Migrant Pedagogy in the Era of Global Displacement

This interdisciplinary course gives an overview of migrant/displaced trends in the Global South, the existing migration policies in the Global North to provide education for migrant/displaced children, and the roles that teacher and teacher education play in migrant/displaced pedagogy.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 8 January 2024 — University of Helsinki

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

Course dates

8 January 2024 – 15 May 2024

Registration period

15 November 2023 – 31 December 2023

Coordinating university

University of Helsinki


Khalil Gholami



Course level


Course dates: 8.1. - 15.5.2024
Registration dates: 15.11. - 31.12.2023
Coordinating university: University of Helsinki
Responsible teacher: Khalil Gholami ()
Credits: 5 ECTS
Course offered: 1/3

Course Summary

In the last decade and the era of war, climate change, and other forms of global crises, a significant number of students from the Global South are struggling with absence and loss and trying to find a place, particularly in the Global North, where they belong to. Leaving no one behind is among the most aspirational global commitments of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Migration and displacement are two global challenges, particularly in the Global South. These challenges need to be addressed in response to SDG4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. At the crossroad of sociology and education, this interdisciplinary course gives an overview of migrant/displaced trends in the Global South (particularly from South to North), the existing migration policies in the Global North to provide education for migrant/displaced children and the roles that teacher and teacher education play in migrant/displaced pedagogy.


The main objective of this course is to analyze the existing global migrant/displaced education policies and practices to know how it meets with SDG4 and how these policies can be improved to integrate migrant/displaced children without any form of marginalization. Particular attention will be made to the policies and practices in the Global North since a large number of migrants and displaced populations from Global Sough move to this region. The following particular objectives will be covered to deal with the main objective:

To review the history and background of migration trends from the Global South to the Global North,

To discuss the challenges that migrant/displaced children face in the host societies,

To discuss how migration education policies and practices may enhance or hinder equal access to education for migrant/displaced children from Global South

To discuss and develop the possible framework and initiative for integrating migrant/displaced children into the host societies without marginalization.

Learning outcomes

It is expected that this course enhances the following learning outcomes for students at different cognitive levels:

1) knowledge level

-Students know the differences between national and international migration and displacements

- Students develop knowledge about global flows of migration and its important trends

- Students develop knowledge about global migration education policies and practices

2) Discourse and analytical level

- Students can analyze and discuss how migrant/displaced education affects global sustainable development,

-Students can evaluate and criticize the existing migrant education policies and practices and how they can be improved to meet with SDGs, particularly SDG4

3) Creation Level

-Students are supported to develop and write fresh ideas and initiatives regarding the pedagogical skills and competencies that teachers may need to integrate migrant/displaced students without marginalization.

Teaching methods and pedagogical approach

Facilitating and constructive teaching approach will be used to enhance the students’ engagement in the educational activities during the course. The epistemic basis for this approach is the fact that students are not empty vessels but they come to the learning locations with a social construction of knowledge. Thus, teachers should facilitate the teaching-learning process instead of the sole transferring of knowledge to the students. In line with this approach, the following teaching methods will be used:

1) Flip learning: With this method, the students are provided with course material at least one week before coursework sessions, asked to reflect on the material individually, and discuss it during the sessions.

2) Lecture: In this method, the interactive PowerPoint slides will be presented in line with the course materials, and a follow-up discussion will be designed about the content of the lecture.

3) Online discussion forum: by this method, students are encouraged to pose one question on each theme of the course and discuss it online via a forum platform in Moodle. This part of the course will be organized and directed by the students.

Course materials

NB. All the course materials are electronic and will be shared with students via secure storage platforms.

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) UNESCO (2019) Migration, displacement, and education: Building bridges, not walls: Global education monitoring report: (Selected chapters)

3) OECD (2019), The Road to Integration: Education and Migration, OECD Reviews of Migrant Education, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/d8ceec5d-en.

4) Jeanne Batalova (2022). Top Statistics on Global Migration: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

5) Kathlen Newland (2019). Migration, Development, and Global Governance: from crisis toward consolidation; policy brief: Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

6) European Network of Education Councils (2013). Migration and education: report of the conference of the European Network of Education Councils; Brussels, January 2013.

7) https://www.migrationpolicy.org/ (selected videos, multimedia, policy briefs, and webinars)

Methods for Feedback and Assessment of student performance

1) Reflective essay: Each student will be required to develop a systematic reflective journal (a reflective essay) during the course. In the reflective journals, the students should develop a step-by-step journal to describe and analyze all the topics covered in the course. In the journal, they should highlight three related themes: what knowledge they learned about migration education, how migration education is related to the development of the Global South, and what fresh framework and approaches they can suggest for teachers to help migrant students integrate into host societies without marginalization.

2) Case study analysis: Each student selects a case (the case can be a country, region, trend, concept, and so on) and write a critical analysis on it. The case should be in line with the course objectives and materials.

The course will be evaluated with grades 0-5 based on a Reflective essay and case study, each 50% of the assessment.

The following criteria will be used to assess the reflection journal and case study:

Assessment criteria



Clarity and Coherence: How well does each student communicate their ideas? Is their writing clear, organized, and easy to follow? Are their arguments well-structured and logically presented?

20 %

The intellectual quality of the tasks:

1-Understanding the knowledge: How well do the students demonstrate an understanding of the concepts, theories, and issues related to migration education? Do they show a solid grasp of the subject matter, including key terms, concepts, and theories?

2-. Critical Thinking and Analysis: How well do the students analyze and critically evaluate the information they present in their essays or reflective journal? Do they demonstrate the ability to use evidence and reasoning to support their arguments and ideas?

3-Relevance and Originality: Do the students demonstrate original thinking and creativity in their work? Do they provide relevant and thoughtful insights into the subject matter, or do they simply summarize existing knowledge?

4. Engagement and Reflection: How well does the student reflect on their learning and engagement with the subject matter? Do they demonstrate a deep understanding of the complexities of migration education, and how it relates to their own experiences and perspectives?

80 %

(Each item 20%)

Preliminary timetable: 8.01.2024- 15.05.2024

Number of sessions: 9 sessions (January 2 sessions, February 2 sessions, March 2 sessions, April 2 session, May 1 session)

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue