Push for greater diversity among teachers in Ontario

November 22, 2011

This year, Ontario's education ministry told school boards to make equity a focus in hiring. The director of education for the Peel District School Board, where community members recently held a protest to demand more South Asian teachers, says he knows the board needs more diversity among teachers, and that it's a priority in a region where a third of individuals are South Asian and about 57% are visible minorities. Education faculties say they work hard to recruit more diverse students, but it's difficult to find them jobs when the labour market is stalled, notes the dean of York University's faculty of education, where approximately one-third of students identify themselves as visible minorities. Yet it's critical to have diversity among teachers, says the dean of the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where 30% of students are visible minorities. "Students and teachers often are able to relate more completely if they have some background experience in common." Toronto Star