Global Systems: Option B – Global Migration (A Level)
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1.a. Global migration involves dynamic flows of people between countries, regions and continents.
- Current spatial patterns in the numbers, composition and direction of international migrant flows, including examples of both inter-regional and intra-regional.
- The relationship between patterns of international migration and socioeconomic development, using national indices such as ‘value of migrant remittances’ and ‘Human Development Index’.
- How global migration can promote stability, growth and development within and between countries through flows of people, money, ideas and technology.
- How global migration causes inequalities, conflicts and injustices for people and places through flows of people, money, ideas and technology.
- Changes in the 21st century have increased the complexity of global migration, including:
- economic globalisation leading to the emergence of new source areas and host destinations
- high concentration of young workers and female migrants
- flows in South-South corridors are now equal in magnitude to those in South-North corridors
- conflict and persecution have increased numbers of refugees
- changes in national immigration and emigration policies
- development of distinct corridors of bi-lateral flows.
- Case study of one EDC to illustrate:
- current patterns of immigration and emigration
- changes in immigration and emigration over time
- economic, political, social and environmental interdependence with countries connected to the EDC by migrant flows
- the impact of migration on the EDCs economic development, political stability and social equality.
- Case study of one AC to show how it influences and drives change in the global migration system. Illustrate economic, political and social factors which explain:
- patterns of emigration and immigration, migration policies, and interdependence with countries linked to it by migration
- opportunities, such as labour supply
- challenges, such as border issues.
- Case study of one LIDC to show how it has limited influence over and restricted response to the global migration system. Illustrate economic, political and social factors which explain:
- patterns of emigration and immigration, migration policies, and interdependence with countries linked to it by migration
- opportunities, such as migrant remittances
- challenges, such as loss of skilled workers.
This topic is incredibly current and enables students to develop an understanding of the impact flows of people have had and continue to have on our changing world. Students should be familiar with some of the key ideas from prior learning or simply by living in the modern world. For example, flows of migration from LIDCs to ACs and issues surrounding immigration. Due to the current nature of the topic, from the outset students should be encouraged to keep up to date with migration flows. A good place to start would be watching the news regularly and following social media updates, announcements and stories. Given the relevance of the content there is currently much literature on the topic, the most able students should be encouraged to read and engage with a wide variety of literature (from Google Scholar to reports produced by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and other governmental bodies). Students need to recognise the complexities surrounding the topic and also understand that ‘real’ people are affected. Where possible, students should try and empathise to better understand flows of migration, particularly for refugees and asylum seekers. It is important that students are able to understand the costs and benefits of migration in their own area or country but also in other places around the world. Moreover, from the outset students should have a firm understanding of the key terms relating to the topic to support their understanding.
Common misconceptions or difficulties learners may have:
This topic provides some very exciting and interesting concepts and ideas for students to study however there are key issues, misconception and difficulties that could arise. Firstly, for many of the case studies students will need to understand the wider social, economic and political situation of the country as well as a brief historical background. It is important that time is spent ensuring that students have these foundations to truly understand the context of the case studies. Secondly, due to the current nature of the topic students will need to ensure that they are sourcing relevant information for their case studies and using up to date information. For example, it would be easy for students to research an immigration policy which has since been changed. Thirdly, students may find it difficult to differentiate between the key terms (for example immigrant/emigrant) so time should be given (and perhaps recapped regularly) to ensure that their terminology is correct. Finally, students need to try to understand the complexities of migration and understand what a controversial subject it can be. Students need to consider the resources that they use and try to identify and acknowledge any bias.
Conceptual links to other areas of the specification – useful ways to approach this topic to set learners up for topics later in the course:
The Global Migration topic has a very strong link with topic 2.1 Changing Spaces Making Places. For both units, students will need to understand the interdependence of countries in a globalised world. This topic will also help understand emotional attachment to place as well as the factors that shape place identity. Both units will also require students to consider a variety of scales from local to global.
This topic also relates very closely to 2.2.3 Human Rights and 2.2.4 Power and Borders. For example, many of the current rates of migration can be explained by exploring human rights (linking to governments) and conflict zones. Both units also link closely to Global Migration by investigating laws and policies. This will hopefully build on students’ geopolitical knowledge.
