Transnational Mobility in Schools – a research and development project
The main research question
In the project TraMiS (“Transnational mobility in schools”), the following question is posed: how can schools deal effectively and innovatively with mobility, especially in times when students may not stay for their whole educational trajectory in one country or system. Reasons include a planned stay of limited duration or a threat of deportation.
This project, funded by the German ministry of Education and Research and conducted in collaboration with the German Teachers’ Union and the Freudenberg Foundation, is designed as research and development in partnership with schools, not simply research about schools. 12 German schools that stand out for strong commitment to their students’ success and innovative approaches are partners in the project.
In addition, TraMiS is seeking schools in international settings with divergent migration patterns, immigration laws, and school policies for participation, namely in New York (USA), Toronto (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden) and Bolzano (Italy).
Methods include workshops, interviews with school leaders and classroom observations to understand local teaching conditions.
The researchers collaborate with leaders of participating schools, using representative transnational student scenarios that call for innovative school-based practical solutions. School leaders explain how their school would respond in each case, taking into account their pedagogical stance, school context and any limitations. The project researchers also spend 3 days in participating TraMiS schools to develop a nuanced understanding of the school’s teaching conditions and approach. The main goal of the project is to use exemplary school settings to develop a compendium of effective pedagogical options under diverse circumstances. At the same time, participating schools have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other school participants and learn from an international perspective.
In the Federal Republic of Germany, school policies were developped under the principle of return migration in the 1950s to 1970s, while today the principle of immigrant integration is guiding school policies: Newly arrived children and youth are addressed as immigrants who will stay for the rest of their lives in Germany. They are supposed to learn German quickly so that they can be transferred to regular school instruction in German that prepares for a life in Germany.
At the same time, all students in Germany have to take English as a foreign language to be able to communicate internationally, and many students are involved in international exchanges with other countries. An international or even global orientation of all students is considered to be important for European integration, economic competitiveness and cultural exchange in the digital age. Ideally, all students profit from a school development that considers different migration perspectives and opportunities.
Full title of project: Permanent? Transient? The diversity of transnational mobility as a challenge for institutional change in schools in Germany
Project Director: Professor Dr. Yasemin Karakaşoğlu
Principal Investigator: Dr. Dita Vogel
Researchers: Torben Dittmer, Matthias Linnemann
Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany)
Project duration: 2/2018 to 1/2021
Cooperation partners in Germany: Freudenberg Stiftung (a foundation with long-standing committment to innovation in schools) and Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (the main teachers’ union)