Those Who Can, Teach, Quit

I commented on Gerry’s blog recently my suspicion that there was a trend towards fewer male teachers, and that steps ought to be taken to address the imbalance.

This may very well be obvious to anyone who has walked into a school in the last 5 years or so, but I am not one of these people. But this piece in today’s Sunday Times confirms my suspicion anyway.

‘Fewer than one in eight students enrolling to become teachers at Ireland’s five training colleges are male, almost identical to the numbers a year earlier.’

Such is my ignorance of the teaching profession in the Republic of Ireland that I was unaware that there had even been an expert group set up to address the gender imbalance:

Last year an expert group recommended a nationwide advertising campaign featuring famous male teachers in a bid to correct the gender imbalance in Irish classrooms. It said teachers who have a public profile as sportsmen, artists, musicians or writers should be used, including Roddy Doyle, the Booker prize-winning author, who taught at Greendale community school in Kilbarrack, and Brendan Gleeson and Gabriel Byrne, who both worked as teachers before embarking on film careers.

I am very taken by the recommendations of this expert group. It seems to me wholly sensible to use men who decided to leave the teaching profession as a means of persuading people to join the teaching profession.


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September 2006
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