Students should start with an overview of the topic so they know what is expected of them over the coming weeks and months. They should also reflect on any areas of the topic in which they have some knowledge and confidence.
At the start of the unit, students should be given a copy of Learner Resource 1. Students will start by reading through the specification which will hopefully give them an overview of the topic. They should then complete the first ‘confidence’ column (this could be done by colour or symbol). This should then be completed again at the end of the topic and after revision. Hopefully this will allow student and teacher to monitor progress over time. It will also provide students with a clear direction and overview of the unit.
Students need to be familiar and confident with their use of key terms for this topic. This activity will ensure that all students have an understanding of the terms used within the specification. It will also ensure that students can access resources and tasks in the unit.
Over the course of the topic students should seek to complete the glossary sheet (Learning Resource 2a). Please see Teacher Answer sheet 2a for a completed copy.
Alternatively, this could be done as a lesson task or homework activity. For revision, student can write the definitions on to the cards from memory and use these as flash cards for revision (Learning Resource 2b).
In pairs, students could combine their cards and play a game of ‘snap’ by matching the word with the definition. This will ensure that students have a solid understanding and are able to clearly define the key terms.
This activity should generate a discussion about global patterns of migration and allow students to visualise flows of people. It will also allow students to see how patterns of migration have changed over time.
Students will need a blank map of the world and access to the internet. Students should start by using the ‘global migration flow’ interactive map on the International Organization on Migration (IOM) website.
Working in pairs, students should write down the number of migrants to 20 different countries trying to select a range of ACs, EDCs, LIDCs as well as a balance of those in the Northern and Southern hemisphere. To help with this, students could seek to select at least two countries from each continent (apart from Antarctica).
Students could then use this information to create located proportional circles on a map or create a bar graph. This will help to develop students’ geographical skills and also familiarises them with data presentation methods.
The United Nations Population Division has a sequence of choropleth maps which shows international migration from 1990-2015 in five year intervals. This would be a good opportunity for students to read and interpret graphical data. Some suggested questions which could be used:
- Using the maps from 1990 and 2015, compare the rates of international migration.
- Using evidence from the choropleth maps, analyse changes to international migration from 1990 to 2015.
- Suggest reasons for the current pattern of international migration. Use evidence from the 2015 map to support your answer
Migration within Europe has a complicated past, present and future. The media has had a huge impact on our understandings of flows of migration which this activity seeks to investigate.
The media plays a vital role in our lives and often has more impact that we perhaps credit. To start this activity, students could brainstorm the role of the media in their lives. They could be encouraged to think about: the news, magazines, social media, ‘top stories’ recommended on iPhones, documentaries etc. This could lead on to an interesting discussion about the role of the media. Whilst this doesn’t link directly to the specification, it is important for students to be able to establish reliable and unbiased sources and be aware of the media’s influence.
For this activity students are required to read 10 statements and decide if they are true or false (Learner Resource 4 with answers). There is also a column for students to think about the potential implications – this is ambiguous as could include consequences for the host/origin country or could allow students to consider their own reactions to this statement. This activity will build on students’ content knowledge as well as giving students the opportunity to reflect on the impact of the media. Teacher answer sheet is available.
For the answers please see Teacher Answers 4.
This task will seek to develop students understanding of the rates of migration between Mexico and the USA whilst also building on their geographical skills.
A case study is not needed for Key Idea 1.a however it is hoped that by looking at Mexico to the USA students will be able to deepen their understanding.
Using data from the Migration Policy Institute, students need to complete a line graph to show migration changes over time from Mexico to the USA. The data spreadsheet is found on the website by clicking the ‘get data’ button at the bottom.
Once they have completed the graph students could complete the questions below which seek to develop their exam technique and their skills knowledge. It will also ensure they have a sound understanding of the changes in rates of migration from Mexico to the USA.
The questions are based on Bloom’s taxonomy with 1 being the lowest order and 3 the highest. Teachers could direct students on the question they should answer or allow students to select themselves.
1) Using data, describe the changes to migration from Mexico to the USA over time.
