, constructive comments and suggestions. The authors would also like to thank the participants of the Third Symposium on Econometric Theory and Applications (SETA), 2007 Far Eastern Meeting of Econometric Society and The 14th International Conference on Panel Data as well as the seminar participants at HKUST and HKIMR. This paper was written while the third author was a visiting fellow at the School of Economics and Finance at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. The hospitality of the school is gracefully acknowledged. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Korean Association for Multicultural Education.


  • English Learners
  • Middle Eastern and North African students
  • Newcomers
  • Restorative ethos
  • structural deficits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology


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