By Veronica Boix-Mansilla
At Re-imagining migration we strive for learning that is relevant, deep, and long-lasting.
Whole child learning Preparing our children and youth for a world shaped by migration invites us to reframe our conceptions of learning in important ways. No longer is it possible reduce the child to “a student of math, languages or art – the social dynamics of a diverse classroom and the experiences of dislocation and relocation color the worldviews and socioemotional lives of children on the move. This demands that we deliberately foster in every child’s full human potential –attending to their cognitive, socio-emotional, ethical, aesthetic and civic development.
Relevant Learning We seek learning that is visibly relevant to students and to society. This involves prioritizing topics, issues, cases, capacities that speak to the interests, experience and growth potential of students– e.g. connecting hurricanes with family lives, appreciating children’s capacity to tackle complex issues when carefully presented– At the same time, we propose to prioritize topics and capacities that are also visibly relevant to contemporary and future societies—e.g. examining the roots of climate-induced migration and engaging children in proposing solutions within their realm of influence.
Deep Learning Understanding and participating in a world on the move also requires that students learn to use concepts, theories, ideas, methods or findings in ways that can deepen their capacity to make sense of systemic patterns and unique experiences in human migration, that they can navigate dilemmas, solve problems or take action in informed ways. With its focus on disciplinary and interdisciplinary understanding at developmentally appropriate levels, this view of global competence embodies deep subject matter learning.
Long-lasting Learning Thinking dispositions involve the ability to perform a cognitive task such as taking perspective, or investigating an issue. They also involve a sensitivity to opportunities in the real world and unprompted situations to use such ability as well as an inclination to do so over time. Dispositions are about the ‘residuals’ of learning beyond formal instructional contexts they are about the “kind of person” a student will become.
With these qualities of learning in mind, we have identified five core dispositions that we deem essential to navigate a world on increasing mobility, diversity and complexity. In each case, we signal cognitive as well as social, emotional and ethical dimensions of learning and development.