Inclusivity

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grdwdgrrrl
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:26 pm

Inclusivity

Post by grdwdgrrrl »

Something I’ve been thinking about recently. I have a friend from Africa, who’s a British citizen, who’s school has terminated her contract saying that they don’t have student numbers to keep her. She works for a big organisation but they haven’t helped her to find another position in their wide network. However, they have done it for at least one other teacher I know of who’s offer was rescinded but was immediately offered a job at another location. I don’t know if it’s racially motivated e.g. she’s more expendable because she’s black. This organisation’s CEO has recently made an announcement to say they are putting together a working . to look into diversity in their organisation.
So, what are your thoughts on international schools, diversity and inclusiveness in their curricula, admin and teaching staff?

admin
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:11 pm

Re: Inclusivity

Post by admin »

You'll find this recent ISR Discussion Board of interest

https://internationalschoolsreviewdiscu ... al-racism/

PsyGuy
Posts: 9590
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

**This is going to be a popular thread, contributors and members will state things you disagree with and may cause an emotional reaction**

International education (IE) is white education. Thats really it, thats how things are, and thats how they are probably going to continue being.

First, You cant fix racism in a market where the customer (parent) has free choice. Unlike regulated DE where you can force change, its because you have a government paying the bills. Think of it like ice cream, if you have a government run ice-cream shop that provides one flavor, like it or not, you can not vote with your pocketbook or your feet. The government can keep it in business as long as they subsidize the cost. You as citizens can effect change by steering the will of the government, but as long as the government pays the bills it can stay open and in business with not nary a single customer. That doesnt work in IE where ISs are funded in most part by the generation of tuition/fees. In such a market the IS as a business has to compete with other businesses for those costumers (parents) and they have identified that colonial white education is what they want. If your privately owned ice cream shop wants to stay in business you can not force customers to pay only for the ice cream that you think they should have. If they want vanilla and you only sell chocolate or are only willing to sell them vanilla they will go elsewhere.
I often hear that ISs should be agents of change, that sounds nice, its very educational, but change does not pay the bills and very few if any ISs can weather the time of being that agent as they can only be that agent as long as they have funding. What is an IS to do? If they then hire 50/50 white and minority staff and a lot of parents pull their kids, the IS goes away. Parents can and will get what they want, and if they cant find it they will band together and start their own IS to give them what they want.

Second, people are racist, very racist, and they are very okay with that and their culture promotes it. This is very prevalent in Asia and the ME. Labeling them racist doesnt make them feel bad, it doesnt promote guilt or shame in them. They dont care what some other cultural group thinks they care what their host national culture thinks. Even now in this day and time in 2020 there are cultures that have very alive and real caste systems or cultural hierarchy that are akin to slavery, where people are relativity free to degrade or beat what they would consider domestic help, and its not really against the law. These parents are the customers but they may also be ownership. There are owners that use their IS as a bragging chip, a piece of status, and much like an automobile there are prestige brands and then everything else. If the society values one thing, you compete along those values, because thats what a lot of people miss, inclusivity isnt a shared global, universal value. Diversity is not a leadership issue its an ownership issue, and leaders who dont tow the line dont get to be leaders for very long. Even in ISs that have a board, there are typically a majority number of locals, such as parents on those boards who actually run things. Ive heard boards flat out say they dont want minorities on the faculty.

Third, there is a lot of privilege in IE that wants to maintain its privilege, because privilege make things better for them, and giving up that privilege doesnt have an upside, not in IE. The Im black I can teach X just as well as someone who is white, Im just as equally qualified, is the same argument in revere, Im white I can teach just as well and am just as qualified as someone who is black why should I step aside or lose out on a job because of some affirmative action policy. Thats a hard sell in IE, thats a hard sell in western culture at all, your making an ask that essentially amounts to a sacrifice without a purpose except making someone else (who you have no relationship with) life better. Thats like donating a kidney except your not dead yet, its one thing if the person your donating too is a loved one, its a very different issue to do so for a stranger.

Fourth, is relevance and apathy. Until this issue and the events in the US came up, a lot of people I know identified as "not racist". They werent members of the Klan, they didnt use racial slurs or jokes, they were happy to count black people among their friends but its like homelessness. They dont like homelessness, they would like to see it resolved, they vote for issues that would better the state of homelessness, they donate money to homeless relief, BUT they arent going to pick up a hammer and build houses. They arent going to do the work and even more so they arent going to give up their own home to the homeless. Homelessness isnt their issue, it doesnt effect them, and addressing it has the potential to make their lives harder without a benefit, because building house is work, and why do that work to make your own life harder.

Fifth, People are tribal, they identify with like members of their tribe. Many of those people I know when now asked if they are racist or anti racist just kind of shrug and change the subject, they would rather be racist then anti-racist. If a group is in the teacher break room and talking among themselves and something racial comes up, and the group is smirking they arent going to call them out on it (anti-racist), they arent going to participate either (racist), but if you lump the non-racists with the racists, well then thats what they are, because thy arent going to say anything about it, just like they arent going to build the houses.

Heliotrope
Posts: 776
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Inclusivity

Post by Heliotrope »

Some of what PsyGuy says might be true for some school and it might even be true for all schools, but it's definitely not true for all schools.
My current school hires regardless of skin color, religion of sexual orientation, and that results in a more diverse faculty.
The parents that might have a problem with that just suck it up, because our school has the best results, and even if parents care about the skin color of the teachers (and I'm sure some would prefer an all-white faculty), what they want more is to give their kids the best shot of getting into that Ivy League university and it's widely know that our school is the best school to get that done.
The result is a long wait list, and recruiters that don't care about an applicant's skin color but are only looking for teachers that will further strengthen the school.
Also, some of those parents that initially cared about the IT's skin color might feel (at least slightly) different if that non-white IT gets improves their child's results in Maths.
We don't have to accept that there is racism and go along with it, although I realize that's easier said from the perspective of a tier 1 school than of a for-profit tier 3 school.

Illiane_Blues
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Response

Post by Illiane_Blues »

> Many of those people I know when now asked if they are racist or anti
> racist just kind of shrug and change the subject, they would rather be
> racist then anti-racist. If a group is in the teacher break room and
> talking among themselves and something racial comes up, and the group is
> smirking they arent going to call them out on it (anti-racist), they arent
> going to participate either (racist), but if you lump the non-racists with
> the racists, well then thats what they are, because thy arent going to say
> anything about it, just like they arent going to build the houses.

If I ask anyone I know –friends, family and colleagues– if they are racist or anti-racist, 100% of them will say they are anti-racist.
If in my teacher break room someone makes a racist joke then a lot of people will call them on it.
But then again our school sponsors a house building charity where teachers and students go and actually build houses.

shadowjack
Posts: 1944
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Inclusivity

Post by shadowjack »

There are schools out there that are more colorblind. You just have to find them.

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