Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making

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KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Standardized Tests; Coping; Community Support; Immigrants; Elementary School Students; Middle School Students; Cultural Differences; English (Second Language); Second Language Learning; Educational Policy; Academic Achievement; Teaching Methods; England; Virginia.

Milkman, R. (2007). Immigrants' work and labour movement renewal in Los Angeles and beyond. Labour History, 84(4), 524-530.

This article traces the transformation of Los Angeles, which was considered a showcase of anti-unionism a century ago, into a key site of labor movement revitalization and a model of successful immigrant organizing. It traces the history of unionization in L.A. over time, and analyzes data from the 1990s on the characteristics of L.A.''s union members. Although immigrants are still less likely to be union members than native-born workers, this is because of their sectoral location, not because they are "unorganizable." On the contrary, in some respects foreign-born workers tend to be more receptive to unionization efforts than their native-born counterparts, despite the vulnerability non-citizens and undocumented immigrants often experience. Here the dynamics of recent immigrant organizing successes in L.A. are analyzed, highlighting the importance of Latino immigrants'' propensity for militancy, on the one side, and the key role of the new activist leadership of a number of key unions, on the other. While the recent successes are impressive in quality, they have not had much impact on union density in L.A., which remains low. Yet they indicate the potential for a larger-scale transformation.
KEY WORDS: Immigrants; Labour Movement; Immigrant Organizing; Los Angeles.

Mirchandani, K. (2004). Immigrants matter: Canada's social agenda on skill and learning. Convergence, 37(1), 61-68.

Evidence shows that there is an increasing number of knowledge and management occupations in a broad range of sectors, requiring greater numbers of well-educated and skilled workers. Despite this compelling need for skilled workers, the reports note that immigrants often do not fare well in the Canadian economy. One of the main barriers faced by skilled immigrants is that their credentials are not recognised by employers in Canada. While this is due partly to the lack of a national body which certifies immigrant qualifications, another reason that immigrants may face barriers is racism, and the possession of a certificate may do very little to challenge this. In this article, the author explores the promises and shortfalls of Canada's Innovation strategy for well-educated migrants to Canada, who now make up just over 75 percent of immigrants to Canada. The author suggests that the policies on work and learning must deal with employer racism and localism. Only then can Canada build a society in which not only knowledge, but also fundamentally, the diversity of the knowledge held by those who live there matter.
KEY WORDS: Foreign Countries; Skilled Workers; Credentials; Immigrants; Job Skills; Racial Bias; Public Policy.

Monzo, L. D., & Rueda, R. (2003). Shaping education through diverse funds of knowledge: A look at one Latina paraeducator's lived experiences, beliefs, and teaching practice. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 34(1), 72-95.

Examined how the experiences of a Mexican immigrant para-educator translated into beliefs and teaching, using the "funds of knowledge" concept to consider her experiences as critical to teaching. Results indicated that she had markedly different experiences from mainstream educators, yet numerous factors worked against using them for instruction. Her beliefs about teaching and learning stemmed from her experiences and the meanings she constructed from them.
KEY WORDS: Cultural Influences; Diversity (Faculty); Elementary Education; Hispanic Americans; Mexican Americans; Paraprofessional School Personnel; Personal Narratives; Prior Learning; Funds of Knowledge.

Moran, T. T., & Petsod, D. (2003). Newcomers in the American workplace: Improving employment outcomes for low-wage immigrants and refugees. California: Rockefeller Foundation, New York; Ford Foundation, New York; Hitachi Foundation, Washington, DC.

First-generation immigrants play a crucial role in the U.S. economy, but despite their pivotal role many immigrant workers confront enormous challenges in the labor force. The immigrant population increased from 19.8 million in 1990 to 31.1 million in 2000, comprising 11.1% of the U.S. population and 12.4% of the nation's workforce. Immigrants are expected to account for half of the working-age population growth between 2006 and 2015 and for all of the growth between 2016 and 2035, yet they are concentrated in low-skill, low-pay jobs. Some of the challenges that keep immigrants in working poverty are as follows: (1) immigration status; (2) inaccessibility of job training and placement programs; (3) rarity of job-based benefits; (4) ineligibility for government programs; and (5) discrimination and exploitation in the workplace. Some of the recommendations to funders to improve conditions are as follows: (1) enhance language access to programs; (2) integrate job training with English-acquisition and cultural orientation; (3) develop workforce programs that forge multisector partnerships; (4) help immigrants gain fair recognition and receive accreditation for their skills and education; (5) successfully educate children of immigrants; (6) educate and develop the leadership of immigrant workers; (7) protect immigrant workers who risk intimidation for union activities; and (8) improve public policy, employer practices, and economic outcomes for low-wage immigrants.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Employer Attitudes; Employment Practices; Employment Projections; English (Second Language); Equal Opportunities (Jobs); Immigrants; Institutional Cooperation; Intercultural Programs; Job Placement; Job Training; Labor Conditions; Labor Force; Labor Force Development; Policy Formation; Population Trends; Public Policy; Second Language Learning; Unskilled Workers; Working Poor.

Orellana, M. F. (2001). The work kids do: Mexican and Central American immigrant children's contributions to households and schools in California. Harvard Educational Review, 71(3), 366-389.

Research on Mexican and Central American immigrant children illuminates their everyday work as helpers in the home, community, and school. Their participation is shaped by gender dynamics. Their work can be viewed in multiple ways as volunteerism, learning opportunities, and cultural and linguistic brokering.
KEY WORDS: Child Labor; Children; Family Financial Resources; Housework; Immigrants; Mexicans; Sex Role; Central America.

Parrenas, R. S. (2001). Servants of globalization: Women, migration, and domestic work. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

This book offers a study of migrant Filipina domestic workers who leave their own families behind to do the mothering and caretaking work of the global economy in countries throughout the world. It specifically focuses on the emergence of parallel lives among such workers in the cities of Rome and Los Angeles, two main destinations for Filipina migration. The book is largely based on interviews with domestic workers, but it also portrays the larger economic picture as domestic workers from developing countries increasingly come to perform the menial labor of the global economy. This is often done at great cost to the relations with their own split-apart families. The experiences of migrant Filipina domestic workers are also shown to entail a feeling of exclusion from their host society, a downward mobility from their professional jobs in the Philippines, and an encounter with both solidarity and competition from other migrant workers in their communities. The author applies a new theoretical lens to the study of migration-the level of the subject, moving away from the two dominant theoretical models in migration literature, the macro and the intermediate. At the same time, she analyzes the three spatial terrains of the various institutions that migrant Filipina domestic workers inhabit-the local, the transnational, and the global. She draws upon the literature of international migration, sociology of the family, women's work, and cultural studies to illustrate the reconfiguration of the family community and social identity in migration and globalization. The book shows how globalization not only propels the migration of Filipina domestic workers but also results in the formation of parallel realities among them in cities with greatly different contexts of reception.
KEY WORDS: Women; Employment; Foreign Countries; Filipinos; Women Domestics; Alien Labor; Philippine; Emigration; Government Policy.

Sander, J. (2007). Nativity, human capital, and government employment. Social Science Research, 36(1), 404-420.

Immigrants, like native minorities, are often attracted to government jobs. The chief attractions are the standard of living provided by such jobs and perceptions that discrimination and the threat of layoffs are moderated in the government sector. These perceptions often derive from family- and ethnic-based interpersonal networks that are replete with favorable accounts of working in the public sector. Network members who hold government jobs advise others on how to pursue similar jobs. Despite the high human capital requirements of most government jobs, and that foreign-earned credentials and experience are often devalued in the host society, interviews reveal that immigrants from various societies and backgrounds are motivated to seek work in the public sector. Overall, possessing a strong basket of human capital and related attributes increases the probability that immigrants work in the public sector by a factor of six.
KEY WORDS: Immigrants and Work; Government Employees; Human Capital; Ethnic Networks; Economic Assimilation.

Sedlezky, L., Anderson, L., Hewitt, A., O'Nell, S., Sauer, J., Larson, S., et al. (2001). The power of Diversity: Supporting the immigrant workforce. Washington, DC: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

This curriculum was designed to teach frontline supervisors of community-based services and programs that provide supports to persons with developmental disabilities. The curriculum is based on a set of identified competencies for frontline supervisors and the findings of a series of focus groups that were conducted by the Institute on Community Integration with direct support professionals, frontline supervisors and administrators from agencies in Minnesota. Issues, challenges, and benefits of new immigrants entering the direct support workforce were identified during the focus groups, and the materials presented in this curriculum are designed to address these challenges. Specific modules address: (1) understanding diversity; (2) building a cohesive team by supporting immigrant workers; (3) orienting and training the immigrant worker; and (4) recruiting, hiring, and organizational practices that support immigrant workers. The training curriculum consists of both a facilitator guide and a learner guide. The facilitator guide is designed to be used by trainers and facilitators who have a good understanding of the issues. Step-by-step instructions are provided in the guide for each activity. The learner guide is to be used as a workbook during the training and as a reference guide.
KEY WORDS: Adults; Children; Community Programs; Curriculum; Disabilities; Employer Employee Relationship; Human Services; Immigrants; Minimum Competencies; Organizational Change; Organizational Climate; Organizational Effectiveness; Recruitment; Social Agencies; Social Work; Social Workers; Supervisors; Supervisory Methods; Training; Methods; Minnesota.

