Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Teachers Who Mirror Classes

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Teachers Who Mirror Classes

Article excerpt

Male teachers have long been a rare sight in public schools. Now a survey by the country's largest teachers' union shows that men made up only 2 of 10 teachers in the 2000-01 school year. That's the lowest ratio in four decades. In the 1960s, men were about one- third of the teaching force.

Further, the survey by the National Education Association (NEA) revealed that only 1 in 10 teachers is a member of a racial or ethnic minority - in a nation where 4 of 10 students are.

Such lopsided figures could contribute to a widening student achievement gap. Already fewer men than women attend college, and fewer blacks and Hispanics attain the same academic achievements as whites.

Having so few men in the classroom sends a message to kids that men aren't natural nurturers, or fuels a perception that teaching is solely a woman's profession.

The presence of positive male role models could help offset negative images of men that kids see in the media. The need for male role models at school can be especially important for children with single moms. …

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