Bias-Free or Biased Hiring? Racialized Teachers’ Perspectives on Educational Hiring Practices in Ontario
Keywords:Racialization, bias-free hiring, teacher diversity gap, colour-blind racism
This paper argues that while Ontario has witnessed an onslaught of equity and inclusion educational policies aimed at diversifying teacher demographics via “bias-free” hiring practices, teachers across the province do not equitably reflect the identities and demographics of the student population. We the authors refer to this as the teacher diversity gap which refers to the discrepancy in the proportion of racialized teachers to racialized students (Hrabowski & Sanders, 2014; Turner, 2015). Through a literature review and responses of 10 educators interviewed, this article critiques the dominant narrative associated with the benefits of “bias free” hiring practices embedded in equity and inclusive policies (James & Turner, 2017; Ryan 2009) arguing that the teacher workforce has remained predominantly white and not adapting in terms of representation with the increasingly minoritized student population. The authors further argue that bias-free hiring is a prime example of colour-blind racism (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; Zemblyas, 2003) claiming to select candidates based on their individual merit and ability, simultaneously dismissing discussions about systemic racism and other barriers embedded within existing educational policies and practices.
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