Migrant Teachers: A Case Study

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This research uses a rights-based approach to interpret the global and local implications of increased teacher migration by: 1) surveying the literature regarding the linkages between uneven teacher distribution and the recruitment of "overseas trained teachers"(OTTs); 2) illustrating international experiences and initiatives that seek to address the status and treatment of OTTs with special attention to the organizations, structures and processes that determine these initiatives within a context of increased privatization of public services; 3) using case study methodology to describe and analyze the complexities of teacher migration by focusing on their perceptions of pedagogy, migration expectations and local union relationship experienced by a population of Philippine OTTs in an urban U.S. district known for high teacher turnover, and 4) using critical perspectives to problematize the purported "shortage area" reasons given for international teacher recruitment and propose alternatives. The research illuminates currents gaps in the literature and shows that while there are both push and pull factors that contribute to the increase in migration, and there are also new actors emerging to capitalize on the portability of teaching credentials. One such actor is recruiting agencies that seek to place overseas trained teachers in schools suffering high turnover and shortage. The research also considers initiatives for addressing exploitation of migrant teachers and the usefulness of national or international protocols that purport to balance individual rights to migrate against national needs for development and realizing the right to education for its people.