Internationally-Trained Professionals and their Integration into Labour force in a Minority Francophone Context in Ontario: The Case of Teachers from Sub-Saharan Africa

This study aims at 1) to better understand the reality of work integration of French-speaking Africans in a minority context in Canada; and 2) to know more about their experience in French schools in Ontario. Faced with issues such as obtaining a job, these professionals design different strategies, therefore I asked myself the following questions: First, how do professionals from Sub-Saharan Africa, trained abroad in another sector than education, experience their re-orientation toward the teaching profession once hired in the French-language school system in Ontario? Second, from their various past social and professional experiences, how do these teachers perceive themselves once they moved to another profession? Third, can this new experience be considered as a potential reconstruction of their professional identity in their migration journey? Lastly, to what extend their participation in their community of practice links them to a career in teaching? This strategy seems attractive considering the teacher shortage in French schools in Ontario. The current research is based on two main theories: integration in the perspective of professional socialization and the construction of social and professional identities (Dubar, 1991 cited in Trottier, 2001, p 9), and the community of practice (Wenger, 2005). In order to fully capture the way social identities are reproduced and change, one must understand by which socialization mechanism they are constituted and rebuilt. To do this, I analyzed the diverse migration journeys that brought these individuals to a professional integration in education. I also looked at the way they built their professional identities as a product of, at the same time, a unique and a collective history. I did this in three different communities of practice. This study gave me the opportunity to understand the diverse trajectories of immigrants’ professional integration as well as the strategies used.

Yollande Dweme M. Pitta
Degree: Doctor of Education/EdD
Status: Completed (2022)
Supervisor: Diane Farmer
Department and University: Department of Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto