Article

Are male teachers headed for extinction? The 50-year decline of male teachers in Australia

Authors:
  • Integrated Behavioral Health Research Institute
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Abstract

Whilst an international shortage of male teachers has received much research attention, to date, no study has tracked the trajectory of male teachers in any country. Drawing on annual workplace data, we calculated the proportion of male teachers in Australia from 1965 to 2016. We separate the data for Government and non-Government (Independent and Catholic) schools, and for primary and secondary schools. Findings indicate a strong decline in male representation in the Government sector. A similar rate of decline is observed in both primary and secondary schools. Of significance to educators, policy makers, and the public - no current Australian workforce diversity policies aim to redress this decline. This strong decline is not matched in the Catholic sector, however.

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... As a result, there have been a growing number of government incentives in countries such as the UK and Germany trying to get men into these professions (Cruickshank et al., 2018;Bullough, 2015;. Despite persistent efforts, however, key targets for male recruitment are repeatedly not being met, and in countries such as the UK and Australia, there has been a decline of men entering roles such as teaching and nursing (Cruickshank et al., 2018;McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017;Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2019;Thornton & Bricheno, 2006). Scholars argue that such incentives fail as they attempt to attract men into professions by emphasising the "masculine traits" of roles, focusing on gender stereotypes (McDowell, 2019;Didham, 2015;Spilt et al., 2012;Carrington et al., 2008Carrington et al., , 2007Lahelma, 2000;Thornton & Bricheno, 2006;Skelton, 2003). ...
... Furthermore, we have not seen men's numbers increasing in "female" occupations. In fact, some countries have even seen a decline in these numbers (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). Because of gender stereotyping, men often feel deterred from taking up "feminine" work roles, and we see this trend internationally (Buschor, Kappler, Keck Frei, & Berweger, 2014;Huppatz & Goodwin, 2013;Skelton, 2003). ...
... As statistics show, key targets for male recruitment are repeatedly not being met (Thornton & Bricheno, 2006), and in countries including the UK and Germany, we have even seen a decline of men entering into the area (Department of Education, 2016;McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). There may be a multitude of barriers that are causing this phenomenon, including the low status and low pay of female occupations, the homophobic comments men often receive when entering into such professions, the slurs of being a sexual predator, and men not wanting to work with women or under female bosses. ...
Chapter
There is a continual increase of research in the field of linguistic (im)politeness, but classroom discourse has been largely overlooked as a source of data. The present chapter addresses this gap in the research by providing an exploration of linguistic (im)politeness in classroom discourse, based on linguistic (im)politeness theory as its theoretical underpinning and Conversation Analysis as its analytical framework. It demonstrates how both male and female lower-secondary English as a foreign language teachers use stereotypically feminine negative politeness strategies in the form of pre-reproach questions to establish and maintain classroom order while simultaneously developing and protecting interpersonal relationships (in a ‘context of care’) with their pupils. This is of particular interest in the context of de-gendering professional workplaces because gendered beliefs do still appear to be an overriding variable which influences teachers’ classroom management practices. Findings raise awareness of underlying mechanisms of gender and (im)politeness in classrooms by showing how participants’ linguistic, multimodal and sequential resources function in the interaction. It is argued that the current debate on teacher gender should include not only primary but also secondary school teaching and aim at challenging gender stereotypes in order to attract more prospective teachers and guarantee best practice at all educational levels.
... In this context, and in response to the Department of Social Development's call for male involvement in the lives of children, male representation in the teaching profession is sought to provide alternate, non-violent portrayals of masculinity (Moosa & Bhana, 2017). Although we have reported a consistent decline in male teacher representation in Australia over the last 50 years (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017), it is unclear if this is also true in South Africa (see UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2017). Male teacher representation is currently greater in South African primary schools (21.54%) than in Australian primary schools (18.25%) (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017), although male teachers are nonetheless underrepresented in both countries. ...
... Although we have reported a consistent decline in male teacher representation in Australia over the last 50 years (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017), it is unclear if this is also true in South Africa (see UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2017). Male teacher representation is currently greater in South African primary schools (21.54%) than in Australian primary schools (18.25%) (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017), although male teachers are nonetheless underrepresented in both countries. ...
... Although we contest the need for male teachers to improve students' academic outcomes, or to act as role models or father figures, we maintain that male teachers are needed for psychological (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017), social (McGrath & Sinclair, 2013), and societal reasons (Bhana & Moosa, 2016). To facilitate a comprehensive analysis of these reasons, we present a theoretical framework for researching a shortage of male teachers. ...
Article
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In this article, four researchers from Australia and South Africa consider why it is important for primary schools to include both male and female teachers. The authors refute previous calls directed by public and political discourse, for male teachers to enhance boy’s educational outcomes or to act as role models or father figures. Instead, the authors present a theoretical framework that justifies calls for male teachers at four levels: the child level, the classroom level, the organizational level, and the societal level. While complex barriers may continue to limit male teacher representation, the authors hope that this interdisciplinary framework might stimulate further international scholarly discussions about the interactions between teacher-gender, education, and culture.
... Furthermore, we have not seen men's numbers increasing in 'female' occupations. In fact, some countries have even witnessed a decline in these numbers (McGrath and Van Bergen, 2017). As a consequence of gender stereotyping, men often feel deterred from taking up 'feminine' work roles and we witness this trend internationally (Buschor, Kappler, Frei and Berweger 2014;Haines, Deaux and Lofaro 2016;Huppatz and Goodwin 2013;Skelton 2003). ...
... As statistics show, key targets for male recruitment are repeatedly not being met (Thornton and Bricheno 2006) and in countries including the UK and Germany we have even seen a decline of men entering into the area (DoE 2016;McGrath and Van Bergen, 2017). There may be a multitude of barriers that are causing this phenomenon including the low status and low pay of female occupations, the homophobic comments men often receive when entering into such professions, the slurs of being a sexual predator, and men not wanting to work with women or under female bosses. ...
Article
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2 Does gender matter? A cross-national investigation of primary classroom discipline. Fewer than 15% of primary school teachers in both Germany and the UK are male. With the ongoing international debate about educational performance highlighting the widening gender achievement gap between girl and boy pupils, the demand for more male teachers has become prevalent in educational discourse. Concerns have frequently been raised about the underachievement of boys, with claims that the lack of male 'role models' in schools has an adverse effect on boys' academic motivation and engagement. Although previous research has examined 'teaching' as institutional talk, men's linguistic behaviour in the classroom remains largely ignored , especially in regards to enacting discipline. Using empirical spoken data collected from four primary school classrooms in both the UK and in Germany, this paper examines the linguistic discipline strategies of eight male and eight female teachers using Interactional Sociolinguistics to address the question, does teacher gender matter?
... Kynjahlutfall meðal grunnskólakennara er mjög ójafnt og faekkaði körlum um naestum átta prósentustig á árunum 1998-2017, samkvaemt tölum Hagstofunnar -úr 26% í taep 18% (Hagstofa Íslands, e.d.-a). Í alþjóðlegri orðraeðu er kveðið svo fast að orði að karlar í grunnskólum eigi á haettu að verða útdauða -ferlið sem felst í faekkun kennslukarlanna er kallað extinction (McGrath og Van Bergen, 2017). "Útdauða"-orðraeðan hefur sannarlega náð til Íslands því að í riti Kennarasambands Íslands birtist í desember 2015 frásögn af úttekt hagfraeðings samtakanna undir heitinu Eru karlar í kennarastétt að deyja út? ("Eru karlar", 2015). ...
... These discussions, especially on the status of male teachers, have sparked our interest in performing this study. This is also an international debate concerning the notion that male teachers might become "extinct" at primary level (e.g., McGrath and Van Bergen, 2017). ...
