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Educators discuss migrant students

Haleigh Ehmsen | Friday, April 12, 2013


Children are truly our future, which is why a Saint Mary’s club held an event last night to discuss the education of migrant children.

The College club La Fuerza concluded its annual “Week of Action” Thursday with a discussion titled ‘Migrant Children and Their Education.’ Elizabeth Dennie, who recently completed her Master’s degree in Education Leadership at Saint May’s, led the discussion. 

First-year student Fallon Brandis said she appreciated the chance to learn about migration from a new perspective.

“I just think this is a really pertinent topic, especially in politics, and it’s so interesting to learn about the other side of migration,” Brandis said.

Dennie told the group about her thesis for the Master’s program and her continued research titled ‘The Migrant Experience: Not Leaving Migrant Students Behind.’ She said she struggled to find information on this topic because there is relatively little available.

Dennie shared several stories about her work with children and stressed the importance of dialogue between teachers, administrators and families to better the education of migrant children. She said the most important thing she learned in the process of obtaining her Master’s degree was to allow children to enjoy their youth. 

“It sounds so stupid, but it’s so profound – kids are kids,” she said. “Let them be kids. If you look around society, everything is pushing kids to be older. They don’t know how to have fellowship.”

Several education majors asked Dennie how to approach educating migrant students in their future careers. Dennie said it was important to develop relationships with the students in order to foster a love of learning that will bring with it academic success.

Dennie also said it is important to see past possible ethnic differences when educating migrant children.

 “A lot of times we let so much divide us when we are so similar,” Dennie said.