By Veronica Boix Mansilla,

Re-imagining Migration’s educational framework identifies five core dispositions that we deem essential to navigate a world on increasing mobility, diversity, and complexity. One way to think about the dispositions is as the overarching learning goals of curriculum preparing young people for a world on the move. They are introduced below, highlighting cognitive as well as social, emotional, and ethical dimensions of learning and development.

Follow this link to explore a set of research-based thinking routines to use with students in a wide range of educational settings designed to reinforce the skills and dispositions described below. 

Understand perspectives:
Others and one’s own

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to

Understand and value one’s own perspective: Recognizing one’s cultural experiences, emotions values and worldviews and the multiple influences on them. Acknowledging one’s strengths and capacity to contribute to our environments, as well as our proclivity to hold stereotypes or blind-spots.  Recognizing others may have views of the world and of ourselves that are different from our own.

Understand and empathize with others—A disposition to respect and honor the beliefs, values and worldviews of others across cultures and time,  recognizing them even when one does not agree. To be interested in who the other person is (a peer, a literary character), seek to understand their experiences, emotions, values and worldviews, multiple cultural affiliations and influences

Appreciate the dynamism of cultures and perspectives:  a disposition to recognize that there is always more than one perspective, that one learns from others’ perspectives and can influence divergent perspectives. A disposition to appreciate how individuals may participate in multiple cultures and how cultures influence one another.

Inquire: In a world shaped by migration

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to…

  • Feel connected and a sense of belonging to a larger human story, viewing migration as a shared human experience past present and future.
  • Ask relevant and informed questions exhibiting curiosity and the desire to learn about causes and impacts of migration on individuals, communities and nations, combining disciplinary lenses to make sense of a world on the move
  • Gather, weigh and reason with evidence to make sense of migration-related issues or situations seeking out quality sources and media and interpreting them carefully and critically
  • Examine matters with compassion, managing complex ideas, contexts and emotions  to drawing informed conclusions about issues related to migration.

Communicate and build relationships across difference

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to…

  • Build bonding and bridging relationships within and across communities interacting with others in ways that are thoughtful, open, caring, and respectful.
  • Appreciate respectful dialogue building on the desire to understand and be understood, listening carefully with sensitivity to cultural norms and interactive styles, expressing oneself thoughtfully and confidently.
  • Employ and interpret symbol systems and languages (verbal, visual, bodily, musical) thoughtfully and empathically to connect, build relationships and include.
  • Recognize and reflect about communication and relational challenges recognizing the source of difficulties (language of exclusion, difference in communicative norms) and seeking solutions

Recognize Inequities

   The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to

  • Recognize inequities and power disparities in daily experiences as well as in regards to issues and experiences of migration.
  • Seek to understand historical and current inequities by informing oneself (reading, seeing documentaries, listening to others, etc.)
  • Understand one’s own positions vis-a-vis inequities navigating the ideas, feelings, and relationships associated with responding to inequities from specific positions and contexts. (e.g. compassion, respect, and admiration vis-as-vis persons who experience marginalization, pride of one’s own family story of migration and courage to share one’s roots.)
  • Appreciate and enact the values of human dignity and diversity foundational to inclusive societies, social belonging, and moral development
  • Seek to respectfully include marginalized voices proactively and actively including them in dialogue and relationship

Take action toward welcoming and inclusive societies

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to…

  • sense of belonging to a learning environment and to society and an inclination to participate regarding issues or situations involving human migration.
  • Be sensitive toward opportunities to act constructively in groups, contexts, and relationships and a desire and inclination to make a difference.
  • Employ understanding, voice, and capacity for influence to foster wellbeing among immigrant and host communities to strengthen civic life and democratic institutions toward inclusive and sustainable societies.
  • Reflect on actions to employ a repertoire of civic engagement tools to take informed and compassionate action (learn from the stories of the past, examining prior attempts, engaging others, planning executing).
  • Nurture an identity and sense of self-efficacy as a change maker in more intimate and broader spheres.

This work has been created in partnership with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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