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Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby platingirl » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:00 am

This topic came about while discussing with other peers teachers as well as friends .. hopefully we can discuss this openly.

International Schools teach about diversity and respect for other cultures and background but when it comes to hiring international teachers, the schools only prefer to hire white Americans or white British/ European teachers, even though there are teachers of others culture and skin color that has good or better teaching qualifications and experience?

Is that not the same as being racist ? Why do some schools actually say one thing but do another?
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby muguet » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:37 am

Based on my own experience at an international school, I would have to say the answer (although not at all a legitimate one) is parents.

I've seen many international school parents be unapologetically racist, so when their children do racist things at school, they really don't care. They are paying the tuition fees that run the school, and they want to see white faces as teachers, so administrators, whether consciously or not, hire white faces and don't push it when it comes to overt racism on campus. I have found this to be one of the saddest realities about working abroad.
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Response

Postby PsyGuy » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:40 pm

Fully concur with @muguet, and will add that its also ownership.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby platingirl » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:25 pm

Thanks @muguet and @PsyGuy.

This is a very sad case of international schools not practicing what is preaches.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby wrldtrvlr123 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:22 am

Pretty much all of this ^. In my experience, there seems to be an inverse correlation between percentage of local/host nation students and culturally/ethnically diverse faculty. I have heard the excuse that the schools (and parents) prefer native English speakers with US or British accents. There is some validity to this, but it often seems a thin smokescreen for more narrow minded beliefs and feelings.

"Better:, bigger, more established int'l schools either have a smaller percentage of host nation students/parents and/or seem to feel that they can more readily practice what they preach and the parents who do not like it can just take their money elsewhere. IMHO.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby Thames Pirate » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:59 am

The "white guy in a tie" effect: Schools in places like China and the ME, particularly in schools with lots of host nation students, want people who look the part of "native English speaker" that they think will get them into top unis in the US/Western Europe. Since that picture has, due to racism and demographics in the US and WE, historically been white people, that is what parents want to see. It's ironic since English is a native or primary language in MANY non-white countries and non-whites make up a growing percentage of both the US and WE; there are probably as many non-white than white speakers of English as a native language. But the picture people have in their heads is of a white guy, and that is what those schools want on their websites and in their brochures. The white teacher kids in the photos make the school look more international than it might be as well.

On the flip side, many top schools in Europe try to make their schools appear less white by ensuring any website photos are as racially mixed as possible; I have actually been asked to submit photos of students of colour as the school did not have enough on its website. Students of colour were overrepresented on the website compared to the actual school demographics. Those schools hired somewhat more equitably, but likely still had their subconscious biases.

So is it racism? Yes. Is it everywhere? Far too often, but it is probably more common and certainly more overt in the lower tiers, where for-profit ownership is less interested in diversity and where the picture of the white guy in a tie appeals to host nationals. At the higher tiers you will find more of the subconscious bias that is hopefully less of an impediment and also hopefully on its way out. At the lower tiers, you have to find the exceptions.

I can't imagine how frustrating this reality is for teachers of colour, and perhaps a thread on the paid site where these issues can be discussed is not a bad idea. On the unpaid site information on racism in cities is probably not a bad idea.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby sid » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:06 pm

There is another side. I’m quite willing to hire any qualified candidate, and I feel it is my responsibility to let people know what challenges they’ll face, as best I can. These vary by individual and country/school of course. If homosexual activity is illegal in my country, and you’re gay, we need to chat about those challenges. Then it’s your decision whether to take those on or choose a different position. If parents are prejudiced against people with certain skin colors or nationalities, we need to discuss the challenges, and then you decide. I also offer up our plan for supporting you, but I do not have a magic wand to turn racists around or change the country’s laws.
I’ve seen some people choose to come and do what they can to impact hearts and minds, and others choose a different path.
I’m not speaking of any specific country either. I’ve worked in six countries so far and each had its unique prejudices.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby fine dude » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:38 pm

"If parents are prejudiced against people with certain skin colors or nationalities, we need to discuss the challenges, and then you decide."
I can imagine, Thailand, S.Korea, and the middle east. Had friends who worked there and they said the prejudice was brutal.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby mathman85 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:02 pm

Five years ago interviewed with a HoS, promised a couple of things during the interview and the moment I landed at school, pretends as if he never mentioned those. Irony is he has a doctorate in education.
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Inquiry

Postby PsyGuy » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:15 pm

@mathman85

How is that ironic? Doctorates dont provide or serve as gatekeepers for integrity or character.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby shadowjack » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:00 pm

At a school with lots of people from many places in the world. Skin color is no barrier. Sexual orientation might be, if public...
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby Thames Pirate » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:17 pm

shadowjack wrote:
> At a school with lots of people from many places in the world. Skin color
> is no barrier. Sexual orientation might be, if public...

This is true if the school is truly internationally minded. It is not true if the school is international in name only or values diversity in theory but not in practice. Thankfully I am at the former.
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby shadowjack » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:32 pm

My school is the former too - thank goodness!
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby MartElla » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:17 am

There are some countries where it is wise to keep your sexuality to yourself. Especially in those were non-heterosexual liaisons are illegal. That's true in over a third of the world's countries.

So, it might not be anything to do with the school being "internationally minded" or not. It depends where the school is and if it is best to keep your cards close to your chest or not. Not everywhere is like in the liberal parts of the west...
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Re: Why intl schools promote diversity but do the opposite

Postby SparkleMotion » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:48 am

Thames Pirate wrote:
> shadowjack wrote:
> > At a school with lots of people from many places in the world. Skin color
> > is no barrier. Sexual orientation might be, if public...
>
> This is true if the school is truly internationally minded. It is not true if the
> school is international in name only or values diversity in theory but not in
> practice. Thankfully I am at the former.

Oh man. I had asked this of some other ITs and the general consensus was that race wasn’t a real issue at the decent schools. This thread has me a little spooked.

One of my Chinese students once told me they recognized my husband. She said he built the buildings in Shanghai.

Years ago he considered traveling with me and teaching at a language school (he will be a Math teacher when we leave this time). Schools didn’t hesitate to tell him he was a dark Asian or that they weren’t interested in “Asian-faced” Americans.

I knew we’d deal with race issues in language schools (white guy in a tie as others said) but I really thought it would be a non-factor in this international school search. I’m actually not white either but people tend to think I am. My husband and I are both American (born here, grew up here, American accents) but we are not white Americans and neither are our kids, obviously. My husband (being Filipino American) compounds the problem because I know some schools / parents see Filipino teachers as second rate to “native speakers”. My husband is a native speaker (doesn’t speak a word of Tagalog) but parents may not understand that without an explanation.

I read some posts that noted schools may be more keen to take couples with white children to add more international students to their student body. Hopefully there are enough schools that do not ascribe to these attitudes for us to find a good school. Our kids definitely look Asian. One more hurdle to overcome I suppose.
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