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Migration Policy Institute Podcasts

MPI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to the study of the movement of people worldwide.

Effectively Serving Children in a Superdiverse Classroom: Implications for the Early Education System

Posted in Immigrant Integration by migrationpolicy on February 22nd, 2018

As the number and share of Dual Language Learners (DLLs) continues to grow across the United States, diversity within this population is also increasing. Although Spanish remains the most commonly spoken language among DLL families in most states, other minority languages have substantial representation in many school districts, cities, and counties. DLLs also span a wide range of races and ethnicities, countries of origin, levels of education, and migration histories. This “superdiversity” has important implications for early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs, schools, and other systems that face the challenge of building the capacity to effectively serve children with unique learning strengths and needs. And while a strong research base has proven the benefits of bilingual education models in supporting DLLs’ academic development, much less is known about effective strategies to serve these children in classrooms where multiple languages and cultures are represented, and no single non-English language is dominant.

This webinar marks the release of a Migration Policy Institute report that provides an analysis of the diversity within the DLL population nationwide and at the state and local levels. The report also offers a closer look at three rapidly growing subgroups within the DLL population: Black and Asian American and Pacific Islander DLLs and young children of refugees. This is the first in a series of three reports that will explore the implications of superdiverse contexts for ECEC programs and systems.

On the webinar, authors of the report, Maki Park and Jie Zong, provide an overview of its findings and policy implications. This was followed by reflections from KaYing Yang, Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Coalition of Asian American Leaders in Minnesota, who discussed on-the-ground challenges and responses related to early learning service provision in superdiverse settings. 

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Can New Digital and Pedagogical Innovations Help Bridge Education Gaps for Migrant Children?

Posted in Immigrant Integration, International Migration, European Migration by migrationpolicy on February 8th, 2018

The arrival of hundreds of thousands of children during the migration crisis exacerbated existing structural limitations in how school systems support children with migrant backgrounds, including insufficient teacher capacity and training, and underdeveloped systems for identifying and diagnosing needs. Faced with rising levels of language learners in their classrooms, some schools have turned to innovations in technology and pedagogy—such as personalized learning and differentiated instruction, translation software, ‘flipped’ classrooms, and massive open online courses (MOOCs)—to support teachers and help diverse learners keep up.

Do these innovations represent new solutions, partial supports, or a distraction from the broader challenges of supporting diverse learners? How can educators and integration policymakers use these tools to improve the outcomes for the most disadvantaged students, without widening existing inequalities? And what are the broader structural reforms needed to rethink the way that schools are designed, operated, and staffed to update education systems for diverse populations?

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar considers what the future of education might hold for diverse learners. It marks the release of a report, Mainstreaming 2.0: How Europe’s Education Systems Can Boost Migrant Inclusion, produced in the framework of its Integration Futures Working Group

Speakers included: 
  • Thomas Huddleston, Programme Director, Migration and Integration, Migration Policy Group; Coordinator, Steering Committee, SIRIUS Network  
  • Allan Kjær Andersen, Principal, Ørestad Gymnasium, Denmark
  • Margarida Rodrigues, Research Fellow, Joint Research Centre, European Commission
  • Aliyyah Ahad, Associate Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute Europe
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