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January 23, 2006

Education professor to study experience of immigrant children in Japan

June Gordon, associate professor of education, has received a $20,000 research fellowship from the Japan Foundation to conduct research on the experiences of immigrant children in urban Japan. Her project is entitled "Newcomers in Japan: Schooling and Identity Negotiation."

Gordon will spend about six weeks in Japan, exploring the factors that either constrain or encourage the success of immigrant children, largely from South America, China, and Southeast Asia. She will also explore how cultural identity among newcomer communities shapes the development of educational policy reforms.

Gordon will employ ethnographic, historical, and documentary methods to gather the experiences of community leaders, teachers, parents, and school officials who are working on issues of educational access for students of immigrant families. In her work, Gordon gives special attention to people who serve as "cultural intermediaries" between the various immigrant communities and mainstream Japanese institutions.

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