the hand of a person taking notes in front of a screen in an online meeting

Reflecting on the TIES Launch Event

juin 29, 2021

By Katharina Natter

After half a year of intense project work, during which we started establishing a network of engaged secondary school teachers across Europe, we thought it was time for everyone to meet up. Because of COVID, this happened later than initially planned, and online, but on 19 April, TIES team members finally met up with 11 teachers from across Europe – three from the Netherlands, three from the UK, two from Italy, and respectively one from France, Germany and Austria. The event was a fantastic opportunity for teachers and TIES team members to get to know each other, discuss the advances of the project and exchange ideas on teaching priorities and strategies.

After an icebreaking activity led by research assistants Dunja and Josef, team member Simona shared three key insights from research on migration that are often ignored in everyday discussions. Indeed, it is often assumed that we are living in an era of unprecedented migration, that the push-pull model is sufficient to understand migration and that climate and environmental change will lead to mass migration. Simona shared the most up-to-date scientific evidence on all three issues to put these statements into perspective. Teachers were very excited by the presentation, clearly showing interest for more such knowledge transfer in the future.

As next point on the program, Kristina presented the TIES student challenge, an educational contest about migration that invited students to rediscover the role of migration in their everyday surroundings in creative ways. Students were asked to submit an original audio-visual collage combining sound recordings and pictures that respond to the themes of ‘identity walk’ or ‘things that migrate’. We will publish the winning audio-visual collages over the summer. Take a look!

To round off the first TIES event, we wanted to gather teachers’ input on the ten module ideas we developed. Teachers expressed that they were particularly impressed by TIES ambition to not only discuss migration from a European perspective, but to convey global trends through diverse viewpoints and personal stories. Teachers were also really keen to use the planned modules on migration policies, migration journeys and the unequal access to mobility, as well as migration and climate change. However, they also came up with other ideas, suggesting modules on the role of media in migration or on the diverse effects of migration on the labor market. This brainstorming session was also an opportunity for teachers to share innovative projects or activities on migration with each other, such as that provides personal insights into the dire situation at Europe’s borders.

Although we only finished at 7pm, the entire TIES team came out of the event energized and full of motivation! We are now very excited to continue this discussion at the next TIES event that will take place in autumn – hopefully in real life! Stay tuned 😊