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Abstract

The challenges for immigrants in the US and Canada include the difficulties of making a living while raising their children. Due to the high cost of living and childcare in cities, along with the realities of low paying jobs and long working hours among many working-class immigrants, growing numbers of families send their infant children to their countries of origin to be raised by relatives for a few years. When the children reach school age, they are returned to their parents in the US. Prior research has focused on immigrant parents’ decision-making rationale and their reports of adjustments that children went through. Informed by a critical theoretical framework and culturally sustaining pedagogy, this paper investigates elementary school teachers’ understandings of the transnational experiences of their Chinese “satellite children.” Interview data from a qualitative study at an East Coast urban school serving a growing Chinese community, where this transnational practice is the norm, reveal challenges and opportunities that the return of these children presents for their parents, their teachers, and for the children themselves. We argue that a culturally sustaining approach is critically needed to better serve this community and student population.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5422/jmer.2021.v11.35-57

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