A top education expert is speaking out about the lack of New Zealand male teachers and the negative aspects of this gender imbalance.
Massey University’s Education Vice Chancellor says it is part of the feminisation of our learning and it is bad for both boys and girls.
Just over 25% of schoolteachers in New Zealand are men and Professor James Chapman struggles to find any positives in this statistic.
“I think it’s likely to give boys in particular, but also girls a somewhat distorted view of society [and] a distorted view of what men do”
Chapman adds that males teach differently and they offer different types of learning experiences.
The Ministry of Education says gender is irrelevant to educational achievement and they have no plans for incentives to arrest the decline in numbers of male teachers.
However many parents are increasingly concerned about the lack of male influence in their childrens’ lives.
NZPTA president Tracy Hurst-Potter and mother of two says that children can lack male role models, especially those being brought up by single mothers.
Experts feel that reasons for the disparity of men may include a curriculum seen to suit female teachers better and the fear of abuse allegations which have heightened in recent times.
Principals say that are hopeful, but realistic about attracting more male teachers.
“If we could balance the staff with male and female that’d be fantastic, but we realise that’s not on the cards at this stage.” said one headmaster.