Diversity within the teaching profession in Europe
The European Commission has just published its Study on the Diversity within the Teaching Profession with Particular Focus on Migrant and/or Minority Background.
Increased diversity within the teaching profession is a possible response to the learning needs of an increasingly multicultural population. Specifically, the study identifies and analyses the statistical data on diversity currently existing within the teaching profession while also examining the prevalence of different barriers to diversity among educators. It also describes the policies and initiatives that have been implemented and measures their effectiveness.
After the analysis, different recommendations are made, which are grouped into different areas:
Recommendations for policy makers/practitioners in Member States:
- Teacher diversity initiatives should provide support to people of migrant/minority origin at all stages of the teaching process.
- To increase the rate of change, more specific policies and initiatives focusing on teacher diversity should be implemented.
- There are different approaches and mechanisms (such as raising awareness, developing incentives, mentoring, etc.) that can and should be used to promote teacher diversity.
- The policies and initiatives for teacher diversity should distinguish between the specific needs of the following: migrants inside and outside the EU, first and second generation migrants, as well as different minorities.
- Policies and initiatives with respect to teacher diversity must be more closely monitored and assessed in order to facilitate ongoing improvements and learn lessons for future policies.
- Teachers of migrant or minority origin should not be automatically given the role of intercultural mediators in schools.
- Increasing teacher diversity is not the only way to help schools deal with greater diversity in the classroom.
Recommendations for EU stakeholders
- EU stakeholders have an important role to play as regards increasing awareness of the potential benefits of teacher diversity.
- The European Commission should encourage Member States to include relevant policies and initiatives on teacher diversity in their national education strategies.
- The European Commission should provide specific funds to support the development and implementation of policies and measures to increase teacher diversity and the initiatives implemented.
- The European Commission has a key role in supporting labour mobility within the EU. In this regard, it should aim to facilitate the recognition of teaching qualifications between Member States and from third countries.