ABSTRACT

This article explores unaccompanied young refugees’ participation in various learning contexts beyond school. Drawing from a qualitative study based on interviews with unaccompanied young refugees, educators and social workers in Norway, the findings emphasise the need for a holistic approach to refugee education in and across contexts of learning. The refugees originate from countries where access to formal schooling was difficult or disrupted. Many of them have been exposed to traumatic events prior to arrival. As the educational and psychosocial needs of resettled refugees are diverse and complex, it is unlikely that schools are able to meet them all. Participation in diverse settings, activities and practices beyond school may expand young refugees’ opportunities for meaningful learning as well as promote their social inclusion. Facilitating access to adequate learning contexts, along with supporting their own commitment to succeed, is decisive for young refugees’ educational achievement, psychosocial adjustment and inclusion in society. The paper emphasises the need for reconceptualising refugee education as inclusive of diverse learning contexts in and outside of school. Enhanced collaboration between schools, local community organisations and wider society will facilitate and support resettling young refugees’ opportunities to achieve their fullest potential.