Making a Difference About Difference: The Lives and Careers of Racial Minority Immigrant Teachers


179 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-55193-006-4
DDC 371.1'008693





Edited by Dennis Thiessen, Nina Bascia, and Ivor Goodson
Reviewed by Phyllis Dalley

Phyllis Dalley is a research assistant at the University of Moncton and
a lecturer in women’s studies at Mount Allison University in New


Making a Difference About Difference consists of essays or articles,
each written by one of a team of five researchers. Drawing upon data
that were gathered through extensive interviews with racial-minority
immigrant teachers working in Ontario or British Columbia, the essays
focus on how difference (principally referring to race, ethnicity, and
cultural transition) has marked

the personal and professional lives of these teachers. The life
histories presented in the book clearly demonstrate how teachers’
experiences both inside and outside school settings influence their
professional identity. Also addressed are the links between difference
and pedagogical practices.

In the final chapters of the book, issues raised in the life
histories—the expectations placed on minority teachers in a
multicultural school context, opportunities for these teachers to effect
change, and student advocacy as an extension of teachers’ work—are
placed in the wider context of Canadian society and educational policy.
This contextualization allows for an understanding of the wider
significance of life histories.

All in all, a thorough and accessible introduction to life-history


“Making a Difference About Difference: The Lives and Careers of Racial Minority Immigrant Teachers,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,