During last Friday’s brownbag seminar, we discussed how to teach the history of immigration in America. Some of the discussion questions were: what makes immigration to America so appealing? Should we provide historical overview of immigration to America or stick to current debates about the subject? How do we incorporate it into other subjects besides history? Do we teach to appeal to empathy and exclude the more negative side of immigration? Luckily, there were plenty of resources available to help us think about and discuss these questions:
Historical Immigration quotas, Statistics on illegal vs legal immigrants in the U.S today and a video of elementary school students visiting Ellis Island to learn about how immigrants arrived. These resources gave us a sense of how immigrants arrived in America. It provided information about shifting immigration quotas. Immigration has and continues to be a very controversial and never-ending topic. There is no easy solution. Therefore, it is very important that we educate the general public about the subject matter. This includes people who are old enough to make a change today and people who are old enough to make a change for the future.