2) Interpret the line graph which shows rates of migration between Mexico and the USA. Suggest reasons for the trend shown.
3) Investigate migration from Mexico to the USA. Use data to support your answer.
This activity will enable students to develop their cartographic skills but also understand the importance of global remittance.
Using Learner Resource 6, students should use the information to create a choropleth map. They also need to identify whether each country is an AC/EDC/LIDC as they go along. This will hopefully make it easier to identify patterns and trends as well as ensuring students are able to identify countries at each level of development.
Students should decide on their own scale. It might be beneficial to discuss with students the difficulties in deciding a scale. In particular, that there is considerable variation between the 0-5% with lots of countries in this category and much less the higher the percentage.
Suggested scale (perhaps for mid-lower ability students):
Or (a simplified version for low ability students):
Students should then seek to produce a piece of writing which identifies the trends and patterns of remittance. This could be a good opportunity to develop extended writing and exam technique. An example question could be “Using examples, examine the trends and patterns of global remittance”. Higher ability students should be able to make comments on the level of development of countries and suggest reasons for this. For example, “LIDCs and EDC tend to rely more on remittance than ACs, this could be because…”
This activity allows students to see the positives and negatives of migration on both the host and the origin country. It also allows students to break down these effects in to social, economic and political. This should help develop students understanding of how migration can promote stability, growth and development but also inequalities, conflicts and injustices.
This activity could be framed as a question to engage students. For example ‘Is migration positive or negative?’ or for a more controversial start, you could start with a statement such as ‘Migration is bad’.
See Learner Resource 7. Students should start by separating the ‘cards’ into effects for the host and origin country. From there, students should be able to sort the effects in to positive and negative. Finally, students can sort the effects into social, economic and political.
The cards could also be used to rank what students see as the most important positive and negative effects of migration. This could lead on to a high order question (top tier Bloom’s Taxonomy) to really engage students thinking and solidify their knowledge/understanding. For example, “Critique the role of migration on both host and origin countries.”
This activity should help students to understand the inequalities, conflicts and injustices for some migrants. Students will focus on the Jungle (Calais).
There is no requirement for Key Idea 1.b to include a case study however it is hoped that by using an example, students will be able to have a firmer grasp of the content and the context.
This task will focus on news reporting and allow students to extend their knowledge of the ‘crisis’ and the establishment and recent abolishment of the Jungle. It will also allow them to listen to the experiences of real migrants and consider the reasons why many people are migrating.
Using the video clips (in order), students should seek to complete Learner Resource 8.
This activity should encourage student independence as well as increase their understanding of the conflict in Syria.
It is important to note that there is no requirement for students to have a case study for Key Idea 2.a. This example is used to help contextual the specification and also make it relevant to students who will often see Syria in the news.
Students should complete the research sheet about Syria (Learner Resource 9a). A couple of particularly good websites which provide useful overviews are listed.
After their research, students should be able to complete the next task (Learner Resource 9b) by sorting the events into chronological order and completing the timeline. Teacher answers are available (Teacher Answers 9b).
This activity will encourage students to think about migration policies. In particular, it will allow students to consider what ‘types’ of people or what ‘traits’ are deemed more desirable under the current Australian policy. A case study for Key Idea 2.a is not necessary according to the specification however it will hopefully make the criteria more accessible to students by applying it to a place. It could also be used for Key Idea 3.a if Australia was chosen as the AC case. (this is a subscription article but can be accessed through google by typing in “How Australia’s points-based immigration system works” and clicking on the third link)
Students will need to familiarise themselves with the Australian system by using the Australian border website and clicking ‘points test’ or looking at Learner Resource 10a. Using the table, students could calculate their own points and that of friends and family. They then should be able to use Learner Resource 10b to create a ‘profile’ of somebody who is able to apply for a visa and somebody who is less likely (based on the points system).
It is important that you explain to students that other factors are considered and different visas exist e.g. carers visa, parent visa or asylum seeker visa. You could show and discuss with students the variety of visas found on the same website under the ‘visa listing’ section. Students could then either complete a short task (or could be set as homework) titled ‘changes in national immigration policy’ or ‘Apart from those who meet the point system, what categories of people are more likely to get a visa under the Australian Immigration system?’
