Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher of Penn Receives 2014 Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820June 4, 2014

Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, associate director of the International Educational Development Program at the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania, has earned the Comparative and International Education Society’s 2014 Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award for her new edited volume, Refugees, Immigrants and Education in the Global South: Lives in Motion.

The award was issued to Ghaffar-Kucher and her co-editor, Lesley Bartlett, an associate professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, at the society’s 58th Annual Conference in Toronto.

Created in 2010, the Jackie Kirk award is an annual honor that recognizes a book that mirrors its namesake’s primary concerns of gender and education and education in areas of conflict.

Refugees, Immigrants and Education looks at how schools incorporate or exclude immigrant students, working with case studies in Thailand, India, Nepal, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Sudan, Mexico, Australia and the Dominican Republic.

Drawing on concepts in anthropology, the authors offer socio-cultural analyses of how governments manage increasing diversity and how immigrants maximize educational investments. The findings point to implications for global efforts to expand educational equity and inclusion.

“A key contention of the volume is that the distinction between immigrant and refugee is grossly overstated,” Ghaffar-Kucher said. “The permeability of these categories is revealed through the ethnographic examination of the lived experiences of migrant populations.”

Ghaffar-Kucher is an expert in topics such as immigration and schooling, citizenship and trans-nationalism and curriculum and pedagogy in international contexts.  Other areas of specialization include issues of educational access, equity and quality, especially in the context of Pakistan and other Muslim-majority countries. 

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