Article
Tilefni þessarar greinar er umræða um mögulegan kennaraskort í grunnskólum en einkum þó staða og fækkun kennslukarla í grunnskólum. Fræðilegur bakgrunnur hennar er annars vegar rannsóknir á leiðsögn við nýliða í starfi og hins vegar er sjónum beint að kennslukörlum í starfi. Sagt er frá rannsókn þar sem rætt var við fjóra nýbrautskráða karla og þeim fylgt eftir fyrstu sex mánuðina í starfi með þremur viðtölum við hvern þeirra skólaárið 2017–2018. Þeir voru spurðir hvernig hefði gengið í starfinu að loknu námi og hvort þeir hefðu upplifað einhverja þætti sem líklegt væri að tengdust því að þeir væru karlar. Meginrannsóknarspurningin var tvíþætt: Hvernig gengur nýbrautskráðum körlum á vettvangi starfsins og þurfa þeir sérhæfðan stuðning í starfinu á grundvelli kyns síns? Í greininni er gerð grein fyrir þremur þemum: Upplifun karlanna af nýjum starfsvettvangi og starfsumhverfinu þar; reynslu þeirra af leiðsögn við þá sem nýliða; og loks hvort og hvernig kyn og kyngervi birtast í frásögnum þeirra. Viðmælendur okkar töldu að sér hefði gengið vel að fóta sig í starfi og þeir voru ánægðir með leiðsögnina, þótt hún hefði ekki verið jafn formleg og mælt er með í fræðum og rannsóknum um leiðsögn. Svarið við spurningunni hvort það þurfi sérhæfðan stuðning eftir kyni er ekki einhlítt. Í svörum viðmælenda kom fram að í þremur skólanna sem þeir störfuðu hefðu verið karlaklúbbar sem þeir töldu að hefðu verið sér gagnlegir við að aðlagast skólabragnum. Höfundar telja rétt að kanna hvort kynskiptir klúbbar gagnist í því viðfangsefni að nýliðar haldist í starfinu. Mikilvægi markvissrar leiðsagnar fyrir nýliða í starfi er þó ekki kynbundið atriði heldur verður að leggja áherslu á að allir nýir kennarar, óháð kyni, fái góða leiðsögn þegar þeir stíga sín fyrstu skref í starfi. Kynjaskipt leiðsögn væri þá einungis hluti af heildstæðu og vönduðu kerfi nýliðaþjálfunar.
... Furthermore, we have not seen men's numbers increasing in "female" occupations. In fact, some countries have even seen a decline in these numbers (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). Because social class, parental education levels, and the "feminisation" of primary schooling (Brophy & Good, 1974;Buriel, 1983;Irvine, 1986;Skelton, 2003). ...
... As statistics show, key targets for male recruitment are repeatedly not being met (Thornton & Bricheno, 2006), and in countries including the UK and Germany, we have even seen a decline of men entering into the area (Department of Education, 2016;McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). There may be a multitude of barriers that are causing this phenomenon, including the low status and low pay of female occupations, the homophobic comments men often receive when entering into such professions, the slurs of being a sexual predator, and men not wanting to work with women or under female bosses. ...
... Researchers have called upon funding organizations and governments to finance research on improving labor segregation without justifying such investigations with what Lingard and Douglas (1999) and Martino and Kehler (2006) refer to as "recuperative masculinity politics." Funding must also be extended to fields beyond teaching, where the majority of HEED transformation work has been concentrated thus far (McGrath & Van Bergen 2017). ...
... Although nationally funded initiatives to improve gender segregation in HEED are rare within the academy and nonprofit industry, this does suggest that academics themselves are resistant to studying segregation in feminized work. Of course, many scholars have argued for researchers to investigate the causes and solutions to HEED disparities (see England, 2010;McGrath & Van Bergen, This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. ...
... Little consideration, however, appears to have been given to how such pursuits might play out in 'female-dominated' professions. In the Australian teaching profession, for example, recent research tracking a decline in male participation over 50 years has predicted that male school personnel (teachers and principals) may reach a nation-wide 'extinction point' in Government primary schools in the year 2054 (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). In response to this research, in 2018 the NSW Department of Education launched the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2022; the first Government education workforce diversity strategy in Australia to include both male teachers and women in leadership positions as key focus areas (NSW Department of Education, 2018). ...
Article
While the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions has been an important marker of gender inequality internationally, organisations may be unprepared for the possibility that such representation may be reversed. Focusing specifically on the education labour market in New South Wales, Australia, in this paper I examine the gender composition of school leadership positions over time. Drawing on workplace data from Government schools, I find that the representation of female primary school principals has increased from 33.8% in 1998 to 66.4% in 2018. Female secondary school principals have similarly increased from 22.0% in 1998 to 48.4% in 2018. Although an overall decline of male teachers has been observed in this context, and despite advantageous promotion rates for male staff, the data indicate that declining male participation is sharper in leadership positions than in classroom teaching positions. These findings raise important questions about organisational responses to shifting markers of gender inequality.
... For example, one columnist wrote, "I know a young male primary teacher who talks among his colleagues about how allegations of sexual misconduct have destroyed many good men's teaching careers" (Roberts 2017). In light of my recent forecast that male teachers in Australian government primary schools will reach an "extinction point" in the year 2054 (McGrath and Van Bergen 2017), better understanding of these claims is becoming increasingly important. ...
Article
I recall a time as an undergraduate student in Sydney, Australia, when I was on a night out with other university students. A bartender asked me what I was studying, and I replied “I’m becoming a primary school teacher”. Without much expression in her voice, she responded: “I can’t imagine they would let you teach the little ones. That would be a bit risky”. There was a sting in her words and I knew immediately that she was referring to my gender; I was one of only three male students in my cohort. I wondered if others might share her view. As it turned out, the “little ones”, Kindergarten and Year One, were my favorite grades to teach. That one fleeting interaction stayed with me and became the focus of my scholarly work. Ten years later, and having since left the teaching profession altogether, in this essay I return to the question: Is teaching “too risky” for men in Australia?
... The difficulties faced by socially isolated male primary teachers might be 1 reduced by these men moving to schools with other males, yet this solution is unlikely 2 to be useful for all isolated men. It would also reduce the already small numbers of men 3 in some schools to zero and move further away from the gender balance staffroom that 4 some participants, and previous literature (e.g., McGrath and Van Bergen 2017), 5 suggest is beneficial to student outcomes. In addition to these considerations, pragmatic 6 factors such as distance, family and social responsibilities, and lack of vacancies, are 7 likely to mean moving schools is very difficult for some male primary teachers. ...
Article
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Male primary teachers make up a minority of the primary teaching profession in countries such as Australia, England and the United States of America. This minority status can result in male primary teachers feeling socially isolated within their schools, and consequently choosing to leave the profession. This gender-related challenge is known, yet previous research has primarily focused on deconstructing and critically examining issues of gender in primary school contexts; rather than identifying practical coping strategies these men can use to deal with it and persist in the profession. Consequently, this research used surveys and interviews to identify and analyse the coping strategies experienced male primary teachers use to deal with their social isolation.
... OUA provides university access to students who are unable to attend on-campus classes for various reasons. Whilst 18.2% of Australian teachers are male, in our study males accounted for only 9.5% (n=116) of the sample (Cruickshank, 2017;McGrath & Bergen, 2017). There were 1101 (n=90.5%) ...
Article
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For over a decade, there has been growing concern about declining ‘standards’ of school students’ writing (Gardner, 2018; Wyatt-Smith & Jackson, 2020). Teachers’ own writing experiences and writer identities are important considerations in developing teacher preparedness and skill in the teaching of writing. It cannot be assumed that pre-service teachers entering university have the pre-requisite skills and experience to effectively teach writing. This study investigated the pre-entry writing practices of first year Primary and Early Childhood Education (ECE) BEd students at one Australian university. Findings show they most frequently wrote informal, digital texts. It is suggested a lack of experience of writing extended texts, required in the primary English curriculum, may contribute to the decline in school students’ achievement in writing, when assessed against national standard benchmarks (Gardner, 2018; Wyatt-Smith & Jackson, 2020). International studies suggest the teaching of writing has not been addressed well in initial teacher education (ITE) courses (Brindle et al., 2016; Rietdijk, Janssen, van Weijen, van den Bergh & Rijlaarsdam, 2017; Wyatt-Smith & Jackson, 2020). This study supports Wyatt-Smith and Jackson’s (2020) view that greater attention should be given to the teaching of writing in teacher education courses in order to produce the next generation of ‘teacher-writers’ capable of improving the quality of writing in primary schools.
... Only 11 % of all school teachers are male. The research conducted by McGrath and Bergen (2017) shows that there is a decline in the share of male teachers worldwide, however, the development of STEM education shows a particularly strong dependence on male teachers (Kraker-Pauw et al., 2016). It should also be noted that one more reason for decreasing numbers of male teachers is that employers are more inclined to offer administrative positions to them rather than women (Wagner, Rieger & Voorvelt, 2016). ...
