Thanks to our Program Assistant, Michelle Smith, for writing this blog!
Given the increasingly interconnected global community that we live in, the chances are quite high that you know and interact with migrants on a daily basis. Perhaps you or your family has migrated from another country. A migrant is essentially anyone who is working outside of their home country. In 2000, The United Nations declared December 18th as International Migrants Day. Observing this day brings to light many issues surrounding migration - including securing formal and substantive fundamental rights for migrant workers and their families. Debates regarding immigrant policy, and combating racism are also prevalent themes.
While these issues are important, the circumstances that led to migration in various countries are often left unaddressed. Often underlying the reality of a mass movement of migrant workers is a lack of opportunity in underdeveloped nations or countries faced with crisis. Even more ignored are questions of power and privilege implicit within migration. Who gets to decide the value of contributions made by migrants and how they are compensated? What are the social implications of families broken apart by migration in labor-exporting countries? These are questions that never crossed my mind until pursuing higher education, but I strongly believe that they should be addressed when studying migration in the classroom at the secondary level.
Despite these issues, migration in countries rich with multicultural identities, presents people with a rare opportunity to interact with various cultures, world views and experiences first hand. This is no doubt one of the benefits of migration – it is a valuable contribution to the multicultural identity of a nation by helping to create a more informed and inclusive society. Growing up in Canada, I’ve always tried to develop a more adequate understanding of the world through connecting with a diverse group of people. However in my experience, the lessons that I’ve learned have often been taught outside of the classroom, rather than being included in school curricula. For example, it was in my afterschool multicultural club, that I first started to question why history is dominantly taught from the perspective of Anglo Saxons. It seems more appropriate for the multinational Canadian identity to be adequately reflected in the nation’s history.
So what does International Migrate Day mean for education? It should cause us to reflect on the changing nature of our society, and how we should incorporate new perspectives, debates, voices and information into the classroom. I would encourage all educators and students to reflect on these themes, not just on International migration day, but whenever possible.
Photo credit: fdecomite
TakingITGlobal and the Centre for Global Education are proud sponsors of the MindShare Learning 21st Century Classroom Video Challenge, which celebrates new thinking and new possibilities through the power of education technology.
Canadian teachers - enter by December 16th, 2011! The search is on for Canada's most tech savvy teachers! Share your classroom video story (maximum 5 minutes) on how you engage students through technology to support student success. Qualify to WIN one of three (3) classroom technology packages valued at over $15,000! Three Canadian regional winners to be selected: Western, Central and Eastern Canada.
For more information, check out: http://mindsharelearning.
TIGed was thrilled to be hosted by Pearson Education at the National Council for Social Studies Annual Conference in Washington, DC to engage with social studies educators about our programs and offerings. TIGed is a proud partner of Pearson Education on myWorld TIGed, which combines the resources of TIGed with a focus on the Essential Questions and 21st Century Learning Activities found in Pearson’s myWorld Geography and myWorld History programs. Social studies teachers use myWorld TIGed to help students connect to different cultures and peoples, experience the world in new ways, and understand the key concepts in world geography and world history. Teachers using Pearson's myWorld textbooks can visit http://myworld.tigweb.org/ to learn more about how your class can benefit from this program.
Thanks Pearson, for helping us to reach for our vision of classrooms everywhere actively engaged in shaping a more inclusive, peaceful, and sustainable world!
The TIGed Team