Black people in Canada are just as educated as the rest of the country overall but new census data by Statistics Canada is shedding light on how cultural barriers may be driving differences in education levels between different generations in Black communities.
A closer look at the data on racialized groups released Jan. 18 shows there are significant differences in the education levels among working-aged Black people who have recently entered the country, and those who are third-generation Canadians or more.
The data showed Canada’s Black population was just as likely to have achieved a bachelor’s degree or higher from a university – whether in Canada or abroad. While the national average sits at 32.9 per cent, for Canada’s Black community, it is at 32.4 per cent.
Professor Carl James, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora at York University’s Faculty of Education noted the cultural barriers preventing some Black students from attending university.
While financial issues are present, he also said familial support for education, as well as teacher encouragement, makes a difference for students during their K-to-12 education.
“If you have these ideas about the students you’re teaching, that will influence how you think and how you work with the students,” Carl James said, pointing at teacher bias and how that could impact their commitment to students who they think don’t have a shot of attending university.
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