Article
One of the ways to improve the quality of math and natural science education is to develop the pedagogical community of STEM education. On the one hand, according to the forecasts, an increase in the number of students and teachers is expected by an average of 20 % in both Russia and worldwide. On the other hand, there is definitely some specificity in the pedagogical community as compared with any other labor collective, since the pedagogical community develops alongside with the student one. In this perspective, the age heterogeneity of the teaching staff is of particular relevance. Consequently, the key point in the management of math and natural science education is the analysis of the age structure of STEM educators. The following subjects are taken to conduct a further analysis of STEM education: mathematics, handicraft, physics, biology, and chemistry. Accordingly, the purpose of the article is to analyze and forecast the heterogeneous development of the age structure of STEM teachers. The authors of the article justify the necessity for changes in the personnel policy on the basis of the assessment of the capacity of the teaching staff of STEM education in schools of the European part of Russia. The leading research approach is the method of the normal and natural distribution of age groups in the structure of the STEM education pedagogical community. As a result of a study conducted in 569 schools of the European part of Russia in 2016-2018, the authors of the article have found out the following: the average age of STEM school teachers in the European part of Russia is 6.8 years higher than the average age of teachers in Russia; there is a significant shortage of STEM teachers aged under 35; the average rate of the teaching load of a STEM school teacher in an academic subject is 0.72, but the load is distributed very unevenly, math teachers having the highest teaching load. The theoretical significance of the research lies in its contribution to the development of scientific ideas concerning the age heterogeneity of STEM school teachers. The research results can be used in building development trajectories of STEM education teaching staff by implementing a series of managerial and organizational measures to achieve the normal state of the age structure of teachers.
... (Pinheiro et al., 2014). An argument can also be made that this finding reflects socio-economic labour market shifts at other education levels (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017;Tani, 2019;Van Anders, 2004) which has an impact on the tertiary education sector. instance, they co-authored one article and sole-authored another. ...
Article
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This study examined published research outputs by New Zealand PhD sociology students who completed between 2013 and 2017. It contributes to an informational gap about sociology doctoral completions and publishing. We identified 44 sociology students, 29 of whom published 60 articles and book chapters, an average of 2.1 per student. These data are for the complete cohort of PhD completions, not a subset of subsequent academic career sociologists. Women comprised 63.6% of the PhD candidates and produced 73.3% of all outputs. In broad terms, one-third of candidates produced no research outputs, one-third produced one output and one-third produced two or more. Nearly half of all students produced a sole-authored output. A small group of 'super-producers' published four or more outputs. We reflect briefly on interpretations of PhD research productivity and narratives that might be applied to the data collected here, as well as noting the changing context of the western university education sector.
... At University X, the majority of Primary students are women whilst over half of Secondary mathematics education students are men. This gendered enrolment pattern has been widely reported, both in Australia and internationally (e.g., McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017;Weldon, 2015). ...
Article
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The numeracy capabilities of pre-service teachers are a recent focus in the Australian educational system. In this article, we discuss findings from an analysis of data from the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students (LANTITE), which is administered by the Australian Council for Educational Research. In our analysis, we considered numeracy test data from 20 students from one Australian university: those who achieved the 10 highest and the 10 lowest overall numeracy scores in 2016 at this university on their first attempt of the test. We found that these groups clearly have particular characteristics that were linked to their success or failure on the numeracy test. We discuss programs and resources that the university has made available for students in preparation for the LANTITE and provide additional suggestions to support such students going forward.
... Female staff perceived more supportive staff and community relationships within the school than males. In this study the majority of respondents were female (72%), which is representative of the gender ratio in Catholic and Independent schools in Australia (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). It may be within the school context, females are more supportive of other females, or show support in ways which are perceived by females as being more supportive. ...
... This fear and uncertainty could contribute to men choosing to leave the teaching profession and choosing not to become teachers in the first place (Cruickshank, 2016;Cushman, 2007;Thornton & Bricheno, 2006). Identifying coping strategies to help male teachers deal with the fear and uncertainty they experience around physical contact is a vital step in stopping their declining numbers (Cruickshank, 2019a, McGrath & van Bergen, 2017 in primary school classrooms. This decline is problematic considering calls from policy makers (e.g., Martin & Marsh, 2005), parents and school leaders (e.g., Cushman, 2008) and statutory authorities (e.g., Weldon, 2015) for a greater number of male teachers in primary schools. ...
Article
Full-text available
Young children often seek acceptance and warmth from their teachers in the form of physical contact. However, this expectation can create fear and uncertainty for male teachers who are unsure of what is, and is not, appropriate physical contact for a man to make with their young students. This paper builds on previous research by ascertaining male primary teachers’ perceptions of when it is appropriate for them to make physical contact with their students and examining the alignment of these perceptions with relevant policy guidelines. Findings suggest that policy documents may need more specific clarity about what is and is not acceptable physical contact for teachers to make with their students. The comparison of perceptions and policy can provide important insights into male primary teachers’ knowledge of appropriate physical contact and could be used to inform coping strategies to help them persist in the teaching profession.
... There was not an even spread of gender with 87% of MATH106 students surveyed being female. However, this is not surprising or interesting since there are not many male students in the Bachelor of Education degrees across Australian universities and in Australian teachers' workforce, especially for primary schools (Richardson & Watt, 2005;McGrath & Bergen, 2017). The distribution of ages of the pre-service primary teachers who responded to the survey showed that 71% of them were between seventeen and twenty years of age; 22% were between twenty-one and twenty-nine years of age and 7% were thirty years of age or older. ...
... All but one teacher was female. The poor response rate from male teachers was lower than expected as 20% of Australian primary school teachers are male (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). Most of the respondents (58.9%) were aged between 30-49 years, with 19.4% aged under 30 years. ...
Article
Extensive work has been undertaken in North America on effective practices in early childhood education, early childhood special education, and autism-specific interventions. Much of this work, however, has not been disseminated in teacher-friendly ways nor has it been translated into useable formats that support teacher uptake and incorporation into everyday classroom practice. The research presented here drew on practice literature from North America and a Design-Based Research approach to produce a Model of Practice (MoP) for Australian classroom teachers working with students on the autism spectrum in their first year of primary school. This practice model aims to support pedagogical decision making in relation to the effective and inclusive education of this student cohort. Iterative cycles of design involving generation of educational practices from the literature, content validation by experts, and social validation by classroom teachers were undertaken. These cycles were guided by MoP design principles and resulted in a prototype Early Years Model of Practice (EY-MoP) comprising 29 empirically-supported practices, which were highly endorsed by Australian teachers. The field testing of the EY-MoP should provide preliminary evidence of the applicability of this tool in Australian early years classrooms.
... Knowing how social support ties naturally occur-whether educators tend to seek out support from particular "types" of colleagues-is likely to be useful in such interventions. Further, exploring differential effects of demographic homophily for men and educators of color in particular provides insights into factors which may be of relevance for their retention, a concern among practitioners and policymakers given their under-representation in the profession (Bristol, 2019;Hussar et al., 2020;McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). The finding that educators may find expressing emotional difficulties more comfortable among those who are demographically similar, especially among those in under-represented groups, is therefore another point worth considering in the context of interventions focused on teacher emotional health. ...
Article
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School mental health practitioners and researchers are increasingly concerned about educator job-related stress and its implications for teacher burnout, teaching efficacy, turnover, and student outcomes. Educators’ collegial networks in their schools are natural resources for stress support, yet little is known about the extent to which educators seek support from their colleagues in managing their stress and whether these relationships promote their emotional wellbeing. Utilizing peer nomination and self-report data from 370 educators in 17 elementary and middle schools, we found patterns in whom educators nominated as a source of stress support. Specifically, educators more often nominated colleagues who worked in the same role, grade, and/or subject, and those similar in age and who had similar or more experience. Furthermore, men and educators of color more often nominated same-gender and same-race colleagues, respectively, whereas these trends were not observed for women or White educators. However, the prevalence of these characteristics among colleagues nominated as a source of stress support was not often significantly associated with educators’ stress and burnout. Rather, educators’ level of burnout was positively related to the burnout among those in their stress support networks. In addition, educators’ stress and burnout were positively related to the stress and burnout of their colleagues with whom they spent the most time. These findings highlight how educators’ perceptions of stress and burnout may be shared within their collegial networks and have implications for a role for colleagues in teacher stress-reduction and wellbeing-focused interventions.
... Krieg (2005) uses data from about 50,000 U.S. fourth graders in Washington and concludes that teacher gender has no impact on boys' achievement. Given that the shortage of male teachers is a common phenomenon in many developed countries (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017), scholars around the globe test whether gender matching affects students' academic performance. Consistent with the findings from Krieg (2005), studies in non-U.S. ...
Article
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Scholars have examined the effects of same-gender teachers on student achievement, but the findings are mixed. In this study, we use 7 years of administrative data from students in elementary and middle schools (i.e., Grades 3 through 8) in Indiana to test links between gender matching and student achievement. We find that female teachers are better at increasing both male and female students’ achievement than their male counterparts in elementary and middle schools. The positive effects of having female math teachers are particularly large for female students’ math achievement, but we do not find evidence for a positive gender matching effect in English language arts. In addition, contrary to popular speculation, boys do not exhibit higher academic achievement when they are assigned to male teachers. Our findings suggest that the effects of teacher gender on student learning vary by subject and gender, but the effect sizes are small.
