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Alternative title

Educating Adolescent Ukrainian War Refugees

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Department or Program Affiliation

Doctor of Education Leadership

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education


Education Leadership and Inclusive Teaching

First Advisor

Larsen, Donald

Second Advisor

Robertson, Wayne Thomas

Third Advisor

Pearson, Chris (Superintendent)


This research is important due to the thousands of Ukrainian war refugees seeking their education in the U.S. with limited English language proficiency and having likely experienced some ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) leading many to have some levels of trauma. This reality has resulted in MLL (Multi-Language Learner) educators needing support to identify effective classroom approaches. This qualitative research took a phenomenological approach utilizing constant comparison methods and triangulation to code the data and come to conclusions and recommendations. The results of the data show a need for a trauma screener for Ukrainian war refugee students, as well as a method to train teachers on trauma-informed teaching methods and mental models. Also, developing a partnership with community resources to help support these students is recommended. Relationships with the Ukrainian students is important to support these students. Teachers also need professional development for implementing an effective MLL program, including good basic instruction, and for partnering with colleagues who have MLL students in their courses. Furthermore, the data shows Ukrainian war refugee youth experiencing a painful acculturation due to their experiences in the Ukraine and this has resulted in an active push-back against learning English. This reinforces the value of positive relationships with the MLL students. Lastly, administrators and teachers need to each own their roles in the education of MLLs for leadership cohesion and more effective implementation of the MLL program. Additional areas of study are identified including student voice, professional development, and coherent leadership.




Ukraine, refugees, children, educations, teenagers, war, strategies, MLL, ELL


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Refugee children--Education--Ukraine; Teenage refugees--Education--Ukraine; Psychic trauma in children; Multilingual education




doctoral dissertations




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