Researchers have suggested that a paucity of research exists on refugee youth in early child hood education settings. Arguing that children’s stories provide educators a valuable resource for understanding the meaning children make of initial cross - cultural experiences, this article presents a narrative inquiry into the stories and artwork of three early childhood students, along with the narratives of their families, all Karen refugees from Myanmar. Examining what these stories reveal about the children’s initial experiences in an American early childhood setting, we share their stories of adaptation, their experiences of cultural dissonance, and their illustrations of change over time. In addition to developing these themes, we also promote the use of multi - modal storytelling and the collection of family stories in narrative inquiries into young children’s experience. As educators strive to provide high - quality educational experiences for all children, listening to children’s stories of their adaptation experience and the narratives of their families may help us to foster smooth transitions into American early childhood classrooms for young refugee students.


Karen Refugees, Early Childhood Education, Narrative Inquiry

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.