Eurydice on the lack of male role models in the education sector


The Eurydice article Does It Matter if Men Don't Teach?, published 17th September 2018, presents some well-known facts: only 15% of primary school teachers in Europe are men and just 25% of lecturing positions are held by women in European universities. Few men work in Early Childhood Education and primary and secondary schools characterised by low salaries and lack of prestige. Indeed, this epitomises the issue of undervalued work, that is considered unattractive and underpaid in a sector where the highest percentage of employees are women. The article points out that teaching can also be regarded as a dead-end career offering little scope for continuous professional development, which has equally rendered the profession unattractive.

Eurydice draws attention to certain indirect impacts that the absence of male role models can have on students, namely the reinforcement of gender stereotypes and the perpetuation of the unsubstantiated belief than women are more suited to “caring” professions, such as the teaching profession. Eurydice also considers the absence of teachers from ethnic, linguistic and cultural minorities to be concerning and questions how schools can teach students to overcome inequality if their teaching force is not diverse. ETUCE welcomes Eurydice’s conclusions and highlights that it is crucial that the teaching profession be made more attractive and inclusive in order to redress these imbalances and make schools beacons for equality and democratic values.