Migrant Pedagogy in the Era of Global Displacement

The primary aim of this course is to explore how schools, particularly teachers, can provide culturally and linguistically responsive teaching for students with a migration background.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 15 January 2025 — University of Helsinki

Photo credits: Chriss Briggs, 2020 on UnSplash
Photo credits: Chriss Briggs, 2020 on UnSplash

Course dates

15 January 2025 – 12 March 2025

Registration period

10 November 2024 – 28 December 2024

Coordinating university

University of Helsinki


Khalil Gholami
Vilhelmiina Harju



Course level


Course dates: 15.1. - 12.3.2025
Registration dates: 10.11. - 28.12.2024
Coordinating university: University of Helsinki Course code on Sisu: EDUM012013
Responsible teacher: Khalil Gholami () and Vilhelmiina Harju
Credits: 5 ECTS
Course offered: 2/3

Course summary:

The primary aim of this course is to explore how schools, particularly teachers, can provide culturally and linguistically responsive teaching for students with a migration background. The course has a multidisciplinary structure and consists of three main sections:

  1. Philosophical Foundation: Drawing on the ethic of care, this section discusses the philosophical underpinnings of migrant pedagogy.
  2. Sociological Basis: Utilizing acculturation theories, this section elaborates on the sociological aspects of migrant pedagogy.
  3. Pedagogical Practice: Reflecting on culturally responsive teaching, this section examines the pedagogical foundation of migrant pedagogy.

A particular focus will be on real narratives from refugees, exploring how their experiences can be addressed within the educational context. Additionally, the course will discuss tacit academic and cultural discrimination in schools with migrant students to gain insights into the institutional challenges of migrant pedagogy.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge Level:

  • Acquire terminology related to migration and migration education.
  • Develop an understanding of the pedagogical framework for migrant pedagogy.
  • Gain knowledge of the skills and competencies required for culturally responsive teaching.

Discourse and Analytical Level:

  • Analyze the interconnectedness of culture and learning in migration education.
  • Evaluate and critique existing migrant education policies and practices.
  • Propose improvements aligning with SDG4.

Creation Level:

  • Generate fresh ideas and initiatives concerning pedagogical skills for integrating migrant/displaced students without marginalization.

Learning methods:

a. Flip Learning: Students receive course material in advance, read and reflect individually, and discuss during sessions. In addition, they write a reflection diary on the reading and submit as a part of assessment.

b. Lecture: Interactive PowerPoint slides presented in line with course materials, followed by discussions.

c. Group work: Students meets online

Completion methods:

To complete the course, each student is required to read the main textbook (Reading No. 2 below) and write a 15-page essay based on its content. The essay should include:

  1. Reflective Summary (7 pages): A reflective summary of the book.
  2. Critical Essay (8 pages): A deeper, more critical, and comprehensive essay on a selected topic based on the book.

The course is fully online and live attendance at the lectures is not compulsory.

Study material:

Depending on the course objectives, various types of educational materials including multimedia, e-books, policy reports, and relevant websites will be used. All the educational materials have already been uploaded to Dropbox and students have open access to them online.

  1. Zvi Bekerman and Thomas Geisen (2012) International Handbook of Migration, Minorities, and Education: Understanding Cultural and Social Differences in Processes of Learning: Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York; DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-1466-3 (Selected chapters)
  2. Mian Textbook of the Course: Hollie, Sharroky (2017). Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning (Second Edition): Classroom Practices for Student Success, Shell Educational, ProQuest Ebook Central
  3. Fenestermacher, G. Solti, J (2004).Approaches to teaching. Teacher College Press
  4. UNESCO (2019) Migration, displacement, and education: Building bridges, not walls: Global education monitoring report: (Selected chapters)
  5. OECD (2019), The Road to Integration: Education and Migration, OECD Reviews of Migrant Education, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/d8ceec5d-en.
  6. Jeanne Batalova (2022). Top Statistics on Global Migration: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

Assessment criteria:

The course will be evaluated with grades 0-5 based on the following criteria:

I) Submitted individual essay (80% weight)

1. Clarity and Coherence: (20% weight)

  • Evaluate how effectively each student communicates their ideas.
  • Assess the clarity, organization, and overall readability of their writing.
  • Examine whether their arguments are well-structured and logically presented.

2. Intellectual Quality of the Task: (60 % weight)

  • Evaluate how well students demonstrate an understanding of concepts, theories, and issues related to migration education in line with their topic of interests.
  • Assess the student’s ability to analyze and critically evaluate information presented in their essays.
  • Evaluate their use of evidence and reasoning to support arguments and ideas.
  • Examine whether students demonstrate original thinking and creativity in their work.
  • Assess if they provide relevant and thoughtful insights into the subject matter, moving beyond mere summarization of existing knowledge.

II) Active participation in lectures and group discussion (20% weight)

Maximum number of students:

30 students

Preliminary timetable: 15.1 - 12.3.2025

Date Time (Helsinki zone)
Tuesday 15.1.2025 15-16:30
Tuesday 22.1.2025 15-16:30
Tuesday 29.1.2025 15-16:30
Tuesday 12.2.2025 15-16:30
Tuesday 19.2.2025 15-16:30
Tuesday 26.2.2025 15-16:30
Tuesday 5.3.2025 15-16:30
Tuesday 12.3.2025 15-16:30

Get to know more about Khalil Gholami and the course content in this blog post written as part of the "Face behind the course" section.

Email alert: Let us remind you when registration for this course opens. By filling in the information below, you authorize us to email you when the course registration starts.

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue