RE: Educational brainstorming

Ted Weverka (
Mon, 18 May 1998 16:43:59 -0700

> From: Robert McIntosh []

> Alright, so maybe I oversimplified a bit. Certainly
> socialization and discrimination have a lot to do with why
> there are so
> few men in elementary ed. But I still believe my original statement
> that lack of pay is a major reason that more men do not consider
> teaching in general.

Men who make it to higher education usually look for the higher paying
fields. If we could get more men into higher education, we may get more
interested in teaching. The drop in the number of men in the education
field is concurrent with the precipitous fall of the male/female ratio
of Bachelors and Masters degrees. Since this field is such a large
portion of all degrees, this is not happenstance. Had we not lost so
much ground here we would not have such a high inequity in higher

> Interestingly the percentage of male teachers in
> K-12 education has decreased from 33% to 25% in the past 15 years
> (NCES). (This ofcourse means that there cannot be as many male
> secondary teachers as female unless there are NO elementary male
> teachers.)

You've assumed an equal number of primary school teachers and secondary
school teachers to make this last conclusion.
There are more primary school teachers than secondary school teachers.
Last I checked, the male/female ratio in secondary school teaching was
within a couple percent of 50/50. The ratio in primary schools was
approaching 10/90.

> Many of the
> males who do teach have second jobs and businesses on the side that
> ensure that they maintain their role as "primary wage earner" of the
> family. This primary wage earner conditioning is really
> strong in men.
> These are just gut feelings not well-researched opinions. I'd be
> curious to know if anyone has researched any of these questions.

I have checked the data on this. You are correct about more male
teachers taking on extra work. The NCES maintains data on this. The
male teachers take on more extra work both inside and outside the school
system. Inside the school system this includes summer teaching jobs and
after school programs such as drivers ed. Outside summer jobs are
varied. The seasonal industries which more hire summer workers (such as
construction) are common.

Robert Weverka

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