De-Centering the State: Refugees, Migration, and Displacement: A Professional Development Course for Teachers
As the Syrian Civil War enters its eighth year, images of refugees continue to flood the media. While diaspora, displacement and migration increasingly define the human experience they remain difficult subjects to engage with and teach. President Trump’s initiatives - to cancel DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Migrants), build a wall on the US/Mexico border, limit refugee resettlement programs, and ban travel from Muslim majority countries - make discussions about displacement and migration in the classroom imperative. In addition to a lack of comprehensive and accessible instructional materials on these subjects, there is also the need to advise educators on how they can hold space for discussions that might be difficult for students.
This intensive two-day course will cover: historical and contemporary cases of displacement and migration and how to create space in classrooms for difficult conversations and divergent opinions. The first day offers an examination of legal categories such as 'citizen,' 'displaced person,' and 'refugee,' the movement of people around the world and the related geopolitical conflicts and social concerns that charge these topics. The second day focuses on the tools needed to plan and execute lessons based on the content from day one. Led by specialists from Teachers College at Columbia University, participants will learn how to translate content and implement strategies to create open, welcoming and supportive learning environments for students in order to discuss topics that may be highly emotional and politically charged.