This past Tuesday we hosted our last guest speaker in a semester-long event series organized by the PhD students in our group and funded by the Potsdam Graduate School and the Committee on Research and Young Academics. We titled the series “Cultural Diversity, Migration, and Education,” referencing our 2016 conference of the same name and foreshadowing our upcoming CDME 2018 conference this August.
The event series included three engaging talks and one lively panel discussion, all focusing on issues at the intersection of cultural diversity and education.
Our first speaker, Dr. Sabine Glock, from the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, gave a talk about the impact of teachers’ stereotyped expectations on the grading and treatment of students with migration background, based primarily on her own research. Many students were in the audience for this opening event, and a practice-oriented discussion ensued following her presentation.
In December, 2017 we welcomed Dr. Daniel Faas, from Trinity College Dublin, who focused on broader trends in and approaches to education policy from across the European Union. Dr. Faas’s own research, in the field of sociology of education, focuses on youth identity in relation to migration, religion, and education.
In January we had the opportunity to host a panel discussion regarding school-community relations in a diverse Germany. The panelists were Ms. Shiva Saber-Fahaty from the Berlin organization Kiezmütter, Dr. Mohini Lokhande from the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration, and Ms. Saraya Gomis, who is the Antidiscrimination Commissioner at the Berlin Senate, and a secondary school teacher. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Guido Siegel, who leads the Berlin Working Group on Migration, Diversity, and Antidiscrimination at the Union of Educationa and Research, and is himself a teacher in a welcome class for refugee students. Having diverse perspectives from research, policy, and practice spurred a rich, reflective, and engaging discussion.
We finished the series this week with a thoughtful and thought-provoking talk by Amena Amer, a doctoral candidate in social psychology at LSE in London. Ms. Amer examined how the implementation of the Prevent Strategy in British schools positions Muslim students as objects of suspicion while homogenizing notions of Britishness and turning teachers into informants, many of whom actively resist this role.
We feel honored to have had so many top-notch researchers and practitioners share their time and work with us, and look forward to continuing such an exchange at our conference this summer!