Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Stephen Chris

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The purpose of this study was threefold. (i) to elucidate student perspectives on multicultural anti racist education, (ii) to compare these perspectives with those held by people responsible for implementing such initiatives, namely teachers and school board personnel assigned to race and ethnocultural equity issues and (iii) to generate recommendations for the effective implementation of race and ethnocultural equity policies in schools based on the synthesis of these perspectives. I conducted this study in one secondary school community in order to identify important links between board level race and ethnocultural policy initiatives and potential implementation strategies for secondary schools. A student survey, five focus group interviews and a key informant interview were used to gather input from students, teachers and the school board consultant responsible for promoting race and ethnocultural equity. The results from this research indicate that the challenge of effectiveness can be met by implementing race and ethnocultural equity policies that are grounded in the perceptions and ideas of stakeholders within the school community. Research findings indicate that both student and teacher participants identified an ideal framework of anti-racist multicultural education which requires ideological, behavioral and system supports. When compared with student conceptualizations of the ideal, W.C.I. appears to have an existing internal framework which supports multiculturalism. However, the internal framework supporting anti-racist objectives appears to be more tenuous. Cultural diversity within the hidden curriculum (school experiences not defined by formal coursework) was identified as an outstanding feature at this school. A weakness in this framework arose from the general absence of cultural diversity present in the curriculum (courses). Anti-racist multicultural education at W.C.l. was largely attributed to the efforts of a small, voluntary group of students and teachers. Flaws in the anti-racist framework include weak policy and individual responses to racist incidents, an unresponsive curriculum and apathy of teachers and students towards race and ethnocultural equity. Student participants from racial and minority backgrounds were particularly sensitive to these issues. Students and teachers made several suggestions for mobilizing the Waterloo County Board of Education’s Race and Ethnocultural Equity policy in secondary schools. Suggestions for change revolved around building a climate of school support and implementing effective curriculum changes. I have synthesized suggestions in the form of recommendations.

Convocation Year


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