... In the present study, our findings show that male teachers' perceptions of parents are lower than their female colleagues. We note that the number of female teachers who participated in the study exemplifies the reality of the teaching profession, where there are usually more female teachers (McGrath & Bergen, 2017). In addition, the responses confirm the general idea that parents usually feel more confident approaching female teachers. ...
Article
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Access to high-quality bilingual education is critical and has evolved in many different ways during the last decades. Given recent efforts to enhance bilingual education, it is important to examine the perceptions of the current education workforce who serve students in bilingual education programs. A hundred and sixty-four bilingual education professionals from Spain and the U.S. participated in the research. They completed a questionnaire about the effect of educational climate and policies in their own countries. Findings show that teachers from Spain rate bilingual education higher than teachers from the U.S. There are significant differences in their general perceptions and insights about resources, collaboration, students , parents and community. Being proficient in two languages seems to have a positive effect on two categories: general perceptions and perceptions about parents. Our findings also suggest that the years of teaching experience influence their responses and there is a need for more professional development in both countries.
... The male respondents were narrow in representation in this research. This kerbed number of respondents was not noted as a limitation per se, as this trend is reflective of the nature of education from early childhood to secondary (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). Further, the larger number of females represented were indicative of the overall national distribution of teaching employment. ...
Thesis
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This study explores the mentoring of preservice teachers in relation to literacy during their professional experience.
... Around the world, men are underrepresented in the elementary school teacher workforce (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). 1 The United States is not an exception-only one out of 10 elementary school teachers are male (U.S. Department of Education, 2017). ...
Article
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Parents and educators commonly assume that male teachers serve as more effective disciplinarians for boys than female teachers. Do schools tend to assign male teachers to teach boys with perceived behavioral issues? Our study uses administrative data in Indiana to investigate male teacher assignment in elementary school. We find that boys with at least one suspension record in the previous year are 12% more likely to be assigned to a male teacher than boys without suspensions, whereas girls’ suspension histories do not predict assignments to male teachers. In addition, teachers who have 10% or more of students with suspension histories are 19.5% more likely to migrate to another school and 16.2% more likely to leave the state’s teacher workforce. Our study suggests that male teachers have an elevated risk of being assigned to teach male students with suspension histories, which may contribute to teacher turnover.
... All but one teacher was female. The poor response rate from male teachers was lower than expected as 20% of Australian primary school teachers are male (McGrath & Van Bergen, 2017). Most of the respondents (58.9%) were aged between 30-49 years, with 19.4% aged under 30 years. ...
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Extensive work has been undertaken in North America on effective practices in early childhood education, early childhood special education, and autism-specific interventions. Much of this work, however, has not been disseminated in teacher-friendly ways nor has it been translated into useable formats that support teacher uptake and incorporation into everyday classroom practice. The research presented here drew on practice literature from North America and a Design-Based Research approach to produce a Model of Practice (MoP) for Australian classroom teachers working with students on the autism spectrum in their first year of primary school. This practice model aims to support pedagogical decision making in relation to the effective and inclusive education of this student cohort. Iterative cycles of design involving generation of educational practices from the literature, content validation by experts, and social validation by classroom teachers were undertaken. These cycles were guided by MoP design principles and resulted in a prototype Early Years Model of Practice (EY-MoP) comprising 29 empirically-supported practices, which were highly endorsed by Australian teachers. The field testing of the EY-MoP should provide preliminary evidence of the applicability of this tool in Australian early years classrooms.
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Our education system, including schools, bears a critical responsibility in creating enabling conditions and opportunities so that staff from diverse backgrounds enter teaching, allowing students to be exposed to varying and rich experiences and to prepare them well for the future. This chapter will examine some of the requisite skills and attributes that will be required of our students, and on some of the implicitly associated qualities demanded of our teachers. An argument for including career change teachers as part of a diverse and qualified teacher workforce are then discussed. The chapter concludes with how schools, teachers and leadership can act as agents of change in providing real and purposeful education to citizens of the global future.
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Jobs are rarely seen as gender neutral but built on gendered stereotypes as to what they involve, and the gendered characteristics assumed needed to perform them. Despite an increase in the number of women entering ‘male’ workplaces, gendered occupational stereotypes continue to endure as they are so deeply entrenched within community. Furthermore, even with frequent government initiatives, men’s numbers are not increasing in ‘female’ occupations such as teaching as these jobs persistent to be seen as only suitable for those with ‘feminine’ characteristics. Fewer than 15 percent of United Kingdom (U.K.) primary school teachers are male. De-stereotyping this work role is therefore of key importance as we need more qualified teachers in the U.K. To date, there has been relatively little research into the linguistic behaviour of men working in primary school teaching. To address this gap, this current paper focuses on men’s discursive behaviour in the occupation of teaching in an attempt to begin to de-stereotype this profession through an exploration of how the job is actually performed through language to assess whether teacher gender affects teaching strategies utilised in the classroom. This paper reports on the qualitative findings from an exploratory case study that examines male and female primary school teachers’ linguistic strategies in teacher-led class instruction. To provide empirical insights into how this work-role practice is performed, this paper focuses on the oral feedback given by the teacher to pupils to examine how they use follow-up strategies. Data collected by 12 teachers across 4 schools in Hertfordshire in the U.K. was explored using Interactional Sociolinguistics and a social constructionist perspective. Results demonstrate both female and male teachers actively constructing a context-dependent teaching identity, with their language breaking stereotypical gendered norms of speaking. The discursive behaviour of these teachers should therefore not be described as ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’, but rather labelled as the discourse of doing ‘being’ a teacher. They are using the unmarked speech styles in this environment as the work role guides, shapes and permeates their discursive choices. Arguably then, gender is not an overriding variable here in being a teacher. These findings lend support to the current on-going debate for the imperative need to de-gender how we think about language use, occupations, and the skills and characteristics one is assumed to have simply because of their gender. Men often decide against becoming a primary teacher because they think it is a female profession. We must re-interpret language use as reflecting professional identity rather than gender identity. By raising awareness of primary school teachers’ linguistic behaviour, we may start to take steps towards de-gendering the job for only then may we see more men taking up such professional occupations. This research has important implications for U.K government incentives which currently try to recruit men by stressing that they are needed for hegemonic ‘masculine’ reasons, which only serves to strengthen gender stereotypes.
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This chapter sets forth the landscape of school education and classrooms of today. It presents an overview of current issues governing the provision of teacher workforce, focusing on Australia. More specifically, it explores the problematics of the attractiveness of teaching from the viewpoint of those in other professions. In doing so, it looks into current attempts to ‘gatekeep’ the profession through establishing more rigorous entry standards, and through increased regulation and accreditation, using Australia, and the state of New South Wales, as illustrative examples. It then considers the outcomes this added rigor might have for the attractiveness of the profession, particularly in terms of attracting those who can bring their life and work experiences to teaching, and to the management of schools. The chapter examines these dynamics in the context of current and predicted teacher shortages, particularly in some geographic, socioeconomic and subject areas.
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The paper aims to evaluate and compare across a large range of countries the impact of gender diversity on the overall job satisfaction of lower-secondary education teachers. It also seeks to examine whether the effects of gender similarity are asymmetrical for men and women. The empirical evidence is based on the estimation of multilevel models that control for individual characteristics, work-related factors, and school-based variables. The results may be suggestive for policy makers and educational planners who are initiating interventions designed to promote diversity within the education system and to remasculinize the teaching profession.
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Attracting and retaining high-quality teachers to the profession is of international concern as it has far-reaching economic and social implications for all nations. In Australia, discussion of teacher workforce development has focused predominantly on attracting and recruiting quality teachers, with less attention given to the broader retention process. In this chapter, we discuss how school leaders influence new teachers and foster their professional commitment. Furthermore, we identify the micropolitical activities that school leaders consciously use to promote the engagement and retention of the early career teachers they want to keep. We also present data and analyses which reveal the dilemmas and paradoxes that school leaders encounter when they attempt to reconcile the competing demands of different stakeholders in the staffing process. We juxtapose the mostly benevolent actions of leaders with their often-unintended consequences to establish the need for ongoing critical reflection about the impact of taken-for-granted human resources processes on early career teachers.
