'No-one ever asked me': The invisible experiences and contribution of Australian emigrant teachers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Race Ethnicity and Education, 2013, 16 (2), pp. 268 - 290
Issue Date:
2013-03-01
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Teachers possess qualifications and experience that opens the door to professional migration. It is common when considering the diversity or otherwise of the teaching profession to treat the dominant group of teachers in terms of ethnicity as the other side of a simplistic binary. That is, the immigrant or minority background teacher versus the culturally homogenous mainstream teacher. There is little research that examines the experiences and contributions of teachers from the dominant group who have themselves been emigrant teachers. In this article the results of a nationally funded research partnership across three states in Australia examines issues that face many globally mobile teachers. These include negotiating the qualification process and the acquiring of appropriate immigration permits, their experience in classrooms, the reasons that they wanted to teach overseas and their overall evaluation of the experience. The article first looks at the methodology and characteristics of the sample before exploring the emigrant teachers experience from leaving Australia to getting to teach in classrooms abroad, and, in most cases, finally returning to Australia. These experiences are then analysed using Bourdieu's (1984) theory of reconversion to reflect on the comparative similarities and differences between minority and/or immigrant and emigrant teachers in Australia. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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