Integrate or Assimilate?: How the Policy Discourse of Manitoba’s School Partnerships: A Guide for Parents, Schools, and Communities Enforces Hegemonic Understandings of Parental Involvement on Recently-Resettled Refugees


  • Jerome Cranston  University of Regina
  • Stephanie Crook University of Manitoba


Among the challenges that many recently-resettled refugee parents face is the possibility that their children may fail academically in their new home country. Ostensibly, in order decrease this possibility, provincial education ministries offer policy guidance regarding expectations related to parental involvement with school to all parents including recently-resettled refugees. In spite of the intentions that drive such counsel, the dominant, westernized perception of formal education dictates the roles and functions of educators and parents. This perception monopolizes judgments about what is considered to be acceptable “Canadian” parental behaviour as it pertains to the involvement of recently-resettled refugees in their child’s education. Using a critical policy analysis approach to examine Manitoba Education’s (2005) School Partnerships: A Guide for Parents, Schools, and Communities, this article illustrates the ways in which the dominant parental involvement discourses that are encoded in one educational policy normalize and reify a hegemonic ideology of parenting that marginalizes recently-resettled refugees as they attempt to integrate into Canadian society.

Author Biography

Stephanie Crook, University of Manitoba

Ph.D. Student

Faculty of Education

University of Manitoba