For an extension, student could read a copy of the Financial Times article suggested. This would provide students with a more detailed and holistic understanding of the Australian system.
For a different prespective on Australia’s policy, students could look at the ‘Pacific solution’ and how this has changed over time. A good introduction can be found on the Europa.eu page and some other websites have been suggested. This task could easily be set as a homework and shows the complexity and issues surrounding migration (this links well to Key Idea 3.a and the complexity and challenges of the global migration system).
For Key Idea 2.b the specification requires students to have one case study of an EDC. The case study chosen for this activity is Romania however, firstly it is not a requirement that this particular case study is used and secondly the task will not provide the ‘whole’ case study but rather sections of it.
This activity will encourage students to think about routes of migration with a focus on Romania.
Using the Learner Resource 11 students should be able to categorise the cards in to a) History of immigration/emigration b) current trends of immigration/emigration.
This activity will develop students understanding of flows of migration surrounding Romania (students are required to have a case study for an EDC as part of Key Idea 2.b).
To start it might be useful to recap with students what EDCs are and to identify examples. You could use the map provided by OCR (Learner Resource 12a) and ask students to complete their own map of the world labelling on the different ‘types’ of countries.
Using the Learner Resource 12b (blown up to A3 size), students need to complete their own independent research on Romania. The Learning Resource should help students to plan and structure their answer. However, if using a different EDC case study then the Learner Resource could easily be adapted.
A good follow on task would be to ask students to write this up as a review question (using the question at the top of the Learner Resource 12b).
The task will focus on immigration on the USA and identify the past and present patterns.
This case study has been chosen as it links well to learning activity 5 where students look at rates of migration from Mexico to the USA. This will help to build up students understanding of migration in this area.
For Key Idea 3.a the specification requires students to have one case study of an AC. The case study chosen for this activity (and the next activity, Learner resource 14) is the USA however, firstly it is not a requirement that this case study is used and secondly the two tasks will not provide the ‘whole’ case study but rather sections of it.
Students should explore migration in the USA overtime by using the pie charts found on the migration policy website.
There are several possibilities for this task.
Firstly, pie charts could be put side by side and students describe the differences observed (useful for exam technique and recapping skills). Questions could be:
- Using data, explain how immigration into the USA has changed over time.
- Compare the largest immigrant groups in the USA between 1960 and 2015. Use data to support your answer.
- A possible higher ability question could be ‘The USA migrant population is diverse. Discuss.”
Secondly, students could create a timeline showing the origin of the immigrant population (Learner Resource 13).
Finally, students could create their own pie charts (you can access the raw data by clicking ‘get data’ at the bottom of the page). This will develop student’s geographical skills. Once completed, students could then answer the questions suggested in the first activity within this task.
This activity will focus on the USA and look at the opportunities and challenges of migration (both legal and illegal). It should hopefully allow students to consider the complexities surrounding flows of people.
Show the video clips in order.
After each clip, give students some time to discuss what they have seen and complete the relevant section on the worksheet (Learner Resource 14). The third video could only be shown until about 7 minutes (it also is very useful to link this to Changing Spaces Making Places and the idea of ‘identity’ and what makes a place).
For the answers, please see Teacher Answers 14.
At the time of writing this guide, Donald Trump is planning to start the wall between USA and Mexico imminently. This will be a very interesting situation for students to study and clearly shows the unequal power relations which is a certain point within Key Idea 3.a.
This task will allow students to engage in their own research and also deepen their understanding about patterns of migration in an LIDC, in this example, Senegal. For Key Idea 3.a the specification requires students to have one case study of an LIDC. The case study chosen for this activity is Senegal however, firstly it is not a requirement that this case study is used and secondly this task will not cover the whole of the case study needed to meet the specification.
Students should create their own fact file for Senegal (although the sheet could easily be changed for another LIDC) using Learner Resource 15 (enlarged to A3).
The websites suggested provide very good information which will help to complete the sheet. If students do not have access to the internet, these resources could be printed and cut into sections which could then be shared with students. Alternatively, students could be given one ‘element’ of the case study which they have to learn and then teach others in the class.
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