Introduction to the CJEAP Special Issue on Educational Policy and Internationally Educated Teachers MOVING FROM THE PERSONAL TO THE POLITICAL IN IET SCHOLARSHIP

  • Clea Schmidt


This special issue of the Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy has as its main objective situating immigrant or internationally educated teacher (IET) research within the domain of educational policy. The rationale for doing so stems from the fact that much of the IET research to date has focused primarily on the perspectives of immigrant teachers. While such work contributes important insights about the lived experiences of some of the many immigrant professionals who navigate certification requirements and attempt to resume their careers in Canada and elsewhere, it seems unlikely that significant changes will occur to facilitate the integration of IETs in education systems until the scholarship speaks more deliberately to the interests of education and immigration policymakers.

Authors in this issue explore a variety of IET-related themes pertaining to certification (Cho; Kelly & Cui), teacher education (Chassels; Faez), workplace issues (Pollock), and employment and ethnocultural equity policies (Schmidt & Block), drawing on a variety of methodologies including oral history, narrative, and policy analysis. While the research is predominantly situated in various regions of Canada, including Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, a relevant international perspective is offered through research findings from Iceland (Ragnarsdottir), demonstrating that the challenges of IET integration are echoed in immigrant– receiving contexts internationally. Findings from these studies/analyses underscore the need to recruit and support a more diverse teaching force than currently exists in many newcomer- receiving school systems and to challenge the discriminatory policies and practices that keep IETs out of the teaching profession or underemployed within it. It is the hope that by focusing attention here on current empirical and conceptual debates surrounding educational policy and IETs, more meaningful connections can be established between IETs’ lived experiences and contemporary educational agendas, such as the need to better serve culturally and linguistically diverse student populations in K-12 schools.