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2020): 'Role model' or 'facilitator'? Exploring male teachers' and male trainees' perceptions of the term 'role model' in England, Gender and Education, ABSTRACT The call for more males to work with children in their formative years remains prevalent in education discourse across the globe. Assertions that these men will positively address boys' poor behaviour and underachievement, as well as serving as father figures and role models for boys, continue to fuel international policy making and shape media reporting and public opinion. This paper interrogates findings from original research which set out to explore the perceptions of white male primary school educators in England (both teaching and training) in relation to the term 'role model'. The results, drawn from a rigorous analysis of in-depth focus group interviews, highlight intriguing similarities and differences in professional thinking and suggest the need for a re-imaging of the term. The research has large-scale implications in terms of suggesting important revisions to 'more-men' policy making, for work-based professional training and development, and in informing societal discourse. ARTICLE HISTORY
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Across countries, almost all primary and pre-primary teachers are women while few men in the occupation tend to specialise in secondary schooling and administration. We investigate the decision to become a teacher versus alternative occupations for graduates in Australia over the past 15 years. We find that this gender distribution reflects relative returns in the labour market: women with bachelor qualifications receive higher returns in teaching, while similarly educated men enjoy substantially higher returns in other occupations. We also find evidence that schools which can, and do, make higher wage offers successfully attract more male teachers as well as more female teachers with a degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These results are consistent with the predictions of theoretical models of self-selection of intrinsically motivated workers.
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The gender imbalance in the teaching profession occurs worldwide and declining male representation is a cause of concern. While some studies have looked into causes to explain disproportionate male representation, the notion that females may possess higher levels of teaching dispositional traits than males has not been empirically pursued in any depth. To address this, we investigated the effect of gender on 324 first year pre-service teachers’ dispositions toward teaching. Using the Teacher Disposition Scale (TDS) (West et al., 2018) to measure teaching dispositions, a Rasch analysis (Andrich, 1988) on the data indicated females were significantly more disposed toward being effective teachers than males on the core teacher dispositional traits of teacher efficacy, and interpersonal and communication skills. These findings provide initial evidence using a rigorous psychometric approach in the understanding of the significant effect of gender on teaching dispositions.
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This chapter explores how various pressures, such as the international competitions referred to above, are leading to onerous reporting and accountability, which distract teachers from the core business of teaching, and may be sapping them of the time, energy, creativity, agency and will essential for good teaching. The chapter examines the proliferating complexity of being a learner and teacher in the twenty-first century, and at concomitant cognitive and emotional load for teachers. It also investigates other issues such as student resistance to learning, and their possible links to teacher attrition and burnout. It discusses teachers’ experiences against a framework of demands made on, and support offered to, the teacher. This chapter also introduces some of the above issues, and others affecting teachers, as a means of setting the scene for the chapters that follow in this section.
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This chapter explores current and potential developments in education that have the potential to invigorate it, and teachers, and to revolutionise the world. It examines these current trends in terms of the futures they may create or contribute to.
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This chapter outlines and sets the scene for the book. It offers an introduction to and overview of some of the pressures and policies that shape, and purportedly serve, the standing and professionalisation of teaching. The chapter also explores the possibility that some of these pressures and policies actually serve to undermine that professionalism and standing, as well as the autonomy, creativity, agency and energy of teachers. The book sets out to generate and test some theorems based on evidence and observation—my own and others’. The chapter investigates some turning points in (teacher) education, to explore how we have come to view education and educators the way we do. The chapter and the book focus particularly on circumstances in Australia, but also draw on findings and current trends internationally. This chapter and others in the first two sections hint at possible futures given current trends—a theme that will be reprised more boldly in the final section. The chapters and the book progressively draw together several threads pertinent to education and society. Arguably, this should not be the first chapter of the book. Proceed to chapter 3 first if you wish, which also sets out some historical context for where we are, educationally. Or keep going here.
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Students of color are significantly underrepresented in gifted programs relative to their White peers. Drawing on political science research suggesting that public organizations more equitably distribute policy outputs when service providers share characteristics with their client populations, we investigate whether representation of students of color in gifted programs is higher in schools with racially/ethnically diverse teachers and principals. In a nationally representative sample of elementary schools created by merging two waves of data from the Civil Rights Data Collection and the Schools and Staffing Survey, we find that schools with larger numbers of Black teachers or a Black principal have greater representation of Black students in gifted programs. We find a similar relationship for Hispanic teachers and representation of Hispanic students. Further evidence suggests that a critical mass of teachers of color is necessary for teacher race/ ethnicity to be associated with higher representation of students of color in gifted programs.
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In this article we argue that eliminating the divisions of labour between men and women could work towards counteracting gender inequality within professions. Globally women are over-represented in the teaching of young children in the early years of primary school, or Foundation Phase (FP), as it is known in South Africa. We are concerned to go beyond essentialist understandings of gender by exploring how male and female primary school teachers at five selected schools in South Africa are sometimes complicit in reproducing men as managers. Men tend to be positioned within dominant notions of masculinity which serve to reproduce masculine power in the realm of school management whilst FP teaching is characterised as ?women?s work?. Teachers of both genders are complicit in safeguarding the FP as a nurturing female domain, whilst reproducing gendered binaries and unequal relations of power. We argue that there is a need to create alternate masculinities that leave behind rigid notions of appropriate gender performances and address current social challenges such as violence, health and gender transformation in South Africa.
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Drawing on a qualitative interview-based study, this article foregrounds the perspectives of a group of male pre-service teachers at a South African university for choosing not to specialise in the teaching of young children. Male pre-service teachers in this study associate with teaching older learners in the senior phases, constructing it as more appropriate for men, with greater intellectual capacity and a higher status profession in contrast to the feminised caring roles associated with teaching young children in the Foundation Phase (FP). They disassociate with the FP of teaching, engage in oppositional and gendered discourses, claim power and construct a version of masculinity that has inequitable gendered effects. Understanding why men choose not to pursue the FP of teaching is a key issue of masculinities and power. Drawing attention to such issues becomes necessary in order to counteract positioning males and females into gender-specific roles within professions and in the context of this study, to attract more males into the largely feminised FP of teaching.
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Bureaucratic representation—the idea that a governmental organization is better situated to serve its clients when its employee composition reflects that of its client population—has received considerable scholarly attention in the study of public institutions in the fields of political science and public administration. In a wide variety of settings, this research has demonstrated important connections between the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of the public sector workforce and how different groups—particularly traditionally underserved groups—interact with street-level bureaucrats and benefit from public services. Although scholars in those fields long ago recognized that the public school system is a large bureaucracy with diverse street-level bureaucrats (teachers) and clients (students and parents) and thus began studying bureaucratic representation in the context of schools, the concept and the causal mechanisms it hypothesizes remain largely unfamiliar to education researchers. This article synthesizes the main ideas from the bureaucratic representation literature and demonstrates their applicability to schooling outcomes—including discipline, gifted assignment, special education, and student achievement—with the goal of opening up new avenues for education research into the mechanisms linking demographic similarity among educators and students to schooling outputs and outcomes.
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This article explores young people's perspectives on males and females as teachers, contrasting these with teachers' perceptions. It builds on 90 interviews of school students aged 13-14 and 60 follow-up interviews 4 years later. The first interviews were conducted in ethnographic context in two secondary schools in the mid-1990s in Helsinki, Finland. Whilst lack of male teachers is a recurrent theme in educational discussion, widely agreed among teachers, gender did not appear to be relevant when young persons talked about teachers. They appreciate teachers, irrespective of gender, who can teach and are friendly and relaxed, but who nevertheless keep order and make sure that students work. Male teachers who teach popular, non-academic subjects were often favoured by boys, but so were female teachers of academic subjects and increasingly as time went on. The interviews suggest that students do not need male teachers to act as ‘male models’. They also suggest that male teachers should be sensitive in relationships with female students. When questioned explicitly, most of the interviewees did not regard lack of male teachers as a major problem
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Background Claims that male role models can improve the behaviour and achievement of boys are familiar and persistent. However, research has not confirmed such a link; recent UK studies indicate that peers and relatives may be far more important to boys than their teachers. Given the seemingly relentless reference to male teachers as role models for boys, the lack of agreement about the concept role model, and the wide variety of role models available, it was felt useful to test whether or not children do tend to see teachers as role models, and to find out who their role models actually are.Purpose This study explored whether or not children actually see their teachers as role models. It asked children directly who their role models are, and what they regard as important attributes for a role model.Sample Four schools, in a shire county in south-east England, took part in the study. The schools were in different socio-economic areas, with different intakes of pupils and academic outcomes. A questionnaire was administered to all pupils aged 10 and 11 years present on the day in the two primary (elementary) schools, and to all pupils aged 14 and 16 years in two classes in the two secondary (high) schools. The numbers of boys (197) and girls (182) taking part were very similar, as were the numbers of children in each age group. Socio-economic status, gender and age were used for comparison of results.Design and methods Data were collected in January 2003. A questionnaire was used, comprising both quantitative and qualitative aspects. A brief explanation of the questionnaire was given together with a dictionary definition of ‘role model’—i.e. a person you respect, follow, look up to or want to be like. Structured responses were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software program and exploratory factor analysis was used to establish groups of items relating to distinct constructs about role models. Free responses were analysed with the assistance of the QSR N6 software package. All responses were coded according to the demographic information (gender, year group and school) gathered.Results Young people have a range of role models, and particular reasons for choosing them. Many look to close relatives for their role models. Only 2.4% of all pupils referred to a teacher as a role model. No statistically significant differences were found between role models identified in schools in socially advantaged and disadvantaged areas.Conclusions There was no indication that children see their teachers as role models. The majority identified loving, caring, friends and relatives from their direct social environment as role models. Despite assertions to the contrary, by government and the mass media, male teachers are not seen as role models by boys in this sample. As a policy prescription to remedy boys' so-called underachievement and laddish behaviour, the promotion of male teachers as role models is, at present, not viable.
