While growing up and undertaking your kindergarten or elementary education, do you remember the number of male teachers that took you through lessons? Ideally, a female person most likely taught you when you started your academic journey. With this trend of fewer male teachers in elementary education, most people think it should be normal. Should learning in early childhood be female dominated?
You will agree that the current society needs more male teachers in elementary education to deal with social challenges in schools. Even with this important role, their ratio to females has continued reducing in the last two decades. For instance, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) indicates that females account for approximately 76% of all teaching positions. This survey took place in public schools from 2017 to 2018. What is more, only 11% of teachers at the elementary level are men. For that reason, mensfashionmagazine.com has compiled some of the importance and benefits of male teachers in early childhood education.
Top Reasons Why We Need More Male Teachers in Elementary Education
To act as role models and father figure
At the primary level, including elementary education, pupils spend an average of 799 hours yearly in the classroom across Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations and economies. Putting this statistic into consideration, you would agree that their behaviors depend on the people they interact with at school. In other words, guardians or parents would have a lesser impact on pupils’ way of life than teachers. So, why have females dominated early childhood education?
In the past, people promoted a social misconception that teaching young children is “female’s work.” In particular, they perceived males as assertive, sporty, and “manly” and should focus on manual work, requiring more physical input rather than emotional and social intelligence. As such, 98% of educators in early learning are women of varying ages. Most schools prefer hiring female teachers because of the presumptions that they are loving, affectionate, and kind.
However, a large percentage of female kids at the elementary level are more likely to benefit than their male counterparts due to gender biases in hiring teachers. In particular, boys must see men who are loving and caring to develop caring and affectionate virtues. Having male teachers in early childhood education would be a step toward mentoring kids to appreciate the importance of sharing responsibilities. Moreover, men would be like a “father” figure to pupils while at school.
Teach students about social interaction
How many pupils must wait until they reach middle or high school to interact with a male teacher? Could this long wait have a negative impact on students’ social life? The article, “Do we really need male teachers? Forget those old reasons, here’s new research,” by Kevin F. McGrath and others, acknowledging the claims of Australian boys in grade six that female teachers are less likely to understand them than male ones. In addition, girls wanted to have a chance to interact with men who were not family members. The basis of their claim was to develop social interaction skills. Ideally, female and male students are more likely to form positive relationships with teachers of the same gender.
Owing to these evidence-based findings, Goodstart Early learning’s center director, Adam Angwin, emphasizes the need for having both female and male teachers in elementary education. The reasons for gender diversity in this context concern seeing how girls and boys collaborate and communicate without displaying any form of gender stereotype issue.
Create respect for the profession
How do people perceive a profession with one gender, especially female? Basically, the first thing to come to people’s minds would be low pay with poor non-monetary benefits such as working conditions. Although these perceptions might not be true, female teachers tend to receive less respect, undermining their quality of life to some extent.
Increasing the number of male elementary school teachers could break down this problem. It is important to understand that pupils are most likely to gain academic knowledge and life skills when taught by respected individuals in society. However, men who want to pursue the profession of being elementary teachers are either working or in business. For that reason, they would not have time for classwork and homework. What options are available options for them if they want to join the teaching profession at the elementary level?
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Reasons for the Lack of Male Teachers in Education
Fear of false accusations of some misconduct
What do you think authority would react or do to a person accused of child abuse? You have to agree that such matters would not only raise the concerns of legal entities but also steer advocacy from activists and faith-based organizations.
For example, one of the male teachers in education in South Australia underwent a stressful two-year investigation of alleged misconduct. In particular, the school accused him of sexual abuse. After investigations, the authority proved the male teacher innocent, prompting him to quit the profession. You can understand the trauma he underwent to the extent of quitting after three decades.
With such allegations in the media, most males are reluctant to be elementary teachers.
The tendency of elementary schools to hire only female
Considering that males tend to request higher salaries than females, the management at elementary schools tends to reject application letters and testimonial papers of former applicants. In particular, when men write their CVs or resumes, their previous jobs tend to have high remunerations. For that reason, elementary schools assume that male teachers would be less motivated to teach children.
Another reason for not hiring them concerns a lack of research suggesting a positive impact of gender diversity on children’s academic performance. Ideally, teaching kids should not be about getting good grades but about nurturing their character and attitude.
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