Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Do Visible Minority Students of Chinese and South Asian Ancestry Want Teaching as a Career?: Perceptions of Some Secondary School Students in Vancouver, B.C

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

Do Visible Minority Students of Chinese and South Asian Ancestry Want Teaching as a Career?: Perceptions of Some Secondary School Students in Vancouver, B.C

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT/RESUME

While education, training and employment are prominent concerns in Canada, scant attention has been paid to the educational attainments, career aspirations and employment of minority Canadian secondary school students. The present study builds on previous research examining career aspirations of the two most populous minority groups in British Columbia, with particular attention to teaching: Canadian students of Chinese ancestry and of South Asian ancestry (Beynon, Toohey and Kishor, 1992; Beynon and Toohey, 1995). This study, based on questionnaires administered to 1,595 Grade 10 students in Vancouver, B.C., examines how some secondary school students are thinking and making decisions about their future careers. Analysis of the questionnaire responses revealed that structural barriers and cultural influences affect the perceptions of teaching careers held by secondary school students of Chinese and South Asian ancestry. Structural barriers are exemplified by a lack of relevant work experience and contacts an d by concerns about English language fluency. Cultural influences include parents' views about the desirability of teaching as a career. Increasing participation in teaching careers for these individuals appears to require increased support for English language instruction and for multicultural and anti-racist curriculum. Current British Columbia Ministry of Education initiatives to provide work experience for all senior secondary students are considered.

Tandis que l'educaton, Ia formation et l'emploi sont des preoccupations de premiere importance au Canada, peu d'attention est pretee au niveau d'instruction, aux aspirations professionnelles et a l'emploi des etudiants des minorites des ecoles secondaires canadiennes. La presente etude repose sur des travaux de recherche precedents qui ont examine les aspirations professionnelles des deux groupes minoritaires les plus populeux en Colombie-Britannique, avec une attention toute particuliere sur l'enseignement: Etudiants canadiens d'origine ancestrale chinoise et sud-asiatique (Beynon, Toohey and Kishor 1992; Beynon and Toohey, 1995). Fondee sur des questionnaires distribues 1 595 etudiants de [10.sup.e] annee Vancouver (C.-B.), cette etude examine comment les etudiants du secondaire pensent et prennent des decisions concernant leurs futures carrieres. L'analyse des reponses au questionnaire a revele que les barrieres structurelles et les influences culturelles influencent la maniere dont les etudiants du second aire d'origine ancestrale chinoise et sud-asiatique percoivent les carrieres dans l'enseignement. Les barrieres structurelles sont illustrees par un manque d'experience professionnelle et de relations pertinentes et des inquietudes concernant la capacite linguistique en anglais. Les influences culturelles comprennent les opinions des parents relativement au bien-fonde de l'enseignement en tant que carriere. Pour ces personnes, la participation grandissante aux carrieres dans l'enseignement semble exiger de plus en plus d'aide pour 1'enseignement de l'anglais et les programmes d'etudes multiculturels et antiracistes. Les initiatives actuelles du ministere de l'Education de la Colombie-Britannique dans le but de procurer une experience professionnelle aux etudiants du secondaire sont en cours d'etude.

The education, training, and future employment of Canadian youth are prominent concerns in Canada (Anisef and Axelrod, 1993; Canadian Teachers' Federation, 1990; Posterski and Bibby, 1988; Saunders, 1995). In British Columbia the highly publicized Ministry of Education Skills Now program is designed to deal with these issues (Balcom, 1995; British Columbia Ministry of Education, 1995; Crawley, 1995). Although specific questions concerning the interests and circumstances of young women, for example, have been raised with regard to secondary school academic and career preparation (Baker, 1985), more attention to the educational attainment, career aspirations, and employment of minority Canadian secondary school students is required. …

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