Our Classrooms Must Reflect Our Diverse Society; Recent Census Figures Highlighted How Ethnically Diverse Our Society Has Become. Here Angela Jardine, Chairwoman of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW), Calls for the Same Multi-Ethnic Mix in the Teaching Profession

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 14, 2013 | Go to article overview

Our Classrooms Must Reflect Our Diverse Society; Recent Census Figures Highlighted How Ethnically Diverse Our Society Has Become. Here Angela Jardine, Chairwoman of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW), Calls for the Same Multi-Ethnic Mix in the Teaching Profession


THE release of the latest national population statistics reminded us that we live in an increasingly diverse society; particularly those of us in the cities and larger towns.

Unlike our parents and grandparents, who lived mainly within homogenous communities, adults and children today expect to regularly have contact with people from many different ethnic origins.

The changing profile of the population is already reflected in the racial mix of many occupations; for example the medical profession, the financial world and the police. Strangely though, this trend hasn't yet reached the staffrooms of schools in Wales.

The most up-to-date figures from the GTCW register show that, from a total of 38,000 or so registered teachers in Wales, only 126 were from Asian backgrounds and only 46 were black.

Overall, less than half of 1% of registered teachers in Wales are from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, black African or Afro-Caribbean backgrounds.

By contrast the census shows that around 3% of the Welsh population as a whole are from these origins.

That points to a significant under-representation of these groups in the current teaching workforce. More worryingly, GTCW figures on new entrants to the profession show that the gap is not narrowing.

All of this is ironic, given that the schools themselves have embraced cultural diversity with enthusiasm. I know from my own work in a Cardiff inner city primary school with an ethnically diverse pupil population that we celebrate this diversity through our lessons and activities so that the children can develop a healthy and well-informed view of the world. So why does it matter that people from ethnic minorities in Wales don't enter teaching in any significant numbers, and what can we do about it? Arguably it matters more in teaching than in any other profession, given that we are the ones who, along with parents, provide the lead and role model for the next generation.

It's important from the perspective of all pupils that the adults standing in front of them in the classroom reflect the society in which they are growing up. Statistics suggest that the vast majority of Welsh pupils attend schools where there are no black or Asian teachers at all. That includes my own school.

During these formative years children of all races and backgrounds should be forging positive relationships with, and developing positive attitudes towards, adults from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Not only does that prepare them for the society in which they will be future citizens but it can also bring valuable additional dimensions to their educational experience and ultimately contribute to better community cohesion.

I believe it also gives indigenous Welsh children a deeper appreciation of their own culture.

Also, given that children can admire and often seek to emulate their teachers, it's important that youngsters from minority ethnic backgrounds encounter teachers who come from the same background as themselves. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Our Classrooms Must Reflect Our Diverse Society; Recent Census Figures Highlighted How Ethnically Diverse Our Society Has Become. Here Angela Jardine, Chairwoman of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW), Calls for the Same Multi-Ethnic Mix in the Teaching Profession
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.