Ran across this posting on Facebook and of course I had to check it out!
This is something I'm always interested in reading up on simply because this is the position I'm in. You can click on the link below to read more.
More men in the early childhood education sector would not only bring
a range of benefits for children, but could improve staff dynamics and
encourage fathers to become more involved with their child’s education, a
new survey shows.
A more diverse workforce, with men represented as well as women, is
seen as being necessary to expand the quality of early childhood
education for children and bring different viewpoints and ways of
working to the ECE profession and the sector.
The size of the early childhood sector and its workforce has grown exponentially over the past decade and early childhood teaching has become professionalised with more qualified early childhood staff than ever before, but no significant increase in male representation has occurred. Despite being a country that internationally is recognised as being at the forefront of gender equality, there have been no sustained initiatives to address the gender imbalance in the ECE sector.
A survey was done and these are some of the results...
The aim of the survey was to determine whether those in the sector wanted to see more men in the workplace and what benefits or disadvantages it could bring. The results show that the majority would like to see more men in ECE. Not only was it believed that more men in the sector would bring a range of benefits for children, but it could also lift the overall quality of teaching by introducing gender diversity, improve staff dynamics and encourage fathers to become more involved with their child’s education.
A more diverse workforce, with men represented as well as women, is seen as being necessary to expand the quality of early childhood education for children and bring different viewpoints and ways of working to the ECE profession and the sector. However, the results also reveal some worries expressed by a minority of respondents about how increasing the number of male teachers may impact on job security and the sector as a whole. Some expressed concern that there may be fewer employment opportunities for women, that men might get special treatment or be given better jobs, and that men, who had not proven themselves to be capable of basic care-giving, might be employed as teachers.
The majority of respondents would like to see government play an active role, in some way. The survey results present a clear message to the government that it needs to assist to help create change. Many respondents felt the lack of men in ECE was a social issue that needed to be recognised as some other gender inequalities have such as the need for more women in Parliament or in professions such as law and medicine.
The results show that people in the ECE sector and teacher education welcome men and see there is a need for men to be involved in working alongside female teachers. A commitment to gender equality in early childhood education public policy, teacher recruitment and workplace practices would bring a new dimension to quality in early childhood education.
The question was asked, "Would Having More Men Make a Difference and How?"
A small minority of respondents feared a change for one or more reasons, mostly it would seem, because they are comfortable with the current gender bias and worry that the involvement of men could be negative for women. For example:
- Could make it worse for female teachers. Male teachers might demand higher wages which would be unfair on the female teachers even though they might be on the same level of qualifications and experience (Teacher-Led Centre Service)
- It could create potential difficulties in leadership as males tend to dominate leadership in all other education sectors (Teacher Educator)
- Exposure to a broader range of thinking / ways of being is always good for learning. We don't want the field to be overtaken by male dominated thinking, however, as women have worked long and hard to be heard and have influence in our society (Teacher Educator)
Just found this study interesting!
Males in Early Childhood Education
One of the major issues that needs to be overcome is the stereotype of men working in ECE. I'm not going to go into all of them but, many of them involve the belief that men working with young children have ulterior motives. While this isn't a rationale stereotype it does exist.ReplyDelete
The public school system has somewhat created this issue. Informing male teachers to never be alone with female students and be cautious about how they behave with their students. Shouldn't this be a rule for every teacher. This has turned many men away from the teaching profession.
Men working with infants and toddlers would have to overcome this stereotype to be effective teachers. Many parents would be uncomfortable with a man changing the diapers of their children. Its unfortunate that this is an issue and I believe if more men were working in the field it would benefit everyone. Little boys would see that as men they can have a positive impact on young children. That might just carry over to when they are fathers. More loving caring men in the world. Seems like something we should all be working towards.
I do understand the things that you pointed out and they are things that I have to think about every day in my work with children...just so disappointing because it's not always the men that could have ulterior motives! Thankfully I work in a center that does not really have those sterotypes. Thank you for your comment!!Delete