[MenTeach] E-News - February 2012

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Thu Feb 28 17:01:19 CST 2013


MenTeach E-News
February 2012

1) Most male teachers confident working with children
2) China: Lack of Male Teachers Detrimental to Kids' Development
3) Men in female-dominated jobs
4) Same-Sex Education: Do Male Students Need a Male Teacher?
5) Study: Anxious times for male teachers in primary
6) New student organization supports current and future male educators
7) Pizza and Networking in New Hampshire
8) Dreams for Manitoba men in early education
9) Hiring should favour male, minority teachers: Toronto school board
10) World Forum - Men in Early Childhood Education Report

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1) Most male teachers confident working with children
The early years workforce is still skewed dramatically towards women as a result of deeply ingrained gender stereotypes combined with fears that men will be falsely labelled as paedophiles, it is claimed.

Research by Nottingham Trent and Bedfordshire universities found that most male teachers were confident working with children aged seven or under and insisted gender was "not an issue".

But the study suggested that a "number of consistent stereotypes and barriers" stopped many men entering the profession in the first place.

The conclusions follow the publication of figures showing that around a quarter of primary schools in England - 4,500 - are staffed entirely by women. Read the article and comments: http://www.menteach.org/node/2116

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2) China: Lack of Male Teachers Detrimental to Kids' Development
Scholars, heads of kindergartens and representatives from education departments concluded that the lack of male kindergarten teachers in China could be detrimental to the balanced development of children. The conclusion was made at an education seminar held in Hangzhou, capital city of eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on June 21, 2012. Read the full story: http://www.menteach.org/node/2118

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3) Men in female-dominated jobs
I work at a before- and after-school facility in an elementary school, where I help supervise kids. I'm definitely outnumbered. Counting myself, we have five men out of a total of around 25 to 30 employees.

When people stop by, they'll often give a blanket greeting -- "Hi ladies, how are you doing?" It used to bug me, but now I just realize it comes with the territory.

I'm 25 now, but I started when I was 18. It was meant to be just a college job. As I progressed through college, though, I saw my friends doing jobs that weren't necessarily great, like working in department stores. I enjoyed doing something meaningful, and being a role model for kids. Read the article: http://www.menteach.org/node/2120

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4) Same-Sex Education: Do Male Students Need a Male Teacher?
In last week's blog, I discussed my predominantly male class--a group of kids whose behavior I'd had tremendous difficulty managing last semester while team-teaching with a female special-education teacher. Now, with a male special-education teacher, the students' behavior was suddenly much improved. I considered that something Christina Hoff Sommers had suggested in her article--that boys needed more male teachers--might deserve some credence, despite the fact that I don't inherently like the idea: I believe that boys should be able to be educated by teachers of either gender, as long as that teacher is attuned to their learning needs. Read the editorial: http://www.menteach.org/node/2122

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5) Study: Anxious times for male teachers in primary
Study reveals men's role is plagued by insecurities and contradictory perceptions.

Male primary teachers are always in demand - but could that be for the wrong reasons? A research project has cast doubt on common assumptions about this rare breed: that their mere presence can improve behaviour; that boys desperately need them; and that they are somehow lacking if they do not race up the career ladder.

The University of Strathclyde study also reveals some of the anxieties that bubble beneath the surface for men in primaries; some well recognised, others more surprising. They range from nervousness about public perceptions that male child abusers gravitate to schools, to discomfiture at being "mothered" by female colleagues.

Masculinities in Primary Teaching in Scotland: Investigating Experiences of Male Primary Teachers is led by Geri Smyth, who has been intrigued by this topic since the mid-1990s when she became concerned about the number of male student primary teachers who did not complete their training. Read the entire article and comments: http://www.menteach.org/node/2124

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6) New student organization supports current and future male educators
Albeit whimsical, it would be accurate to say that a chance red light in Grand Junction, Colorado, 16 years ago lead to the creation of one of Illinois State's newest registered student organizations (RSO).

As the traffic stopped, a nearby building's sign advertising a pilot elementary certification program caught the eye of one of the drivers. The 25-old construction worker, who was on his way home after getting snowed out on a job site, seized the opportunity to turn into the parking lot and learn more about the program.

Today, Illinois State faculty, staff, and students know that man as Rolly Schendel, assistant professor of elementary education and reading in the College of Education. This happenstance brought him into a new career where he has become an elementary-level teacher and teacher educator. Read about the new organization: http://www.menteach.org/node/2127


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7) Pizza and Networking in New Hampshire
MenTeach - Upper Valley will be hosting a pizza and networking night for male early childhood educators. Check out the flier: http://www.menteach.org/node/2129

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8) Hiring should favour male, minority teachers: Toronto school board
A Toronto District School Board memo to staff that included gender and race among qualifications that could win a candidate an interview for a teaching position has outraged some female teachers.

The memo, which was received by principals and teachers and obtained by The Globe and Mail, says that the qualities that could get a candidate an interview include being male or from a racial minority.

"The first round of TDSB interviews will be granted to teachers candidates that meet one or more of the following criteria in addition to being an outstanding teacher: Male, racial minority, French, Music, Aboriginal," the memo reads. Read the entire report: http://www.menteach.org/node/2132


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9) Dreams for Manitoba men in early education
I found it interesting that one of Canada's largest cities has taken on an initiative because of concerns that 80% of their teachers are female.  See attached article.  Yet is continues to be difficult to convince ECE Educators, Provincial Governments, or Employers in Centres to consider any significant initiative when the number of women in our ECE programs in Canada is still at 96-97%.

Some of my dreams for the future would be... Read Ron Blatz's dreams: http://www.menteach.org/node/2131


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10) World Forum - Men in Early Childhood Education Report
A major challenge for the early childhood profession worldwide is to increase the number of men working in programs serving young children. The Working Forum (WF) on Men in Early Care and Education continues to provide a global meeting place for individuals with expertise and experiences on the topic of male involvement in ECE.  WF MECE leadership team members actively promote these efforts.  Below is a small sample of the Leadership Team's latest efforts since meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii for the 2011 World Forum on Early Care and Education. Read the rest of the report and find out more about the World Forum: http://www.menteach.org/node/2134

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