Why is there a lack of male teachers in our classrooms?

Did you know that only one in five teachers at foundation level in South Africa are men?

The gender ratio is even more obviously globally, with males accounting for just 2%-3% of teaching staff in early childhood education.

A lack of male teachers for young children has become the focus of a growing body of research both locally and internationally.

Deevia Bhana is a researcher from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

The lack of men in the foundation phase, and in pre-school, remains quite compelling.

Deevia Bhana, Researcher - University of KwaZulu-Natal

So what's behind the low numbers?

It's clearly related to the constructions of masculinities and what men think, and not just men, of what is men's work and what is women's work.

Deevia Bhana, Researcher - University of KwaZulu-Natal

Bhana says there is also an element of suspicion towards men who want to work in early childhood education.

The question is: What are your intentions if you want to teach a six-year-old or a four-year-old? You may be a paedophile, you may have ulterior motives.

Deevia Bhana, Researcher - University of KwaZulu-Natal

Bhana says the answer doesn't simply lie in hiring more men to teach.

We are looking for men AND women, who subscribe to values and positive outcomes that will impact on a child's life... individuals who subscribe to values based on gender equality.

Deevia Bhana, Researcher - University of KwaZulu-Natal

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why is there a lack of male teachers in our classrooms?


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