Preparing Citizens For A World of Migration

Preparing Citizens For A World of Migration

Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. [Register here]
60-minute webinar

Adam Strom, adam@reimaginingmigration.org

We live in an era of mass migration. In the United States, 26% of school-aged youth are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. They form just a slice of the one billion people on the move around the world. It is in this context that young people – whether they are part of an arriving or receiving culture – strive to form their identities as learners, community members, and change-makers. While history education has the potential to help young people put today’s experiences in context, myths and misinformation about the past get in the way of a deeper understanding of the experience of migration on individuals, communities, and nations. At the same time, academically rigorous exploration of the past can provide perspective and insight into today’s choices, dilemmas, and experiences of migration.

In this interactive session designed for in-service middle and high school teachers, educators from Re-Imagining Migration will introduce a culturally relevant framework, resources, and strategies for teaching about migration in ways that promote student’s understanding of citizenship in an age of migration as well as their social, emotional, academic, and civic growth. Using primary sources and historical case studies, participants will critically engage text and participate in small and large group discussion while considering fundamental questions about the  human experience such as: What does citizenship mean in an age of migration? Why do people leave their homes and what happens to our identities while crossing borders? What factors influence how communities respond to migration? What are the ways that communities receive and integrate newcomers? What can we do to build more inclusive and sustainable societies?

At a time when more and more families are either on the move, across national borders, or connected to family members who are migrants, traditional understanding of citizenship is being challenged by patterns of migration as well as those who would seek to restrict membership. In greater Boston, over 50% of the population are immigrants or their descendants. However, some politicians argue that birthright citizenship, and the constitutionally guaranteed rights that are associated with it, should not be granted automatically.

To prepare young people, immigrant-origin youth, or their peers, we need to help them understand both histories and patterns of migration to inform their understanding of and perspectives regarding one of the most important civic issues of our time.

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