Catholic education director worried about decline in male teacher numbers
The decline in the proportion of male teachers in Catholic schools can be explained by the prevailing view in Australian society that 'real men don't teach', according to a researcher at the Australian Catholic University.
Currently only 14 per cent of teachers in NSW Catholic primary schools are men, compared to 17 per cent in 1988.
Mr Ed Lewis told The Catholic Weekly that young males in their final years of school didn't consider teaching an attractive career option.
"There is a view of masculinity within Australian society (that) 'real men' don't do teaching; that it's not cool to show your feminine side," he said.
These comments are born out in recent figures showing that only nine of 109 primary teachers new to the Sydney archdiocese in 2001 are men. There are many Catholic primary schools across New South Wales that don't have a single male teacher on staff.
Br Kelvin Canavan, executive director of the NSW Catholic Education Office, expressed concern about the situation.
"Today, especially with so many families in difficulties, single parent households and so on, we need both male and female role models in classroom," he said.