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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Schools need more male teachers, mentors, role models

More boys are growing up without fathers, and fewer men are becoming teachers, writes Richard V. Reeves, president of the American Institute for Boys and Men, on Education Next.


Men make up 20 percent of elementary and middle school teachers, 43 percent of high school teachers, he writes. The numbers are declining.


"Girls outperform boys in K-8. In high school, "boys get worse grades, have more behavioral issues, and are less likely to graduate on time than girls," he writes. They make up only one-third of the top 10 percent of high school students. If they graduate, "boys are less likely to enroll in college and less likely to complete their degree."


It's not clear that having a "matching" teacher improves academic outcomes, Reeves concedes. Some "studies find no strong relationship between teacher gender" and academic outcomes, while others suggests that it matters, with black boys benefitting the most.

Education researcher Thomas Dee estimates that the gender gap in middle school English performance would decrease by about a third if half of English teachers were men. Another study found that the gender gap in school math performance halved in 9th-grade classes that were taught by a man

Male teachers also can be mentors and role models of healthy masculinity. They can persuade boys that school isn't just for girls.


Initiatives to attract and retain more male teachers of color include a residency program in Dallas, the NYC Men Teach program and the Call me MISTER program in South Carolina, Reeves writes. But it will take more to reverse the downward trend in male teachers.

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17 Comments


rob
Mar 06

Well, I don't know whether this sort of thing prevents men from becoming teachers or not, but I do know that, if I were a teacher, I would never allow myself to be alone with a student of either gender.

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PikeBishop65
PikeBishop65
Mar 07
Replying to

We were even told when I student taught in the mid 90s. "Door open all the time, regardless of gender when alone with any student."

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lady_lessa
Mar 06

I'm inclined to agree with superdestroyer, that elementary teaching men are likely to be vulnerable to accusations of abuse. The easy solution, same as I was taught before I taught Catholic kids our faith, is never alone with a child. I would also have that enforced on the women as well.


Besides that, teaching must be made more attractive to men, more money, administrative back up, ability to discipline their classes, etc.

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buy
Mar 06
Replying to

Yes, but that doesn't negate there being a problem. Even if the problem is just apocryphal, the rumor of it will keep good men away.


>> Why the downward trend in male teaching? According to Bryan Nelson, founder of MenTeach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recruiting male teachers, research suggests three key reasons for the shortage of male teachers: low status and pay, the perception that teaching is "women's work," and the fear of accusation of child abuse.


>> Many men once in the profession say they quit because of worries that innocuous contact with students could be misconstrued, reports the NEA. <<


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-so-few-male-teachers_b_87562


And, is it apocryphal?


>> According to a new study out of Ontario, Canada, 13 percent…


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JK Brown
JK Brown
Mar 05

Or they could do something most ed school graduates would hate, open shop classes. This could be a way to get men on campus, but also to help the girls develop mechanical skills which is predictive of those girls going into applied-STEM majors and jobs


In the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979 Cohort, males show a higher interest in STEM coursework and better STEM skills by 10th grade, primarily in mechanical skills, leading to wider skill disparities. Simulation results show that mechanical skills are more important than math skills in explaining women’s low participation in applied-STEM fields and have contrasting effects on college enrollment and the selection of applied-STEM majors and occupations. Closing gender skill gaps upon exiting…

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PikeBishop65
PikeBishop65
Mar 05

Twenty years ago my ex showed me the yearbook of a school in one of suburban Houston's "Not so Good" districts. Her elementary did not have a single male on the staff, not even a PE Coach. She told me that her principal was outright, to just short of an EEOC complaint, that she did not hire men. I told her. "Great! What a great thing for those poor black and Hispanic boys without Dads that the only male they see every day is the custodian! Super awesome policy!

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superdestroyer
Mar 05

Why would anyone want to take a job when a Moms for Liberty group will start calling one a groomer? The legal risk is too high for men to be teaching in elementary school.

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PikeBishop65
PikeBishop65
Mar 08
Replying to

Joanne is anything but a "teacher hater." I have been following her blog for most of my teaching career, over 20 years.

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