The Daily Telegraph – Louise Roberts   9/20/17

PREDICTION that male teachers will be extinct in Australian primary schools in 50 years sounds like the type of sci-fi plot line that belongs to some unwatchable dirge about robots conquering humans.

But when you consider the zeal of anti-men critics in this country and their myopic mission to dismantle masculinity, it makes perfect sense that we have skidded to this juncture.

Forty years ago, in 1977’s heyday of Her Majesty visiting our shores and Elvis dying, men made up 28.5 per cent of primary school teachers.

This week, the first national study of teacher numbers revealed that has dropped to 18 per cent.

In secondary schools meanwhile, it has slumped from 53.9 to 40 per cent.

Macquarie University’s Kevin McGrath, who led the study, referenced a national trend which he says no state or federal government is doing anything to fix. It’s shameful to see it there in black and white.

We know that a $10 billion increase in government school spending over the past decade has not improved the performance of Australian students. Compared to their international peers, our kids continue to fall further behind.

And our male teachers? Not cherished as they deserve to be.

I mean, it’s not as though it’s crucial to care about the welfare of boys and men.

At some point in our society, we have let our backbone snap and allowed the “What if?” brigade to run amok like an arsonist with a can of petrol.

The cretinous cowards push an agenda that there is something wrong with men who like kids and want to have a career nurturing and teaching them to be well-rounded individuals, gender handcuffs not required.

These are the same fools who think men in childcare are a threat and have to be kept busy with sports or something blokey, lest they become idle and pounce on a vulnerable kid.

Granted, the male teacher numbers indicate a slow decline, but it is steady and McGrath calculates that by 2067, male teachers will be stuffed like the Tasmanian tiger and worthy of a museum exhibit.

National strategies need to be put in place to keep male teachers, like St Cuthbert’s Lachlan Marsh, in our schools. (Pic: Sam Rosewarne)

 

Inadequate pay, undeniably a crime given their job of influencing the next generation, is an issue but McGrath says the key culprit is the perception that teaching is not a masculine profession.

And an even distribution of men and women enrolling in teaching degrees at university skews terribly when it comes to securing an interview and jobs.

“Men are more likely to try and pursue the things that fit those masculine traits and teaching is seen as women’s work,” McGrath said.

“The more that continues, the fewer men there are and the fewer men we see to challenge those perceptions.”

Listen to that silence. Where are the professional feminists calling out the “outrageous discrimination” and quotas they love to drone on about? What was that about decrying the patriarchy of men?

In essence, how much harder and crucifying do you think we can make it to be a man in modern society?

My kids have male teachers, adore them and cannot imagine a school life where all the staff are female. Or as my friend’s son said: “‘No offence mum, but there are some things guys just get.”

McGrath’s insight is timely given a week ago we were treated to images of coiffured wannabe A-lister Julia Gillard clinging to superstar singer Rihanna’s coat tails as the pair “hung out” in NYC and workshopped how to fix the global education crisis.

Former PM Gillard chairs the Global Partnership for Education. Three years ago it was given $140 million in taxpayer funds. Australia’s pledge from 2015-18 will bring total support for the project to $460 million.

Hmm, where do you think that cash could be better spent?

If Gillard wants to go back to school, how about tackling crises closer to home like disenfranchised male staff and NAPLAN confusion?

Ah, but there’s no swish private jets and diamond balls in that lot. It makes me wonder however, if any politician should be allowed near education.

McGrath’s study also mirrors PhD research released last month by Vaughan Cruickshank at the University of Tasmania.

University of Tasmania researcher Vaughan Cruickshank’s recent PhD study looked at strategies that may help male teachers remain in primary schools.

He wrote: “The biggest challenges male primary school teachers face are uncertainty about physical contact with students and an increased workload due to expectations to take on masculine roles.”

Compounding this, he said, was “social isolation caused by difficulties in developing positive professional relationships with colleagues”.

On a micro level, this meant setting up their classrooms to minimise incidental physical contact — even down to how the desks were laid out — and never being one-on-one with students.

“Many indicated they were happy to give an upset child a hug. However, they were fearful of other people perceiving the contact as inappropriate and making a career-ending accusation,” Cruickshank said.

I know a young male primary teacher who talks among his colleagues about how allegations of sexual misconduct have destroyed many good men’s teaching careers.

And even if they are exonerated, the public community court of appeal has likely already passed a harsh sentence which wrecks their life anyway.

While I am not a fan of gender quotas, we need to support men who want to teach and boost the number of permanent teaching positions.

When my friend’s eyes shine with pride about some of the kids he teaches, I am so grateful he has not been poisoned by the PC militia.

Men absent from classrooms can leave many fatherless boys to struggle even more. Girls too need the protection and leadership.

As another teacher friend said to me last night, young boys particularly in later primary years are at an age developmentally when good men in their lives can have such an important influence for the future.

As McGrath says: “They (students) can come to school and see men and women interacting in positive and nonviolent ways and also see men respond to female leadership.”

In other words, a school environment reflecting what happens in the real world.

@whatlouthinks

 

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COMMENTS

JamesSep 25, 2017

When will the idiot decision makers in our education system wake up to themselves and realise that males and females are physiologically and psychologically different. Just as important, our children are all individuals, however the education system seems to want a “one size fits all” solution and allow our schools to be a factory that turns out a single product.

Those that cannot “conform” are said to have “slipped between the cracks”. Nice excuse!  Funny how when our kids fail at school, the school blames our kids and when the school fails our kids, they still blame the kids.

The school system needs a good balance of male and female teachers.  My son generally responds better to male teachers. Due to my boy’s high anxiety levels and mild ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) he isn’t always the best student. My wife and I have found after so many years, male teachers have a tendency to deliver discipline and then let the matter drop. My son responds well to this and feels he can put his transgressions behind him and start over again. Conversely, female teachers seem to drag a disciplinary matter out for days and will often bring up old matters again, effectively punishing him for for things he has already been punished for.

The imbalance of gender in education is just one thing that is broken in our education system. Some educational content is highly questionable and inappropriate. Methods of lesson delivery are outdated and ineffective. School disciplinary measures are ineffective to say the least, and counter-productive and damaging at the worst. At the end of the “manufacturing” process, our education system is turning out a “product” that is not prepared for the workplace and ill-prepared to meet the challenges of life.

Just who do we have to (metaphorically) crack across the back of the head to get this broken system fixed?!!

 

 

 

 

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