Gender divisions in teaching:

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1 BlueNinja07th Nov 2011 09:39:39 AM from Lost in a desert oasis , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Chronically Sleep Deprived
[edit] For those new to the thread, a new article for consideration is now post #75. Thread Hop accordingly. Or don't Thread Hop at all, that's what I prefer. [/edit]

This occured to me when reading a couple of USAF's posts in the "family friendly homosexuality" thread. So I refer all complaints to him. grin

Based on people's past experiences, how was the gender division in their teachers? The point that USAF had raised was that in elementary school, almost all the teachers are female, and that reverses in high school/college.

Both of my children (currently in kindegarten/third grade) have only had female teachers. Aside from the principal, I cannot think of a single male faculty member at their school; all the administrative staff, nurse, lunch room staff, librarians, even the bus drivers have all been women. There are a few male teachers, but I don't know what grades they teach.

When I was in elementary, two of my eight teachers were male (second grade, and one of the three fifth grade teachers), though the principal was always a guy. The ratio was similar for junior high, maybe slightly higher for men; the only male teachers I can remember were for Geography, science and math.

At my high school, I remember the faculty being quite evenly divided by gender. But looking back at it, they were semi-segregated by topic - the men taught most of the sciences and maths* , most of the computing and business courses* The "liberal arts" teachers were mostly female for English, History, US Government, Spanish, etc.* This trend continued into college, as well, though I recall the community college I attending having far more female instructors than male.

So, what have been people's experiences with this gender divide in education? What do people think some of the causes are?

edited 14th Dec '11 11:16:23 AM by BlueNinja0

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My elementary school had one female and two male teachers one of them being principal. (Yes, the entire school had only three teachers. Heck I didn't even ever see the janitor.)

The current school has around 54 female teachers "against" 31 male ones and once again with a male principal.
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My elementary school was all female. Middle school had about an equal division. High school - more women, maybe 65%. Uni, more women. All principals and deans were female.

edited 7th Nov '11 10:34:14 AM by kashchei

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In my first school, almost all teachers were female (the school director too). I remember I had a male history teacher in 6th grade, and an another male history teacher in 8th grade, and that's about it.

Then in another school, almost all teachers were female again (the school director too). I had a male history teacher and a male art teacher, and that's it.
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Weirdly, half my programming professors were women, compared to the classes, where the greatest female ratio I ever saw was four women in a class of fifty.
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6 nightwyrm_zero7th Nov 2011 12:12:04 PM from Toronto , Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
From my limited experience during teacher's college practicum, there's even a little bit of segregation even within a single department. During my stay in a math dept. and in a science dept. I noticed the male teachers were more concentrated in the higher grades (gr 11 & 12) and in academic courses while the females were more concentrated in the lower grades (gr 9 & 10) and in the applied courses (in the Ontario system, academic courses are geared for students heading for university and applied courses are geared for college and workplace).

edited 7th Nov '11 12:13:17 PM by nightwyrm_zero

Of course elementary schools are all female. We can't risk letting men interact with small children.

(Sarcasm Mode in case you need clarification.)
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8 nightwyrm_zero7th Nov 2011 12:57:00 PM from Toronto , Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
I must be the odd one out, I had males teachers for half my elementary life in Canada, gr 4 and 7 out of grades 4-7.

edited 7th Nov '11 12:59:23 PM by nightwyrm_zero

9 MousaThe147th Nov 2011 01:05:54 PM from Northern Virginia , Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Writer, Artist, Ignored
In almost every school I've been to, most of the teachers have been female. This was true in preschool to second grade, this was true when I wen to a British International school in Egypyt, when I want to an international school in Botswana for almost three years I'm pretty sure I only had like 4 male teachers, one of them being the shop teacher, one of them was a french teacher, and the other was one of the PE teachers, an the last one was homeroom, social studies, history, and science.

In Middle School and High school, same thing, far more female teachers than there were male teachers, though the number of male teachers I encountered increased as I went higher in grade, though not by much.
10 Jeysie7th Nov 2011 01:11:21 PM from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death

My memory's really fuzzy on elementary school, but I want to say it was mostly female, though there were definitely some male teachers especially in the older grades, mainly for art, gym, math, and science.

Middle and high school at least seemed more or less evenly split. The schools were large enough that it was hard to know about that many of the teachers you didn't personally have, but I at least had a pretty even mix in my own curriculum.
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I had one male teacher in Primary School, and he was a trainee who only did one or two lessons a week.

At High School it was pretty much even, I think.
12 USAF7137th Nov 2011 03:20:27 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
So I refer all complaints to him.


Well... your description of the high school teacher segregation divide is rather accurate, as far as sociology goes. Current trends are that women go towards more the liberal arts (English, Art) while men go towards the hard sciences, physical subjects (Gym), etc.

Hell, that even follows with my school, where most of the female teachers are in language or art subjects (with one female gym teacher) and all of our science and math teachers are male.


