Thesis

The education of homeless children from the teachers' points of view

The focus of this research is the education of homeless children from the teachers' points of view. This study reveals that the social conditions that accompany homelessness present particular challenges for children to obtain an education. I chose, as the focus of this study, Viceroy School, which offers an education specifically to homeless children. Interviews with six teachers from this school, revealed the challenges teachers face in offering an education to homeless children. I discovered that these consisted of emotional, physical, and educational challenges. The teachers identified the sources of these challenges as mostly due to the lack of consistency in the students' lives. I also found in this research, that the services the teachers and the school offer to these students are actually double-edged. Although the schools intent is to offer an education to students, without judgment and ridicule for being homeless, this very focus reinforces the students' homelessness and reproduces poverty and social inequality. The significance of this research is the importance of identifying the methods used to address the challenges of teaching homeless children, while taking into consideration the experience and knowledge homeless students bring to the classroom. This awareness allows teachers and advocates offering opportunities for the students to achieve in all aspects of their lives and help them become contributing members of a global society.

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