Watson Chronicle


Education Updates and Features

Faculty Present Research at Scholarship Brown Bag Event

Friday, May 02, 2014

WCE Scholarship Brown bag series logo

Watson College of Education faculty members Lisa Buchanan and Jeremy Hilburn have been researching the use of documentary film as a counter narrative for pre-service teachers on the topic of immigration. Through surveys and focus groups, they asked students enrolled in elementary, middle grades and graduate level social studies methods courses for their thoughts on the topic before and after viewing the Academy-Award winning documentary, “Which Way Home.”

Jeremy Hilburn Lisa Buchanan

The film shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the U.S. Many students said they were shocked and disturbed by the film. Many hadn’t realized the complexity of the issue and said the information would help inform their future thinking and teaching. Some students were resistant to the counter narrative, focusing instead on issues of why children would leave home or why families would separate.

Buchanan and Hilburn said the issue is important for pre-service teachers because North Carolina is now a gateway state and teachers will likely have students who have recently immigrated to the country in their future classrooms. They plan to continue and expand on the research next year.

The presentation can be viewed here >