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The Migration Challenge: Comparative Educational Perspectives

Module Code: SO7048

  • ECTS Credit : 10
  • Mandatory / Optional : Optional
  • Module Coordinator : Prof Daniel Faas, Department of Sociology, Trinity

Module Description:

This module focuses on the educational challenges arising from migration-related cultural and religious diversity. The most important forms of migration that have shaped post-war Europe are colonial migration, ‘guest worker’ migration, repatriation of co-ethnic minorities in their country of origin (see Germany), illegal immigration, circular and temporary migration and new forms of intra-European mobility. The question of the reception of and reaction to the political and educational changes evoked through immigration is central. Following an introduction into transatlantic theoretical approaches to the study of migration, we adopt a case-study approach to compare and contrast similarities and differences between countries and systems. Educational systems have a crucial role in balancing cultural diversity and social cohesion. Our emphasis is on assessing educational policies and practices in old migration host societies (such as Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Britain, the United States, Canada) as well as new migration hosts (such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, Greece, Poland, Ireland, Portugal). Our discussion situates the educational responses into broader governmental approaches to migration. Two sets of countries will be compared and contrasted per session, drawing on the input also from guest lecturers. 

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:

  • Critically discuss concepts like citizenship, multiculturalism, and integration;
  • Compare and contrast different educational policies and practices in old and new migration host societies;
  • Engage in current academic and educational policy debates;
  • Assess converging and diverging educational responses to migration in Europe;
  • Enhance their writing, debating, time management and PowerPoint presentation skills.

Lectures & Tutorials/ Contact hours:

  • Module Length: 11 weeks (Michaelmas Term)
  • Workload: Readings: 70hrs; Formative assessment (e.g. practice-based activities): 30hrs; Summative assessment (e.g. essays, journals): 100hrs. Total: 200 hours

Recommended Texts

Theoretical texts:

  • Alba, R. and Nee, V. (2003) Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Migration, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  • Gundara, J. (2000) Interculturalism, Education and Inclusion, London: Paul Chapman Educational Publishing.
  • Kymlicka, W. (1995) Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Modood, T. (2007) Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea, Oxford: Polity Press.

General migration and education texts:

  • Castles, S. and de Haas, H. (2013) The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World (fifth edition), Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Heckmann, F. (2008) Education and Migration: Strategies for integrating migrant children in European schools and societies, Brussels: European Commission.
  • Triandafyllidou, A.and Gropas, R. (eds.) (2014) European Immigration: A Sourcebook (second edition), Farnham: Ashgate.

Empirical case studies:

  • Bloemraad, I. (2006) Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada, Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Faas, D. (2010) Negotiating Political Identities: Multiethnic Schools and Youth in Europe, Farnham: Ashgate.
  • Koopmans, R., Statham, P., Giugni, M. & Passy, F. (2005) Contested Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.


  • 2,500 word essay: 70%
  • Group presentation: 20%
  • Book Review 800 words: 10%