Diversifying the teaching force has become a priority in many migrant-receiving jurisdictions worldwide with the growing mismatch between the ethnic backgrounds, cultures, languages, and religions of teachers and those of students and families. Arguments for diversification tend to be couched in terms of disproportionate representation and students from minority backgrounds needing positive role models, yet research identifies other compelling reasons for diversification, including the fact that teachers of migrant backgrounds often possess outstanding qualifications when multilingualism and internationally obtained education and experience are taken into account, and the fact that all students, including majority-background students, benefit from a diversity of role models in schools. Nevertheless, the process of diversification is fraught with complexity. Depending on the context, systemic discrimination, an oversupply of teachers in the profession generally, and outdated hiring policies and practices can all impede efforts to diversify the teaching force.
This volume comprises original research from Canada, the U. S., Germany, Ireland, Scotland, and England that problematizes issues of diversifying the teaching force and identifies promising practices. A foreword written by Charlene Bearhead of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation questions the very purpose of education in and for diverse societies. An introduction written by the editors defines key concepts and establishes a rationale for diversifying the teaching force in migrant-receiving contexts. Following this, key international scholars offer empirical perspectives using a range of methodologies and theories rooted in critical social science paradigms. The volume informs future research, programming, and policy development in this area.