In 2017, there were a total of 258 million migrants out of a total worldwide population of 7.5 billion people. The worldwide population of migrant children under the age of 19 has grown from 30 million in 1990 to 36 million in 2017. Who are these migrant children and why do they migrate? There are complex reasons why children are migrants. For example, some migrant children are seeking asylum while others are seeking refugee status, and then there are the millions of children of migrant workers. Still other migrant children are educational migrants sent by their families to study abroad. While much research focuses on transnational migration, there is considerable migration of children and families within many countries from rural to urban centers due to urbanization and industrialization. In all, children around the world are migrating for a wide range of diverse reasons.
There are a host of policy, programmatic, and service challenges facing governments at the national, regional, and local level to address the needs of migrant children. One of these concerns has to do with the economic well-being of migrant children and their families. While migrants have generally, very high rates of labor force participation, they nonetheless, often work for lower wages and have less income than native-born citizens. Migrant children in these families are more likely to be poor, experience food insecurity, have less or inadequate health care, and live in crowded or unsafe housing. Not the least of these challenges is that of providing educational programs and services for migrant children. Effective educational programs and services for migrant children is an economic imperative. The more successful migrant children are academically in school, the more likely they will be successful in future employment and in upward social-class mobility thus, contributing the economic well-being and social fabric of the state and the nation. While the economic well-being of migrant families and their children is of concern, other factors associated with race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and language acquisition, may also affect the educational attainment of migrant children. Addressing the educational needs of migrant children will depend on the local context and the particular characteristics of the migrant population of students.
In this edition of the conference, we especially welcome research papers, policy papers, and presentations related to a broad range of questions and topics associated with the education of migrant children. What are the contemporary theories, theoretical paradigms, and/or educational practices relevant to the education of migrant children? What are legal, policy, and procedural issues at the national, state, and local level related to migrant children? What are the pedagogical best practices associated with the education of migrant children? What are the issues related to technology, technology access, and social media and the education of migrant children? What are the preparation, training, and professional development needs of administrators, teachers, and staff in the education of migrant children? How can families and communities contribute to the education of migrant children? What are the political, economic, and social implications in the education of migrant children? We also welcome research papers, policy papers, and presentations related to the other strands of the conference.