The Re-imagining Migration 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.

Verónica Boix-Mansilla, developed the Re-Imagining Migration framework at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, as part of a collaboration with Carola Suárez-Orozco and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, then at the University of California Los Angeles, Adam Strom, and Re-imagining Migration.

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. 

Use this link to download the 5 dispositions graphic.

Understand perspectives:
Others and one’s own

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to

Understand and value one’s self

Recognizing one’s own emotions, thoughts, values cultural lenses 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 that others may have views of the world and of ourselves that are different from our own.

Empathize with others, honoring their dignity and seeking to understand their experiences and perspective

An embodied disposition to share in the experiences and emotions of another person. A disposition to seek to understand their values and worldviews, multiple cultural affiliations, and influences. A disposition to care about who another other person is (a peer, a literary character),  minimizing “othering” and recognizing other people’s human dignity.

Recognize, value, and bridge complex emotions, identities, intersections and influences

Appreciate the dynamism of cultures and perspectives.  A disposition to recognize that there is always more than one perspective, that individuals may participate in multiple cultures and that cultures influence one another. An openness and disposition to appreciate intersections, mixture and hybridity in people and cultures.

Inquire about migration with care and nuance

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to…

Exhibit care and curiosity about our shared and divergent human experience of migration

Feel connected and belonging to a larger human story, viewing migration as a shared human experience – past present and future. Pose relevant and informed questions, exhibiting curiosity and the desire to learn

Investigate and recognize patterns across time, place and identities reasoning with diverse sources of evidence

Gather, weigh and reason with evidence to make sense of migration-related issues or situations seeking out quality sources and media, interpreting them carefully and critically.  Consider, for instance, evidence on causes and impacts of migration on individuals, communities and nations, combining disciplinary lenses to make sense of a world on the move. Consider patterns across time, space and identities

Form informed and ethical personal positions

Examine matters with compassion, managing complex ideas, contexts and emotions to draw informed conclusions about issues related to migration.

Communicate and build relationships across difference

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to…

Listen empathically and mindfully

Listen openly, empathically and mindfully to the many languages people use to communicate (verbal, visual, body languages); appreciate communicative styles as expressions of identity, culture, and communities of belonging, and recognize that people’ humanity, cultural assets and complex thinking capacities are often vaster than what emerging linguistic competences can show, or how non-dominant forms of expression are often interpreted.

Express with purpose, audience and context in mind.

Use multiple languages to communicate (feelings, values, ideas, stories), express oneself  (one’s identity, culture, belonging) in ways that keep purpose, audience and context in mind. Appreciate and engage in cultural and linguistic straddling, code-switching and combining languages to improve communication, and build bonding and bridging relationships within and across groups.

Appreciate and reflect on respectful and inclusive dialogue across race,  nationality, gender, religion, and ethnicity

Appreciate respectful dialogue building on the desire to understand and be understood. Recognize, critically, that language can serve as a gatekeeper or a gateway for inclusion and for understanding other people’s lives, cultures, and the world.  Recognize and reflect on communication and relational challenges recognizing the source of difficulties (e.g., language of exclusion, differences in communicative norms) and seeking inclusive solutions.

Recognize Power & Inequities in human experience and migration

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to

Recognize power and inequities in various forms

Recognize racial, class, religious, ethnic and gender inequities and power disparities regarding self, known and distant others–in daily experiences as well as across past and present, local and global cases of migration. Uphold values of human dignity and diversity that are foundational to inclusive societies, social belonging, and moral development.

Understand one’s own position vis a vis power and inequities

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, as well as pride of one’s own family story of migration, freedom and courage to share one’s language, values and roots)

Envisioning inclusive and sustainable societies

Imagine possible equitable and just futures, enriched by the inclusion of marginalized voices in dialogue and relationships that embody the values of human dignity and diversity central to our democratic life.

Take action to foster inclusive and sustainable societies

The capacity, sensitivity, and inclination to…

Recognize our circles of belonging, care and influence

Develop a sense of belonging to a learning environment, a community and a 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 action to foster equitable and inclusive societies

Seek to understand experiences and systems associated with human migration and how earlier change makers have attempted to make a difference. Use the capacity to express one’s perspective, experiences, story to change minds. Use civic engagement tools  (political action,  community projects, digital campaigns) to take informed and compassionate action.

Reflect and revise our actions

Reflect on actions and strategies (learn from the stories of the past, examining prior attempts, voicing perspectives, engaging others, planning, executing) assess and adjust them to foster wellbeing among immigrant and host communities,  foster equitable and inclusive societies strengthening civic life and democratic institutions. Nurture an

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

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