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Teaching Migration Through Data and Storytelling

Explore how migration can be taught using both visual storytelling and big data sets.

641 enrolled on this course

A female figurine, standing on a map showing Somalia
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Help learners understand where, why, and how migration happens

There have been urgent recent calls for curricula to address issues of migration. Yet 78% of British teachers asked by the Runnymede Trust said they needed more support “to equip them to teach migration more sensitively and effectively.”

On this course, teachers can develop their skills to explain where and why migration happens. You’ll learn how to interpret big data sets, examining migration research through video and learning activities.

You’ll also explore creative methods of storytelling, visual arts, and design to humanise migration stories through arts and empathic learning.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 seconds (light instrumental music)

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds <v ->So the migration experience is a human experience.</v> The migration experience, it’s an experience that makes us thrive. We have to move, life is movement. And so when movement stops, life stops. <v ->There’s significant evidence that says</v> that migration is a controversial issue that elicits polarised opinions from people. Schools can be an ideal place to explore and better understand the issues around migration. So in this course, we bring new world class experts in the issue of migration. They’ll talk to you about why migration occurs, and where it occurs. <v ->People come from all over the world,</v> for lots of different reasons. <v ->You know, as humans, if we could not migrate,</v> I’m sure we’d be extinct.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds <v ->First, we need to understand.</v> For us to understand, we need to give it the attention that it deserves. <v ->I mean, one has never been able to stop migration, right?</v> Whatever we do, like however restrictive our policies are, or how open our policies are, people will continue to migrate. <v ->In this course, we’ll also share with you</v> resources that have been trialled and tested in the classroom, that will help you think about how you can teach about migration through a large data set. The resources will helped bring the issues of migration to life for students, and get them to think critically about the world around them.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds <v ->Each data line is a human being.</v> It tells you something about that human being. And when you see all those data lines, all those human beings in the round, you can start to see patterns, and you can start to see differences. Ultimately, it can help us to tell a different story about what migration is for the people who are living it. (peaceful instrumental music)

What topics will you cover?

  • Developing teachers’ capacities and skills to access big data sets and contemporary research by providing the guidance, tools, and experience through video and learning activities delivered online
  • Sharing and shaping understanding of the role of creative methods of storytelling, visual arts, and design to humanise migrant stories through creative and empathic learning
  • Exploring the combined importance of both data-led evidence and arts to tackle global challenges such as migration, inequality, and development
  • Equipping learners with skills in critical thinking, data, independent investigation, and understanding reliability of sources

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Investigate why migration happens
  • Explain where migration happens
  • Explore ways of introducing large data on migration to learners
  • Explore how using infographics will support learners to critically engage with data
  • Explore how you can support students to access a large data set

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers educators who want to know how to teach migration using data and storytelling. It would also appeal to anyone learning from home interested in these issues, or educators and learners interested in critical thinking, data skills, independent investigation, and understanding the reliability of sources.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course you will need to know how to use google sheets, or to feel confident to download a google sheet and use excel.

Who will you learn with?

I'm an Assistant Head at a secondary school in London and I am studying for a doctorate in education.
I believe in the importance of developing critical thinking, creativity and empathy in students.

Who developed the course?

SOAS University of London

SOAS, University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.


The UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub (MIDEQ) unpacks the complex and multi-dimensional relationships between migration and inequality in the context of the Global South.

MIDEQ is funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)


PositiveNegatives produces comics, animations and other stories about contemporary social and humanitarian issues, including conflict, migration and gender. We support learners to make connections between their own lives and others, by unlocking vital research through storytelling. By collaborating with educators, researchers and artists we co-create free educational activities encouraging critical thinking, creativity and compassion on vital global themes.

Endorsers and supporters

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supported by

UKRI logo

supported by

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