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The teaching of young children has long been dominated by women. This global phenomenon is firmly rooted in issues relating to economic development, urbanisation, the position of women in society, cultural definitions of masculinity and the value of children and childcare. There have been expressions of concern by the media, by government ministers, and others, in a number of countries about the level of feminisation of the teaching profession. This paper focuses on this important issue. It reviews current research and critically analyses international patterns of gender variations in the teaching profession and considers why they occur. It gives particular consideration to a number of key questions that have arisen in debates on feminisation: Do boys need male teachers in order to achieve better? Do boys need male teachers as role models? Are female teachers less competent than male teachers? Does feminisation result in a reduction in the professional status of teaching?
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This paper questions the concept of feminisation which has been invoked by some commentators to explain the widely reported difficulties with boys. Its focus is upon primary schooling, and the point is made that a literature dominated by the consider ations of adolescence and secondary schooling has underestimated the degree to which younger boys are socialised into the norms of hegemonic masculinity. Attachment behaviour theory is used as the framework for analysis, and a detailed study of a primary school provides evidence for the central contention that peers, rather than teachers, are the main role models for boys. The discussion is therefore critical of the notion that an increased number of male teachers who will act as role models has any serious purchase in tackling the problems of boys' identity formation. The paper identifies a number of weaknesses in the conceptualisation of 'the problem with boys' and points out the degree to which homophobic and sexualised bullying is a largely unrecognised issue in primary schools. The conclusion is that such issues need to be tackled in the light of an understanding of the significance of peer attachments.
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Many studies have identified the classroom as an arena for the construction of gender and sexuality. Yet there has been relatively little attention to the role of teachers here, or to the deeper dynamics of teachers' constructions of gender and sexuality in the classroom. This article attempts to address these issues, examining the perpetuation of (sexist) heterosexual norms in the classroom by male teachers. Drawing on data from fieldwork in primary and secondary schools, the article examines the various ways in which men teachers use discourses of gender and sexuality to construct their masculinity. It is argued that the construction of masculinity involves drawing on misogynist and homophobic discourses, which can manifest in sexual harassment. The article reflects on the problematic aspects of heterosexual desire, and concludes with some suggestions for policy and practice.
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In this paper, we interrogate the call for more male role models within the context of boys' education debates in Australia and North America. We explicate links between failing masculinities and this call for more male teachers, arguing that the debate is driven by a "recuperative masculinity politics" committed to addressing the perceived feminization of schooling and its detrimental effect on boys' education.
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The theory of representative bureaucracy suggests that a public workforce representative of the people in terms of race, ethnicity, and sex will help ensure that the interests of all groups are considered in bureaucratic decision-making processes. The theory posits that the active representation of group interests occurs because individual bureaucrats reflect the views of those who share their demographic backgrounds. Research in the public administration literature, however, includes only a relatively small number of studies providing evidence consistent with active representation. In addition, that literature is, for the most part, composed of studies that are conducted at an organizational level, making it impossible for us to draw inferences about the behavior of individual bureaucrats without committing an ecological fallacy. Researchers in the field of criminal justice studies, on the other hand, have long tested the relationship between workforce demography and government outcomes and have done so at the individual level and in contexts that allow confidence that the outcomes observed are indeed the product of action by minority or female public servants. Those studies are reviewed, and their findings provide the first definitive evidence of a connection between the presence of diversity in the public workforce and the representation of minority interests.
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In the Netherlands only a small number of male students opt for primary school teaching and a relatively large percentage of them leave without graduating. A small-scale research project was set up to explore the question: Can gender-specific student factors be identified in relation to the initial teacher education curriculum that leads to the differences in the dropout rate? Data were collected among a group of 15 female and 15 male students from one teacher training college (or college of education). Concepts with regard to student factors are: motivation for the profession and expectations as to the curriculum. As for the initial teacher education curriculum, the focus is on the way in which the students perceive the content, the didactic approach, the organisation and the evaluation of the curriculum. In addition, data are collected about student performance. We found meaningful gender-specific differences in students’ motives for the profession and expectations as to the curriculum, and gender differences in the way students experience and assess the curriculum offered. These gender differences may explain the gender-specific performance. In order to prevent that especially male students drop out or are not educated well, it is necessary that colleges of education pay attention to the needs and desires of this relatively small group of students.
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Frequent calls for more male teachers are being made in English-speaking countries. Many of these calls are based upon the fact that the teaching profession has become (even more) 'feminized' and the presumption that this has had negative effects for the education of boys. The employment of more male teachers is sometimes suggested as a way to re-masculinize schools so they become more 'boy-friendly' and thus contribute to improving boys' school performance. The focus of this paper is on an Australian education policy document in the state of Queensland that is concerned with the attraction, recruitment and retention of male teachers in the government education system. It considers the failure of this document, as with many of the calls for more male teachers, to take into account complex matters of gender raised by feminism and the sociology of masculinities. The paper then critiques the primary argument given for the need for more male teachers: that is, that male teachers provide boys with much needed role models.
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The study investigated male primary school trainee teachers’ barriers and motivations for their profession. Six male trainee primary school teachers were interviewed and data were analysed thematically. Three themes arose relating to potential barriers; physical contact; experiencing negative outsider perceptions; and working within a female orientated environment. Three themes demonstrated that barriers could be overcome if participants perceived the profession as a constructive career; had positive experiences of working in a supportive environment; and were seen as effective role models. Primary teacher training courses should not only aim to reduce barriers but also highlight the positive aspects that enhance motivation.
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Although great emphasis is given on the quality of early childhood education, the demographics of the teaching personnel attract limited attention even though those characteristics are linked to the quality of education. The present study aims at exploring gender segregation in pre-primary and primary education in Cyprus, using the statistical lenses through which feminization can be understood. The article presents the number of male and female undergraduate students enrolled in preprimary and primary education programs. Employment data are also presented. This article sets out to discuss statistical data and literature to find out which research needs to be undertaken to ensure the inclusion of more men in pre-primary and primary education in Cyprus. Statistics highlight the need to critically examine existing literature, to conduct research with both males and females and to start the process of recruiting and supporting more males moving into pre-primary and primary education.
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Despite the vast differences between the Right and the Left over the role of education in the production of inequality one common element both sides share is a sense that education can and should do something about society, to either restore what is being lost or radically alter what is there now. The question was perhaps put most succinctly by the radical educator George Counts in 1932 when he asked "Dare the School Build a New Social Order?", challenging entire generations of educators to participate in, actually to lead, the reconstruction of society. Over 70 years later, celebrated educator, author and activist Michael Apple revisits Counts’ now iconic works, compares them to the equally powerful voices of minoritized people, and again asks the seemingly simply question of whether education truly has the power to change society.
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The overrepresentation of students from minority ethnic groups in separate special education settings has been extensively documented in North America, yet little research exists for Australian school systems. The authors of this study systematically analyzed 13 years of enrollment data from the state of New South Wales and found stark, increasing differences in patterns of enrollment between Indigenous students, students from a language background other than English (LBOTE), and non-Indigenous English-speaking students. Although enrollments of Indigenous students in separate settings increased faster across time than did enrollments of Indigenous students in mainstream, enrollments of LBOTE students in mainstream increased faster than did enrollments of LBOTE students in separate settings.
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The latest statistics on teacher gender show a continuing downward trend in the participation of male teachers across secondary, primary and early childhood education. The trend is more pronounced in the primary than in the secondary sector, while early childhood education, which has never had a significant proportion of men, seems over the past five years to be losing more than it is attracting. This paper identifies key reasons for the feminisation of teaching, focusing on the early years of education (0-8 years). The main advantages of having male teachers on the staff are presented. Teacher gender seems to matter most for children’s learning during the early years of education. It is argued that the growing gender gap here should be regarded as a problem of serious professional and political concern.
