Managing Diversity in Our Schools: negotiating the cultural differences and making a difference

Year: 1998

Author: Oliver, Kay

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Maximising the benefits of cultural diversity is a challenge to public sector agencies. This paper examines a rationale for the employment of more NESB overseas trained teachers in our schools and explores past, present and future practices in the Queensland context. Whilst maintaining the legislative brief to achieve Equal Employment Opportunity for target groups, Education Queensland's commitment has broadened to encompass the valuing and management of workplace diversity. A diverse workforce offers a range of talents and approaches, and provides greater opportunities for positive role modelling for students. But most importantly of all, a diverse workforce can maximise the influence of teachers and others who work directly with students, and result in improved learning outcomes. There is still much to be done with regard to achieving equity in the employment of teachers with non- English-speaking backgrounds. It is hoped that a roundtable discussion will canvass strategies that will further assist Education Queensland to make a difference.