Teachers of Refugees: A Review of the Literature
Numerous studies show that the teacher is the most important in-school factor affecting the quality of education, particularly in refugee contexts, where the teacher is sometimes the only resource available to students. In refugee contexts where infrastructure and resources are limited, the role of the teacher is particularly important to the quality of education. However few studies to date have examined the role of teachers in refugee contexts. With more literature focusing on refugee children and youth, little is known about who the teachers of refugees are and how they are recruited, trained, retained, compensated and managed in their contexts. Importantly, there is little research on national teachers who are teaching refugee children; rather, much of the available literature focuses on refugee teachers -- that is, teachers who are also refugees. In addition, this lack of literature on teachers of refugees hinders our understanding not only of their needs but also of 'how refugees can contribute to education in their host countries and (eventually) to their home countries'.
The purpose of this literature review is to survey policies, practices and debates that governments and their partners must navigate to provide education for refugee populations, and the strategies they have used to select and manage teaching forces. The review analyses findings from the main literature on teachers of refugees according to the following themes: (1) recruitment, certification and selection of teachers; (2) teacher preparation and development; (3) teacher remuneration and incentives; and (4) teacher retention. In addition, for each of these themes, this review highlights the salient gaps in the research and suggests an agenda for further research.