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One of the challenges facing the Early Years (EY) sector is how to encourage more male practitioners to counterbalance a largely feminised workforce. Using case studies of male trainees at different stages of their primary undergraduate Initial Teacher Training course at one university, we attempt to consider data why there is under-representation of men within the leadership strata in EY settings. Questionnaires and interviews were conducted with the male sample groups and male leaders in primary schools to gain an overview regarding gender stereotyping. Our findings suggest that male trainees enjoy working in the EY sector, but they need mentoring by strong leaders to help them overcome the perceived contextual barriers of male stereotypes in that setting. In conclusion, we consider some of these barriers of stereotypes, attitudes, values, beliefs existing and the actions needed in addressing such stereotypes if a long-lasting change is to happen.
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The call for more male primary-school teachers has long been associated with the educational needs of boys, the importance of positive male role models in schools and the disproportionate number of male and female primary-school teachers internationally. However, little is known about whether or not parents and students actually want more male primary-school teachers and if they do, the reasons they have for wanting more. This paper addresses the under-representation of parents' and students' views by drawing from a study of the perspectives of 97 parents and 184 sixth-grade students from Sydney, Australia. Surveys and semi-structured focus group interviews with boys and girls, and their mothers and fathers revealed an overall perceived social need for more male primary-school teachers. In particular, the paper indicates that male primary-school teachers are considered important for boys; a view consistent with some extant research literature that does not include the views of parents or students. The paper further indicates that parents and students see male primary-school teachers as being beneficial to girls; a matter rarely discussed in any research literature irrespective of the stakeholder group studied.
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Young boys' ‘underachievement’ and their disaffection with learning continue to dominate education agendas [Francis, B. 2006. “Stop That Sex Drive.” Times Educational Supplement 30; Peeters, J. 2007. “Including Men in Early Childhood Education: Insights from the European Experience.” NZ Research in Early Childhood Education, 10. Accessed February 4, 2013. http://stop4-7.be/files/janpeeters10.pdf; Lloyd, T. 2009. Boys’ Underachievement: What Schools Think and Do. A University of Ulster Research Project Funded by the Department of Education and Northern Ireland Office. November. Accessed January 10, 2014. http://www.socsci.ulster.ac.uk/sociology/research/y%20publications/Boys%20underachievement.pdf; Lloyd, T. 2011. Boys’ Underachievement in Schools: Literature Review. Boys Development Project. Belfast: Centre for Young Men's Studies, Ulster University. Accessed February 4, 2013. http://www.boysdevelopmentproject.org.uk/downloads/reports/Boys%20and%20underachievement%20literature%20review%20edited%20in%20pdf.pdf]. In recent years, there has been an eruption of government policy making and public discourse in England [Moran, L. 2011. Quarter of All Primary Schools Have No Male Teachers Despite More Men Entering Profession. Daily Mail, September 2. Accessed February 4, 2013. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2032970/Quarter-primary-schools-NO-male-teachers-despite-men-entering-profession.html#ixzz2JwpQjSL8; DfE (Department for Education). 2012b. Poor White Boys ‘Lagging Behind Classmates at Age Five’. The Telegraph, November 21. Accessed January 10, 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9693409/Poor-white-boys-lagging-behind-classmates-at-age-five.html; PARITY. 2013. Is Action Overdue on Boys’ Academic Underachievement? Briefing Paper, March. Accessed January 10, 2014. http://www.parity-uk.org/Briefing/BoysEducPaperRev1b.pdf] calling for more men to transform young lives by working in the 0–8 sector and acting as male role models in an attempt to narrow the ‘attainment gap’. This paper critically explores the perceived qualities/characteristics of men who seemingly serve as ‘male role models’ by reporting on select doctoral research findings which sought to investigate the ambiguities of the male role model from the perspective of men who work in the 0–8 sector. Research participants were asked to identify the qualities/characteristics that they felt ‘male role models’ should exhibit for young boys in the early years (0–8). The qualities/characteristics identified were categorised by research participants as being ‘masculine’ (e.g. diplomatic), ‘feminine’ (e.g. caring) or ‘natural’ (meaning authentic). Whilst research evidence suggests that male role models will present a diverse range of personal and professional qualities/characteristics, it is argued that these are likely to be shaped by not only the needs and circumstances of the children that the ‘male role model’ comes into contact with, but also the expectations of others, e.g. parents/carers and staff. This paper argues that there is a real tension between those qualities/characteristics of the male role model that are created as a result of their personality/individual beliefs and those which are anticipated or enforced by others.
Article
If teachers are to play a positive educative role in addressing societal gender-related issues that impact on social justice and inclusiveness, teacher education institutions have to ensure that their graduating teachers are well equipped with the necessary understandings and skills to enact this role. This research draws on interviews with men primary school teachers in New Zealand, Sweden and the UK. It investigates their remembered experiences during teacher education relating to gender discourse and whether the education they received, if any, has influenced their classroom practices. Across the three countries, the men had varying levels of recall, ranging from comprehensive gender-related education to none whatsoever. In Sweden, a governmental emphasis on gender equality in society appeared to have influenced the teachers' attitudes and practices regardless of the amount of teacher education relating to gender that they remembered. The teachers' comments suggest that those of us engaged in teacher education need to address any apparent gaps in gender studies at pre-service level. Both men and women teacher education students require comprehensive gender studies if they are to recognise and realise their potential to deconstruct traditional stereotypes and contribute to social justice and inclusiveness.
Article
Men who choose to do ‘women’s work’ and enter the female culture of the primary school can often initially face a range of stereotyped responses to their choice. Drawing on stories from a small sample of trainee and serving male teachers, we adopt the term ‘identity bruising’ to describe the ‘knock backs’ that occur to them in primary schools. How the men react to ‘bruising’ is of considerable interest, given the current concern in the UK to improve the recruitment and retention of men in primary training and teaching. An inductive and reflexive methodology is used whereby we work with the men to explore how they become aware of, understand and negotiate the problematic nature and gendered assumptions of masculinities that underpin the restrictions that they encounter.
Article
In recent years, there has been increasing academic debate concerning both the need for more male primary schoolteachers and the reasons for their minority status, numerically. Yet there has been relatively little heard from the men themselves. In this study the author used focus group discussions to investigate the views and experiences of practising male primary schoolteachers towards primary school teaching as a career. The focus questions included: the aspects which attracted them to primary school teaching; experiences which preceded their entry to teacher education; and the reaction to their choice from family and friends. The study concluded that a complex barrier of attitudes and actions would need to be addressed if the minority status of male teachers is to change.
Article
Despite documentation of shortages of male teachers and numerous efforts by school officials to recruit more male teachers [Cohen, 1992; Wood and Hoag, 1993], the percent of men teaching in American public schools [elementary and secondary] has declined during the past twenty‐five years. [NCES, 1997]. This is widely seen as a problem, especially given assumptions and research findings about the importance of positive male role models for children, particularly those from single‐female‐parent families and inner‐city boys [Holland, 1991; Griffith, 1991; McCarthy, 1995; Vroegh, 1976; Canada, 1998]. The reluctance of men to choose teaching as a career has been ascribed to low salaries, stereotypes of male and female roles, perceived lack of status of teachers, and highly publicized sex‐abuse cases [Cohen, 1992; Banas, 1992; Banas, 1993; Wood and Hoag, 1993]. Recent informal surveys indicate that enrollment of men in collegiate early childhood and elementary education programs is on the rise. This is a welcome indicator of growing interest among males in pursuing teaching as a career. Further exploration of this interest can help us understand how to recruit more men into the profession. The authors report the findings of interviews with male preservice teachers, exploring reasons for their choice of early childhood and elementary education and their attitudes toward the traditional reasons cited for male avoidance of teaching careers. Finally, they present recommendations for recruitment strategies for male teachers.
Article
Proportions, that is, relative numbers of socially and culturally different people in a group, are seen as critical in shaping interaction dinamics, and four group types are identified in the basis of varying proportional compositions. "Skewed" groups contain a large preponderance of one type (the numerical "dominants") over another (the rare "tokens"). A framework is developed for conceptualizing the processes that occur between dominants and tokens. Three perceptual phenomena are associated with tokens: visibility (tokens capture a disproportionate awareness share), polarization (differences between tokens and dominants are exaggerated), and assimilation (tokens' attributes are distorted to fit preexisting generalizations about their social type). Visibility generates performance pressures; polarization leads dominants to heighten their group boundaries; and assimilation leads to the tokens' role entrapment. Illustrations are drawn from a field study in a large industrial corporation. Concepts are exten...
