Why Are Boys Failing? Lack of Male Teachers?

Do Boys Need Male Teachers as Role Models?

Part 2 asks if one root cause is the lack of male teachers who serve as role models, the theory goes, and teach that learning is cool.  This doesn’t feel like it hits the nail on the head, but the argument for this is below.

The full post here.  Interesting paragraphs below.

p.s. Part 1:  Why Are Boys Failing and Who is to Blame.


Failing Boys: The endangered male teacher


A new study says male elementary teachers live in a steady state of anxiety, with 13 per cent reporting they had been wrongly accused of inappropriate contact with students. Part 2 of a six-part series.

  • The trend isn’t new. Men have been the clear minority in primary teaching since the days of the one-room school house. But with their numbers dwindling to less than 20 per cent nationally, fixing the imbalance has taken on a certain urgency and there’s already been talk of affirmative action. Of all the theories offered to explain why boys trail girls in academics, the lack of male role models tends to lead the pack.
  • While the sample size is small, and contains no comparison of allegations female teachers face, the study, partly funded by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, suggests male teachers work in a steady state of anxiety.
  • Rosemary Tannock, a psychologist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, doesn’t buy the idea of school boys in crisis. She doesn’t believe their poor performance reflects a feminized education system but suggests that current testing methods are not an accurate way to gauge how well boys are learning.
  • Indeed, most studies have found male teachers have no impact on boys’ academic performance or their school-related problems – that peers are the dominant influence. What’s more, a “feminist critique” published in the Journal of Education Policy last year argued that women have taught boys well for decades, and only now that girls are outperforming boys do people suspect young males suffer under female teachers

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. lynn oliver

    I am afraid the lack of role models is symptom of the problem and not the cause in many areas of society. The information age age and the treatment to make boys tough from infancy are working in complete, opposite directions, albeit for the very few middle class boys who are given sufficient support, knowledge, skills, and stability to compete academically today. Mind you even the average middle class boy is not given sufficient care and support and is falling behind his middle class female peers today. The more aggressive, less verbal interaction, much less mental/emotional support, by parents, teachers, peers, and society to make boys, later men tough has and is creating many many failing boys and men who are not able to get into college to become the teachers, managers, and work in areas that might create more role models. There is also now more hatred for boys and men by society by many social/political women in society, including many female teachers and administrators who have been induced to see Male teachers with suspicion. This only adds to the problems of finding and keeping Male teachers.
    As girls we are treated much better and so enjoy more hope and care from society. Since we as girls are given by differential treatment, much more continual, positive – mental, social/emotional support, verbal interaction and care from an early age onward, this creates quite the opposite outcome for girls when compared with the boys. We enjoy much more care and support and care from society from infancy through adulthood and receive love and honor simply for being girls. This creates all of the good things. We enjoy lower average stress for more ease of learning. We enjoy much more freedom of expression from much protection that makes us look more unstable at times. Of course we can also use that same freedom of expression to give verbal, silent abuse, and hollow kindness/patronization to our Male peers with impunity knowing we are protected. We enjoy much lower muscle tension for more ease and ability in handwriting and motivation to write. We enjoy much more positive, trust/communication from parents, teachers, peers, and more support for perceived weaknesses. We are reaping a bonanza in the information age. The lower the socioeconomic bracket the much more amplified the differential treatment from infancy and more differentiated over time through adulthood. Now with girls and women taking over many areas of society, we are enjoying even more lavishing of love and honor from society, while the boys and men are now failing more so and are now given even more ridicule and abuse by society. Mind you, this is also now coming from many girls and women using our still protected freedoms of expression and more so with false feelings of superiority. Theory with many applications will go to all

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