Wilkinson, L. (2002). Factors influencing the academic success of refugee youth in Canada. Journal of Youth Studies, 5(2), 173-193.

The study examines the education experiences of refugee youth in Canada. Using data obtained from a random sample of 91 refugee youths between the ages of 15 and 21, plus data from 123 of their parents, the purpose of this study is to identify the factors influencing their educational success. The study finds that the majority of refugee youth are doing well in the education system, with about 50 per cent expecting to complete high school and to continue to post-secondary education. The remaining 30 per cent are experiencing some difficulty finishing high school and about 20 per cent do not expect to finish their secondary education. Ethnicity, refugee camp experience, appropriate grade placement on arrival, parents' health, urban residence, and number of months in Canada are correlated with academic performance.
KEY WORDS: Academic Achievement; Education Experiences; Youth; Educational Background; Refugees; Canada; "At Risk"; Refugees.

Section 5.3

Disability, Work and Learning

Abbas, J. (2003). Disability and the dimensions of work. Unpublished Master Thesis, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto.

People labelled disabled face exclusion in almost all aspects of their lives. This social exclusion is particularly true in the labour force, where people with disabilities typically face high rates of unemployment and underemployment. This research not only seeks to critically analyze the labour market inequity experienced by bodies marked "disabled", but also to illustrate the social process behind this "disablement". In doing so, this research advances an understanding of disability oppression in which social, cultural, and economic structures are scrutinized and their role in social exclusion highlighted. In order to illustrate the dynamics of disability and work, this research will explore in depth the following three labour market conditions: unemployment, underemployment and unpaid labour. By doing so, this research illustrates how an sociological approach to disability oppression uncovers the root causes of labour market inequity and thus allows us to lay the foundations for social justice.
KEY WORDS: Disability; Labour Market; Social Exclusion; Unemployment; Underemployment; Unpaid Labour.

Allaire, S. H., Li, W., & LaValley, M. P. (2003). Work barriers experienced and job accommodations used by persons with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 46(3), 147-156.

Many people with arthritis become work disabled, but little is known about the types of work barriers they experience and their use of job accommodations. This article describes work barriers and use of accommodations and examines factors associated with accommodation use in persons with arthritis at risk for work disability.
KEY WORDS: Physical Disabilities; Vocational Rehabilitation; Work Environment; Arthritis; Accommodation; Disabilities.

Baldwin, M. L., & Schumacher, E., J. (2002). A note on job mobility among workers with disabilities. Industrial Relations, 41(3), 430-441.

Data from the 1990 and 1993 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation are used to analyze relationships between disability status and job mobility. Individuals who experienced voluntary and involuntary job separations over a 20-month period were identified to examine the effect of disability status on rates of job change and wage growth following a job change. The results show that disabled workers are more likely to experience involuntary job changes than are non-disabled workers but there is little difference in the wage effects of job changes by disability status.
KEY WORDS: Disability Status; Job Mobility; Voluntary and Involuntary Job Separations; Job Change; Wage Effects.

Balser, D. B. (2002). Agency in organizational inequality: Organizational behavior and individual perceptions of discrimination. Work and Occupations, 29(2), 137-165.

This study examines how disabled employees interpret organizational practices. Through the viewpoint of disabled workers, the study shows how they interpret organizational behavior as discriminatory and mobilize the law to inject agency into inequality processes, albeit cognitively. Disabled employees perceived discrimination to be based on personal characteristics, organizational structure and the limited opportunities for training in organizations. However, employees who worked in organizations that were focused on disability issues or who were offered opportunities for training were less likely to perceive discrimination. The study also indicates employees who worked in organizations with grievance procedures were more likely to perceive discrimination. Findings imply disability related human resource management structures play a symbolic role with little influence on employees' perceptions of discrimination.
KEY WORDS: Disabilities; Work; Organizational Practices; Discrimination; Grievance; Human Resource Management; Employee Perception.

Barnes, C. (2007). Disability, higher education and the inclusive society. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28(1), 135-145.

Much has changed over recent years with regard to disability and higher education. Until the 1990s, most British universities were virtually inaccessible to disabled students and staff. However, as society move ever further into the twenty-first century there are more disabled students in higher education, more support services for students with particular access needs, and disability is increasingly regarded as a socio/political issue by many social scientists and researchers. At the core of these developments lies the protracted interface between disabled activists and the academy. This review essay examines this relationship and this particular form of knowledge production in order to further the understanding of disability and the struggle for a more inclusive and equitable society.
KEY WORDS: Politics of Education; Disabilities; Research Needs; Higher Education; College Students; Access to Education; Foreign Countries; Student Needs; Activism; Equal Education; Educational Research; Postmodernism.

