According to statistics published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) the feminization of the early years in education appears to be a worldwide trend. Based on 2003 statistics published in Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 2005 (Paris: OECD, 2005; ISBN 9264011919; www.oecd.org), the percentage of female teachers in different grade levels in 25 OECD member countries (the more industrialized countries of the world) is as follows:
Pre-Primary = 96%
Primary = 80%
Lower Secondary = 65%
Upper Secondary = 52%
Clearly, male participation in pre-primary and primary education is a challenge worldwide. The range of participation by female teachers at the pre-primary level varies from 99.9% in Slovak Republic, 99.7% in Czeck Republic, and 99.5% in Italy to 90.6% in Ireland, 87.7% in Spain, and 80.6% in France.
At the World Forum on Early Care and Education, which took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, individuals interested in increasing male participation in the early years of education gathered to discuss strategies for change as well as to plan a Working Forum on Men in Early Childhood Education which will take place in Hawaii in mid-2008. For details on the work of this group, on how you might participate, and on the upcoming Working Forum, check in on the World Forum web site.