Article
► This paper examines whether teacher's gender impacts student academic achievement in multiple countries using a student fixed effect model. ► The advantages of teacher–student gender matching on student academic achievement has diminished over the last two decades in the United States. ► The empirical results do not provide convincing evidence to substantiate a universal teacher–student gender matching effect across 15 OECD countries. ► The empirical results of this paper contradict the hypothesis that assignment to a same gender teacher positively affects student performance.
Article
The need for more male role models in young boys’ lives is one of the main reasons underpinning the call for more male teachers in primary schools. However, the exact responsibilities and attributes associated with the term ‘male role model’ have yet to be clearly established. The purpose of this survey of 250 New Zealand primary school principals was to investigate the views of one major group of stakeholders to determine how principals defined male role models and what they considered the specific attributes of that role. The study found that the principals favoured men who exhibit a hegemonic masculinity couched in heterosexual, rugby‐playing, ‘real men’ attributes.
Article
This paper draws on findings from a research project funded by the Scottish Executive which analysed the gender balance in teaching and explored the underlying reasons for the decline in the number and proportion of men, particularly in secondary schools. As in other developed countries, such as Australia, the USA and Canada, the proportion of men entering teaching has declined fairly rapidly over a ten‐year period. At a time when women are participating in paid work in greater numbers than ever before, their concentration in certain areas of work, particularly in the service sector and the ‘caring’ professions, is increasingly apparent. Despite the clarity of this trend, it is evident that responses from academics and policy‐makers have been very different, with some policy‐makers linking the declining proportion of men in teaching with the problem of boys’ underachievement and a perceived ‘crisis in masculinity’, whilst some feminist writers have questioned these views, drawing on recent gender theory which questions the utility of the binary categories of ‘man’ and ‘woman’, instead suggesting that gender is performed and may have little to do with the body of the person who is involved in the particular performance. Sex and gender thus become decoupled, with the focus on individual actors freely choosing the version of gender they wish to practice. This line of argument suggests that the sex of the teacher is irrelevant; what really matters is the way in which they perform gender in the classroom. Work on the gender balance in teaching therefore provides an opportunity to reflect on underlying tensions in gender theorising and policy‐making. The paper begins by considering tensions between modernist and post‐structuralist accounts of sex and gender. Having outlined the underlying theoretical tensions, it then goes on to consider the accounts given by teachers and students of the reasons for their own choice of teaching as a career, their experiences in teaching and their views of the reasons underlying the declining proportion of men in teaching. The aim is to consider whether students and teachers believe that sex is an important variable structuring their lives, including their decision to become a teacher and their experiences of working as a teacher, or whether they regard gender as something which is chosen from a wide repertoire of options and is relatively free from the constraints of embodiment. In relation to research on the gender balance in teaching, the paper concludes by suggesting that there is a need to make use of the idea of gender as performance, whilst at the same time holding on to the foundational concepts of ‘woman’ and ‘man’. This is necessary to monitor and understand the career paths and underlying power relations of women and men in teaching and to transform these over time.
Article
US demographers predict that women, people of color and ethnic minorities will represent over 50 percent of all new entrants to the US workforce by 2008. This shift in demographics plus the pressure from a growing competitive global marketplace are forcing organizations to rethink models of business success. The authors describe how organizations can ensure their readiness to effectively align business strategies with today's demographic and market realities to achieve growth, profitability, and sustainability. This study updates the literature by connecting the leadership literature with diversity research. The theory development of this study reviewed the progress made and the future prospects and potential profits for US businesses in leading today's diverse workforce. Findings from interviews and focus groups with senior executives, representing a cross section of American industries, led to best practices recommendations for capitalizing on the strategic benefits of diversity.
Article
The education profession in Germany is presented as a feminised profession. This is defined and qualified, showing what sort of schools women are employed in and why there is a difference between women's opportunities in certain school types. An analysis is presented as to why women were allowed to enter the education profession when they did, linking women's employment opportunities and national shortages. The prejudice still existing against women's professional status within the employment sector is questioned. The paper shows how the education profession in Germany has been feminised and how the feminisation of a profession affects its pay and social prestige.
Article
A number of organizations across sectors have begun efforts toward managing workforce diversity. At the federal level in the United States, almost 90 percent of agencies report that they are actively managing diversity. However, very little empirical research has tied diversity management to work group performance or other work-related outcomes. This paper uses a survey of U.S. federal employees to test the relationships between diversity management, job satisfaction, and work group performance. The findings indicate that diversity management is strongly linked to both work group performance and job satisfaction, and that people of color see benefits from diversity management above and beyond those experienced by white employees.
Article
Girls outperform boys in school. We investigate whether the gender performance gap can be attributed to the fact that the teacher profession is female dominated, that is, is there a causal effect on student outcomes from having a same-sex teacher? Using data on upper-secondary school students and their teachers from the municipality of Stockholm, Sweden, we find that the gender performance differential is larger in subjects where the share of female teachers is higher. We argue, however, that this effect can not be interpreted as causal, mainly due to teacher selection into different subjects and non-random student-teacher matching. Exploring the fact that teacher turnover and student mobility give rise to variation in teacher's gender within student and subject, we estimate the effect on student outcomes of changing to a teacher of the same sex. We find no strong support for our initial hypothesis that a same-sex teacher improves student outcomes.
Article
Incl. bibl., abstract In South Africa, the centrality of gender-based violence in the spread of HIV/AIDS has led to many educational efforts to address it. The particular social values that male teachers hold around gender-based violence have been less examined. By focusing on African male teachers' understandings of gender-based violence, this paper highlights the complex and contested processes through which meaning of violence is made. We argue that without addressing the specific teacher realities the interrogation of unequal gender relations might be inhibited in South African schools.
Article
This paper focuses on the Australian federal Parliamentary Inquiry into Boys' Education, Boys: Getting it Right, which is shown to be an exemplary instance of recuperative masculinity politics. The paper demonstrates how, through a variety of rhetorical strategies, its anti-feminist politics are masked and how the report works with essentialised differences between boys and girls. The argument is demonstrated through a focus on a number of the report's recommendations, including the call for a recasting of current gender policy, the need for creating so-called 'boy-friendly' curricula, assessment and pedagogical practices, and for employment of more male teachers. The report draws on populist literature and submissions from the boys' lobby, as well as practiceoriented submissions to the neglect of theoretically oriented and (pro-)feminist work. As such, the significance of the construction of masculinities to boys' attachment to and performances in school is totally neglected, limiting the value of the report's recommendations for improving schooling for both boys and girls.
Article
The boys’ debate internationally is being fuelled by a range of texts on boys and masculinity. Many of the most popular texts are situated firmly within a backlash politics. These politics suggest that boys are the new ‘victims’ of schooling and that the girls’ agenda in schooling is a completed one. This paper will challenge the arguments contained within a number of the most recent of these ‘backlash blockbusters’. The paper will argue that, rather than boys being placed on the educational agenda in the status of victims, the ways in which dominant forms of masculinities and the harms they cause many girls and some boys need to be addressed.
Article
Situated within a pro-feminist perspective, this paper analyses the backlash against specific policies for girls in Australian schooling. It contextualizes this backlash by considering the effects of globalization, masculinity politics of various types and media representations of a 'gender war'. Feminist responses to this situation are also considered, as well as what 'success' in schooling is taken to mean. These responses to the current policy moment stretch from those who underplay to those who overplay the success of girls in schooling. The latter stance, however, differs substantially from that of recuperative masculinists in that this feminist response recognizes the career disadvantages and the burden of the double shift of paid and domestic work still experienced by many women. The paper then analyses two political interventions in the debate: a research report to the federal government and a House of Representatives' Inquiry into the Education of Boys. Finally, the paper suggests some possible ays ahead for new gender equity policies in education with specific reference to considerations of socialcl ass, difference and the achievement of a more gender equal society. These considerations are set against the current restructuring of educationalsystems, schools and policy approaches: the move from a policy active state to arguably a need for policy active schools working towards a re-articulated conception of gender equity.
Article
The contribution of cognitive perspectives (cognitive-developmental theory and gender schema theory) to a contemporary understanding of gender development is evaluated. Recent critiques of cognitive approaches are discussed and empirical evidence is presented to counter these critiques. Because of the centrality of early gender development to the cognitive perspective, the latest research is reviewed on how infants and toddlers discriminate the sexes and learn the attributes correlated with sex. The essence of cognitive approaches--emphasis on motivational consequences of gender concepts; the active, self-initiated view of development; and focus on developmental patterns-is highlighted and contrasted with social-cognitive views. The value of cognitive theories to the field is illustrated, and recommendations are made concerning how to construct comprehensive, integrative perspectives of gender development.
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