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‘Migration’, ‘migrazione’ and ‘migracja’: Free teaching modules on migration in six languages

How can teachers have a balanced conversation in the classroom about migration policy, asylum seekers or ethnic discrimination on the labour market? Social scientists from Leiden University have worked with an international team to create teaching modules on migration. Secondary-school teachers can now download the modules free of charge in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Polish.

The learning modules were developed to make academic knowledge about migration available to teachers and secondary school students. Migration is barely covered at schools, whereas it is the topic of constant public debate. ‘Discussions in the media are often very politically charged and lack academic nuance,’ says Katharina Natter from Leiden University. ‘We want to give teachers tools for a more nuanced conversation on migration. And we want to allow school students to form their opinion based on academic knowledge rather than the often-negative or unfounded prejudices that circulate in the media.’

Teaching modules on migration policy and ethnic discrimination in the labour market

The first five learning modules can now be downloaded for free from the project website, right in time for International Migrant Day on 18 December. They are about migration trends, why people migrate, migration policy, ethnic discrimination in the labour market and displacement and asylum. Another four modules will be posted online in spring 2023. These are about the migration journey, development and migration, climate change and migration, and having multiple homelands and identities. The modules are 45 minutes long and contain background information for the teacher and a lesson plan with assignments that use innovative teaching methods. Teachers can use the lessons in geography, history, literature and civics classes.

‘Whenever we’re working on it, we’re happy: it’s why we are in this discipline.'

Passion project

The teaching modules are part of the Teaching Immigration in European Schools (TIES) project, which is headed by migration experts Katharina Natter (Leiden University), Simona Vezzoli (Leiden University) and Lea Müller Funk (Danube University Krems). The project, which has received funding in the form of a National Geographic Explorer Grant, is a passion project for the three migration experts: they are doing it in their free time alongside their work as researchers. ‘Whenever we’re working on it, we’re happy: it’s why we are in this discipline. We think it is important not just to gather knowledge but also to disseminate it.’

Download the free learning modules on migration here: https://teachingmigration.eu

Available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Polish

The module ‘Why do people migrate?’ explores the drivers and mechanisms of migration. Highschool students listen to the stories of three young migrants and then make a mind map summarising and categorising what motivated these young people to migrate. This encourages students to reflect on their own mobility, either as migrants or tourists, and how this relates to the experiences of other young people in the world.

Text: Sabine Waasdorp

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