Discrimination in International School Education

Rotary Club of Beijing meets

On 11 May 2021 Lucas Roberts gave us a talk on “Perceptions of Discrimination in International School Education and Rotary International’s Drive for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”.
Location: Morel’s Restaurant and Café.
I had to do magic as the restaurant was overbooked and we had 21 attendants for our 18 seats. We managed…

Lucas aka Luke was also officially inducted as our new member of the Club.
Members and guests enjoyed the food, drinks and dessert!

Luke’s talk

Luke is currently the Head of Primary at Tsinghua University High School International (Chaoyang). Since coming to China to work as a Humanities teacher with a liberal arts major background in 2009, Luke has served as Vice-Principal and Principal in four international and bilingual schools and amidst all those positions, has also acquired a master’s degree in educational administration. Luke also serves on international school accreditation /inspection committees around Asia. Having witnessed the hiring practices first-hand, Luke wanted to share the research findings from his doctor’s dissertation, still in progress, on discrimination in international schools. Additionally, he wanted to highlight Rotary International’s drive on DEI and how this drive amplified the phenomenon of discrimination.

Luke started the talk by sharing the origin of his dissertation and the current lack of research on gender and racism in international education. There has been a growing awareness of racism and diversity within international education in recent years as part of the response to Black Lives Matter.  For his dissertation, Luke investigated the experiences of racially and ethnically diverse international educators who experience discrimination (e.g., racism, native-speakerism) in recruiting, hiring, and promotion opportunities, thus limiting their professional path in international education.

Luke was careful not to take positions in his research but to show the phenomena of discrimination, so as not to compromise the findings of his research. He did, however, share his own experience of fighting for his recruiting for qualifications over skin color in his work. Lastly, Luke showed how his research dovetailed with Rotary International’s statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which showed the value RI places on building community across cultures and ideas.

(As reported by Piper)

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