The Urban Review

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 175–192 | Cite as

Diversifying the Teaching Force: An Examination of Major Arguments

  • Ana María VillegasEmail author
  • Jacqueline Jordan Irvine


Over the past two decades, the short supply of teachers of color in elementary and secondary public schools has drawn the attention of policymakers and educators alike. To address the widening cultural chasm between teachers and their students, a variety of initiatives that aim to recruit people of color into teaching have been launched. Little attention has been paid, however, to articulating a research-based rationale for increasing the diversity in the ranks of teachers. This gap in the professional literature renders ongoing teacher diversity efforts vulnerable given the emphasis placed these days on research-based evidence in making decisions regarding the proper use of limited public resources, including funding for education. The purpose of this article is to address the noted gap in the literature. From an extensive review of the literature, we identified three major arguments for diversifying the teaching force and assessed the extent to which they are validated by empirical research. The results are reported, and implications of the findings for research and practice are discussed.


Teacher diversity Rationale Research evidence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana María Villegas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacqueline Jordan Irvine
    • 2
  1. 1.Montclair State UniversityMontclairUSA
  2. 2.Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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