Giving Compass’ Take:
• Lauren Barack shares strategies for bringing immigration discussion into classrooms by engaging with immigration stories in local communities.
• How can funders help schools develop sensitive and informative approaches to immigration discussion?
• Learn about the impact of aggressive immigration enforcement on students.
To broaden the story of immigration and anchor the subject to what’s happening today, educators are starting to look for ways to teach this piece of American history in a way that better resonates with students, Costello said in an interview.
Policy may be something that curriculum designers should consider weaving into school lessons and teacher education programs should add as well, said Eliane Rubinstein-Avila, a professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona, who authored a 2016 paper, “Immigration and Education: What Should K-12 Teachers, School Administrators and Staff Know.”
Nearly every child has an immigration story in their family and how they and their relatives arrived in the U.S. Looking at how immigration has changed over the years — from the ways people have entered the country to policies that guide the process — can help students make sense of their personal history and see where they fit into America’s story.
And educators who help students see their place in America can play powerful roles. In a recent NBC News piece, Blair Imani, author and founder of Equality for HER, wrote that it wasn’t until her 5th grade teacher explained how everyone’s stories of coming to America are distinctive and important — not to be erased in the so-called melting pot — that she felt she was part of her country’s story as well.
Educators don’t have to reach far to find source materials and stories. Costello suggested they look within their communities, where their students live and may even have first arrived in the U.S.
Read the full article about bringing immigration discussion into classrooms by Lauren Barack at Education Dive.
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