This book examines both the promise and complexity of diversifying today's teaching profession. Drawing from a 5-year study of 21 new teachers of colour working in urban, hard-to-staff schools, this book uncovers a systemic paradox that the teachers confront. They are committed to improving educational opportunities for students of colour by acting as role models, culturally/linguistically responsive teachers, and change agents. The teaching profession encouraged such commitments and some teachers acted with support from individual, organizational, and community-based sponsors. However, many of these new teachers work in schools that are culturally subtractive and have restrictive accountability policies that challenge their ability to perform cultural/professional roles to which they are committed. Many teachers internalize the contradiction, resulting in their becoming changed agents within the educational system they sought to change. This book on educational diversity is essential reading for educators, leaders, and policymakers.
Betty Achinstein is a researcher at the Center for Educational Research in the Interest of Underserved Students (CERIUS). Her recent books include: Mentors in the Making: Developing New Leaders for New Teachers and Community, Diversity, and Conflict Among Schoolteachers: The Ties that Blind. Rodney T. Ogawa is Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Educational Research in the Interest of Underserved Students (CERIUS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz.