Brittany Lehman

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Major Field: European History
Other Fields: 
Global History
Karen Hagemann and Konrad H. Jarausch

BA University of California at Santa Cruz, 2004 (History)
MS Simmons College
(Library and Information Science)
MA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010

MA Thesis: “Education and Immigration: Federal Debates and Policies in West Germany, 1963–1989”
PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015

Research Interests

Teaching Migrant Children: Debates, Policies, and Practices in West Germany and Europe, 1949-1992

Teaching Migrant Children addresses an issue of pressing concern in an age of mass population movement. In the push for human rights in the post-war era, both the newly established United Nations and Council of Europe argued that all children should receive equal education opportunities. Yet, sixty years later, current education research indicates a general failure throughout most of Europe to provide equal opportunity, particularly for migrant children. Asking why this problem persists, this project examines what has been done historically to solve the issue and whether those efforts had any success. Using the Federal Republic of Germany as an example of European-wide trends, the project analyzes changing discourses and policies between 1949 and 1992. Because Germany has a federated school system, the research focuses on Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, and North Rhine-Westphalia to compare different initiatives designed to fit immigrant children into public schools. Additionally acknowledging the diversity of the migrant groups and their continued connection to their countries of origin, the project looks at the interactions between the Italian, Greek, and Turkish governments (three of the largest countries of origin) and local West German governments in order to understand how these foreign states tried to shape the identities of their citizens abroad. Read more…

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