Migration is a tangled topic and one the majority of the UK population will have an opinion on due to its prominence as a political issue and near constant presence in the media. Pupils will have a variety of opinions depending on your local circumstances. It is important to present pupils with information from a variety of sources and to encourage them to question their understanding.
Migration plays a big part in development. It mostly happens within countries as people move from rural to urban areas but it also occurs between countries when people leave their home country to find work or safety in another country.
One type of migration that can have a significant impact on less economically developed countries (LEDCs) is the movement of refugees. There are 43 million forcibly displaced people around the world. This includes 27.1 million people displaced within their own country and 15.6 million refugees. Four out of five refugees are housed in LEDCs making this a huge development challenge.
There will always be news story involving displaced people that you can tap into as a starting point and there are some excellent teaching resources covering this topic, some of which are recommended below.
The following links and articles provide useful background information to help you teach about migration:
Global Dimension: Migration and human trafficking – a round-up of background information and useful teaching resources on these issues
Forced Migration Online: What is forced migration? An overview and explanation of different terms (the FMO website is aimed at researchers rather than teachers, but has a useful set of photo essays, galleries and video clips)
RGS: UK Migration Controversies: a simple guide (PDF) Royal Geographical Society publication exploring a number of controversies relating to migration and its impact on the UK economy
Moving People Changing Places The various articles on this website 'unpack the issues of migration, identity and diversity facing contemporary societies'
Useful resources about migration:
GA: Teaching About Migration Geographical Association CPD resource with four exemplar teaching and learning activities including a good ‘Getting Started’ section
RGS: Changing faces, shaping places Key Stage 3 module on the theme of migration
Moving People Changing Places resources Key Stage 3+ lesson plans and activity ideas
UNHCR: Against All Odds Online game which explores the experience of refugees (includes a teacher's section)
For further teaching resources, browse through the following searches:
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3
We welcome your suggestions for useful articles and teaching resources on the topic of Migration. Please email them to GLPWales@educationdevelopmenttrust.com.