EU-Programme: Erasmus+, KA2, Strategic Partnerships for School Education
Coordination: National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (UK)
Duration: 01-10-2017 –30-09-2019
Education systems can act as an important socialisation mechanism for migrants and host communities to foster mutual understanding, respect and trust. But many education systems struggle to provide the language training necessary for migrants to succeed in their new communities. Many students with a migrant background are also blocked by language barrier. On average, 64% of first-generation migrant students and 41% of second generation students speak a language at home that is different from the language instruction.
Teachers have a large role to play. Many recognize that handling cultural diversity in class is difficult. Large proportions of teachers in several countries feel they need more professional development in the areas of teaching in a multicultural setting. Children in migrant families are key actors in the process of integration, as they broke communication between members of the host community and their own families. While teachers are critical to migrant students´ success in schools, so are their parents.
Students are better learners when their parents are involved in their education. While migrant parents often have high aspirations for their children, they may face multiple obstacles to becoming involved in their child´s schooling, including language barriers, insufficient understanding of how schools in the host country function, and lack of time or money to invest in their child´s education. They also feel alienated and unwelcome, especially if their child has encountered discrimination or abuse. Communities and schools that host migrants need to find ways to communicate with migrant parents who may have different levels of education, language skills and understanding of the school system.
An insufficiently explored approach to overcome the difficulties to involve migrant parents in the education of their children is the Family learning pedagogical approach. Family learning is any learning that includes more than one generation of a family (including extended families and carers). The learning may be informal, through events such as family fun days, or more formal – family learning courses are delivered in settings such as schools, children’s centres and community centres. Family learning is an effective way of providing adults with the skills and knowledge to support their children’s education. It also provides a non-threatening route into learning for adults. The courses aim to help parents support their children’s education – usually focusing on numeracy, literacy and/or language skills.
The aim of MIFAMILY project is to strength the integration of migrant students in Schools and their success in education by providing training, coaching and guidance to migrant parents on Family Learning methods and resources to overcome language barriers and foster active involvement of migrant parents in their children’s education, equipping teachers, school leaders and educators with the necessary skills and innovative tools to support migrant families in the process, strengthening collaboration between schools, families, and other external stakeholders.
The project will use European frameworks and instruments, like EQF Europass and SchoolEducationGateaway, to boost transparency and recognition of learning outcomes on Family Learning for Migrants at School, with the active support of a network of key associated partners and relevant stakeholders. MIFAMILY will have a direct impact on target beneficiaries, improving the skills on national languages of both migrant children and parents and strengthening School integration and success in education of migrant students, and in the target users, improving the teaching competencies of teachers and educators in Family Learning methods. The long-term impact envisaged is a better integration of migrant students in the Schools and a higher collaboration between schools, families and other external stakeholders, strengthening the School system in Europe