As to why, it largely has to do with how we condition the different genders. Throughout school, boys go and do really physical things (contact sports, etc.) and are taught to think critically and concretely (male morality tends to follow a "these are the rules, and thus this is right for following the rules and this is wrong for not following the rules," or lawful whatever) while girls tend to do more passive activities, like art, non-physical games (hopscotch, house, etc.), and are taught to think intuitively and humanely (female morality tends to follow "this is the motivation for doing something, and that should be a big factor in whether it's right or wrong, rules be damned, or chaotic whatever).

It's a big old mess, but suffice it to say that schools are the biggest factor in shaping society, really. Only families condition people more than the education system of a society.

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14 Michael7th Nov 2011 03:45:52 PM , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
So that's what this does
My first male teacher was at age 11.

Just recently the BBC website ran two stories side by side, one about a shortage of male teachers for young children and the other about peadophiles in schools. I do expect that the stigma is largely responsible for the gender differences, although thinking back I have to wonder why one female teacher used to outright tell the boys at my school not to cover up when she walked into the changing rooms (not that anyone listened).
15 wuggles7th Nov 2011 04:00:25 PM from Miami, FL , Relationship Status: With my statistically significant other
My very first teacher was actually a man, but the majority of the teachers in the schools I've been to have been women. Only my middle school came close to maybe being 60/40 women to men. But, all of my social studies (i.e. history, geography) teachers from 6th to 10th grade were men, don't know what that means. Most of my male teachers have been social studies, obviously, though I did have a few for English and science. All other classes have been all women.
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I have to wonder why one female teacher used to outright tell the boys at my school not to cover up when she walked into the changing rooms (not that anyone listened).
What grade was this in?
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Same as the opening post, almost all female then basically 50/50 for high school. If I had to guess I'd wager that it has something to do with education and women not going as far as men on average. Especially in the scientific fields, for whatever reason.
18 Barkey7th Nov 2011 05:24:18 PM from Bunker 051 , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I had one male teacher in elementary school, and honestly he was my favorite. I had a pretty even spread of teachers in high school and college.

Honestly, I really did prefer all my male teachers. All of them were really good at what they did, and my old math teacher(who was a young brand new teacher when I was in high school) is a shooting buddy of mine.

The only female teachers I liked were the young ones. Because they weren't patronizing like the old ones, or they were hot. ;)

Looking back at elementary, I only had one female teacher I liked, and she was really young, her daughter was in my class. She was cool and spunky and funny, where as every other female teacher I had patronized us constantly, was a living skeleton with too much tenure, and overall just a really boring and unengaging teacher. No charisma, no listening to her students, just an old skeleton with a teaching job. All my old male teachers kind of kept their sense of humor intact with age. My only old female teacher I liked was my US Govt teacher my senior year of high school, who I absolutely adored. I came into her class wearing my uniform when I graduated basic training because she wanted me to talk to the class.

I knew people with really boring old male teachers, but all the ones I had liked to actually get to know their students and crack jokes.(the Govt teacher was really good at that too though) All the other old female teachers I had acted like they had a stick up their ass all the time, and that rigidity wasn't conducive to learning for me.
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19 wuggles7th Nov 2011 06:21:42 PM from Miami, FL , Relationship Status: With my statistically significant other
I forgot to talk about my high school. It's probably about 50/50, but most of the men teach either math, science or social studies. I do think that there's a stigma about male teachers teaching elementary school, that they're pedophiles and all that. . At our school though, 2 male teachers got fired and or arrested for sleeping with female students. So I don't really know what that means.
20 Jeysie7th Nov 2011 06:35:31 PM from Western Massachusetts
Diva of Virtual Death
@USAF 713

You know, it's funny, my high school classes weren't really that gender stereotypical. I had some male English teachers, some female math & science teachers, the art teacher was male, the health teachers were both male, the gym teachers were two men and a woman, and so on.

It never really registered on me before to even make the association, honestly. I was more impressed by cool stuff like my Geometry teacher being an openly practicing Wiccan.

edited 7th Nov '11 6:35:46 PM by Jeysie

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21 USAF7137th Nov 2011 06:37:55 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Well, naturally there will be men in other positions, like English (I have two male English teachers, in fact), but that's partially because pretty much any position, more or less, is open to men.

You're more likely to find a male English teacher than a female math or science teacher, in essence.

Does every school follow this pattern? Of course not, nothing is that concrete in sociology. But, generally speaking, that's how it trends.
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My high school did not follow that pattern. Why should I assume mine is less representative of the average than yours?

And better than thy stroke; why swellest thou then?
23 USAF7137th Nov 2011 06:55:32 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I dunno. I'm just citing my sociology textbook, here.

I mean, the logic follows, but I'm probably the wrong person to argue the finer points of it at the moment...
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24 Pingu7th Nov 2011 07:31:41 PM , Relationship Status: In Lesbians with you
My elementary school was mostly women, by far. But throughout middle school, high school, and now college, the teachers have been pretty much equally divided.
Proud Canadian
I've already made my case already. Hell, earlier that day I had already ranted about it.

But, to summarive, the lack of male teachers and forcing boys to conform to a school setting that doesn't suit them are the primary causes of this lost generation of males.

edited 7th Nov '11 7:38:23 PM by Erock

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