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Stage 2

Background of this stage: Education is always also an active process of self-education – in the sense that meaningful knowledge cannot only be gained passively. If students are to acquire knowledge that is important for them, their actions and their lives, they must actively acquire it. In this way, they also practice their ability to use media and to process information critically.


Upon completion of this stage, students should:

  • be able to actively acquire knowledge on the subject of refuge and migration
  • be practiced in evaluating sources and critically researching information.


  • Basic data and facts, causes of flight, situation of refugees in the destination country
  • Getting to know new and possibly surprising and irritating facts about refuge and migration


Research of information
Exercises for distinguishing knowledge/opinion, credible information/fake news and for recognizing inadmissible generalizations and simplifications.

Transition from Stage 1

Remind students that in Stage 1 they collected questions on the subject of refuge/migration. Today, the focus is on where and how to obtain well-founded information on questions of this kind.

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Step #1

We research a complex topic!

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Form 4 or 6 groups (up to 6 persons; depending on the size of your class). Groups 1 to 2 (or 1-3) receive "Research assignment 1"; groups 4-5 (or 4-6) receive "Research assignment 2". (Research Assignments → worksheet for students).

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Ask the groups to try to answer the questions contained in its research assignment through joint Internet research and prepare a presentation (flipchart, PowerPoint etc.) with its findings.

Depending on your assessment of the level of knowledge and competence in your class, you can give the students more or less hints. For this purpose, you can use the list of information sources we have compiled for you. You can supplement these with information sources from your country, e.g. websites of the responsible authorities, NGOs and the media. Since the students should also practice distinguishing between "serious" and "problematic" sources, you can also give them references to organizations and media which you consider to be "serious", but also to those which you consider to be "problematic", e.g. because they tend towards inappropriate generalizations and fake news. These can be, for example, tabloid media or yellow press that are known for simplifications or fake news, or websites of organisations that are known to be anti-migration.
Please note that the focus of the research is on refugees (not on other forms of migration). See also the glossary of the most important terms.

    Research Assignment 1
  • > What exactly is a refugee? What other forms of migration are there?
  • > How many people were displaced worldwide in 2018?
  • > Which countries in the world host the most refugees?
  • > How many people fled to the European Union in 2018?
  • > How many people fled to our country in 2018?
  • > How many of them move on to another country?
  • > From which countries do the refugees come who seek refuge in our country?
  • > Why did the people flee to our country? What are the main causes of their seeking refuge?
  • > What has to happen so that a refugee needs to leave our country again?
    Research Assignment 2
  • > What are the refugees in our country allowed to do, what are they not allowed to do? What are they obliged to do? Please list the most important rights, responsibilities and prohibitions.
  • > How are the refugees housed in our country?
  • > What access do they have to education (especially schools) and the labour market?

If questions have been collected in stage 1 that are not included in these research assignments, you can add them to the research assignments accordingly.

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Each group presents results in the class (Questions → worksheet for students):

  • > Which answers did we find where?
  • > If we have found different answers to the same questions: how do they differ? At the level of data and facts; at the levels of the undertone and the intention of the text?
  • > In which points are we uncertain and where do we have open questions?
  • > How can we trust what is being told to us and how to determine if information presented is trustworthy or not?
  • > Have we gained insights that surprised or irritated us?
  • > What feelings are evoked when we perceive the different information?

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Comparison of group results:

  • > Are there different answers to the same questions? What could be the reason?

For this lesson, it may be helpful if you can be supported by a CHANGE partner. For example, the expert can comment on the presentations of the “research assignments” and supplement information if something is left open. In addition, he or she could also make his or her own contribution (depending on how much time you have):

Step #2

Let's ask an expert!

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In order to learn more about the situation of refugees than just facts and figures, the expert explains how refugees live in this country, what they need, what they wish - and also what they could bring into the society of their new home country. The impulse should be as vivid as possible (with pictures and testimonies).

Questions from the students

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  • > What was new and perhaps surprising for us?
  • > How does the perspective of the expert differ from the other perspectives we have found and how does it agree with them? (Background: The students should realize that there are differences not only in the facts that someone mentions, but also in the values and attitudes that a person represents and that form the basis for his/her presentation of the facts).

Step #3

Global Trends in 5 minutes

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Show the students the following five-minute video (UNHCR’s global trends in forced displacement) that shows major developments concerning the issue of refuge. The video has the advantage of reiterating some of the information discussed in this lesson (on a global level) and at the same time "giving faces" to the data and facts and making them more vivid.

If necessary, a short discussion can follow with questions and comments. The video can also conclude Stage 2 without discussion.

Invitation to Reflection

Explain the reflection task for this stage (Reflection task → worksheet for students)

By the next stage, please:

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Take a photograph of an object or a scene that represents a surprising insight from this stage. Add a caption to the picture.

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Note an answer to the question: What would I want to ask a refugee who lives in my country?
Alternative question for refugees: What would I like to be asked?

Summary and Transition

Ask the students to explain in a few sentences what they have learned in this stage. After some students have said something about this question, you can summarize it in your own words (see the goals of the lesson above).

Then you can explain how the next stage will follow: “The next stage will be about dealing more intensively with the situation and experiences of refugees.”
Since different activities are possible for the next stage, you may also indicate which activity it will be.

Especially important: If you want to make a real encounter with a refugee possible in the next stage, you should prepare the students. Explain that the guest will talk about very personal experiences, some of which were difficult and painful. Tell the students that they can of course ask the guest questions (and thereby show their interest), but should do so in a respectful way. They should imagine what it would be like to talk about personal experiences, feelings, hopes and wishes in front of an unknown audience.

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