The Teacher Gender-Gap
posted by: Larisa | June 05, 2012, 02:27 PM   

So why are male teachers still few-and-far-between in the United States?  According to expert analysis, the most readily apparent answer is that sexism and status deter men from entering the teaching field.

Girls have increasingly been encouraged to engage in typically male-dominated fields, like math and science in recent years, but boys have been given almost no incentive to engage in female-dominated professions, like education.  As pointed out by Robert M. Cappuozzo, an early childhood education professor at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, “We don’t give boys the same opportunities that we give girls.”  Because of this discrepancy, boys might be disinclined to consider a career in teaching.

There’s also a disappointing stigma attached to male teachers who teach the earlier grades.  According to Jeffrey M. Daitsman, a researcher at the Center for Practitioner Researcher at National-Louis University, male teachers responsible for younger students are accused of being “not masculine.”  The stereotype encourages the thinking that, because male teachers are supposed to be disciplinarians, male teachers are “not masculine” for wanting to teach younger children who are not often heavily disciplined.

In addition to sexism, men are often deterred from teaching because of the pay associated with being an educator.  Many men feel the traditional pressure of being the “breadwinner,” and teaching is not known for being a lucrative profession.  Bryan G. Nelson, the head of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit, MenTeach, says, “If we started paying elementary teachers $150,000 a year, we’d see a massive influx of male teachers.”

Further, as the call for education reform grows louder, teaching is proving to a very challenging profession. From the stress of implementing new policies, to the continued pressure of competition and accountability, teaching is not a job for the faint of heart.

Teachers, why do you think about the widening of the gender-gap among teachers?  Why aren’t there more male teachers?  What should be done to remedy this problem?
  Comment below.

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