In our increasingly mobile world—with environmental factors, poverty, and civil unrest spurring large-scale migration—communities are seeing the arrival of new populations, dealing with new socio-economic challenges, and sometimes facing growing sentiments of intolerance for the “other.” As a result, today’s classrooms host students of mixed socio-cultural backgrounds (e.g., local students and migrant students newly arrived in the country, who do not speak the local language). Today’s teachers hold the responsibility to define and promote common values among diverse students in the classroom and in the broader community.
This course offers strategies for the inclusion of people living in the margins of society via the universal language of the arts. Teachers will learn to use art as an accessible tool for integrating newly arrived migrant students in their classes, and for fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding.
Together, we will analyze the residual effects of trauma and relocation, discuss the health benefits of making art, and examine international arts initiatives currently working to integrate minorities and rebuild communities after a crisis. We will also practice collaborative art forms requiring limited resources, from installation to performance (e.g., using found objects to tell a story, practicing nonverbal forms of communication). Through artistic expression, we will learn to transcend language and cultural barriers and work to better understand one another.
Topic 1: Recent migration patterns in Europe
- Defining: migrant, refugee, asylum seeker.
- A brief overview of World Migration Report, focusing on the current situation in Europe.
- Case studies demonstrating international efforts for the integration of minorities.
- Discussion: Reflections on the idea of home.
Topic 2: Strategies for social inclusion of the most vulnerable students
- Barrier analysis and adaptive educational tools in the arts.
- Youth educators and sustainable development; empowering students to teach fellow students.
- Art-making activity: Installation.
Topic 3: Art as therapy
- Understanding trauma: art as therapy and the health benefits of making art.
- Imagination and the creative process as acts of survival.
- Art-making activities for self-expression.
Topic 4: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
- Examples of Social Practice art forms.
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.
- Collaborative art activities for building community.
Topic 5: Online art activities
- Digital art tools and platforms.
- Teaching, making, and sharing art online.