Barnes, C., Mercer, G., & Shakespeare, T. (1999). Exploring disability: A sociological introduction. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

This new and exciting introductory textbook is applicable for anyone studying disability. It provides an excellent overview of the existing literature in the area, and it also develops an understanding of disability that has implications for both sociology and society. In the past 30 years, our understanding of disability has dramatically changed. Once perceived as a largely medical problem affecting only a low number of people, it is now a major social and political issue. Exploring Disability charts both the traditional and contemporary approaches to the area before focusing on the social model of disability. The authors look at the relationship between disabled people and areas such as medical sociology, disability studies, social policy, politics and culture. The book concludes with an exploration of the future of theory and research on disability. Exploring disability will be indispensable for students seeking to better understand disability within sociology, disability studies, social policy, politics, cultural studies, and health-related disciplines including medicine.
KEY WORDS: Disability; "At Risk".

Bartlett, D., & Moody, S. (2000). Dyslexia in the workplace. London: Whurr.

This book is designed for both adults with dyslexia and for professionals concerned with helping them, such as psychologists, tutors, therapists, researchers, disability advisors, and welfare officers. It also offers advice to employers on how to help staff with dyslexia. The text covers the nature of dyslexic difficulties and their effects, both practical and emotional. Dyspraxic difficulties are also discussed. Assessment tests are described and reviewed, and recent research is summarized. Detailed advice is given on tackling the difficulties encountered by adults with dyslexia, including work organizations and effective work methods, reading and writing for work purposes, memory skills, oral presentation and interaction, and dealing with the emotions associated with dyslexia. Finally, guidance is given on the British Disability Discrimination Act, and sources of information and help are listed. Throughout the book, there are numerous case studies designed to capture the immediate experiences of people with dyslexia at work. Appendices include a dyslexia checklist, a dyspraxia checklist, a basic relaxation exercise, and visualization exercises for relaxation.
KEY WORDS: Adults; Case Studies; Civil Rights Legislation; Clinical Diagnosis; Disability Discrimination; Dyslexia; Emotional Problems; Employer Employee Relationship; Employment; Evaluation Methods; Reading Strategies; Speech Skills; Individual Disorders; Work Environment; Writing Strategies; Dyspraxia; Great Britain.

Benjamin, S. (2002). Reproducing traditional femininities? The social relations of 'special educational needs' in a girls' comprehensive school. Gender and Education, 14(3), 281-294.

The charity/tragedy discourse of disability and traditional versions of femininity bear some striking resemblances. Both are associated with dependence and helplessness and with resultant practices that are implicated in the enduring reproduction of social and material inequalities. This article looks at the 'identity work' of a group of girls, all of whom had been identified as having 'special educational needs', in a mainstream school in the UK. Using findings from an ethnographic study, the article explores how the girls position themselves in relation to the subject 'special needs student'. The findings suggest that historical meanings associated with femininity and disability combine with contemporary schooling practices to produce a constrained range of subject positions around which the girls have limited room for manoeuvre.
KEY WORDS: Charity; Disability; Femininity; Dependence; Helplessness; Reproduction of Social Inequalities; Special Educational Needs.

Bevan, R. (2003). Another way on? A search for an alternative path into learning for people with a learning difficulty or disability. British Journal of Special Education, 30(2), 100-106.

This article explores alternative routes in further education and attainment of qualifications for people with disabilities, focusing on the potential uses of information technology and more flexible approaches to learning. Findings from interviews with students are used to develop student-centered maps to goal attainment for such students.
KEY WORDS: Adults; Disabilities; Information Technology; Job Placement; Outcomes of Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; Self Actualization; Self Determination; Student Attitudes.

Bricout, J., & Bentley, K. (2000). Disability status and perceptions of employability by employers. Social Work Research, 24(2), 12-23.

This study uses a correlational design to examine the discrepancies among employers' employability ratings of hypothetical job applicants with different disability statuses. A survey packet was mailed to a random sample of 1,000 employers selected from a national membership list of human resource professionals. The survey included a standardized measure for rating employers' impressions of job applicants' employability with respect to 22 key employment-related traits. Employers were asked to rate the job applicants' suitability for employment in a hypothetical administrative assistant position. Findings show that job applicants without a disability received the highest mean employability ratings. Job applicants with an acquired brain injury were rated substantially the same as those with schizophrenia. Implications for social work practice and research are discussed.
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