Male teachers are fast becoming an endangered species in Australian schools, according to researchers who’ve urged immediate action from the government.
In the first Aussie study of its kind, researchers used ABS education sector data from 1965 and 2016, and found that male teaching numbers have dropped 10% across primary schools and 14% across secondary schools, with government schools showing the fastest rates of decline.
According to the study, male primary teachers will be completely gone from government schools by 2054 and be "extinct" across the country if no action is taken.
"What is alarming is that this decline has continued and shows no sign of slowing down,” said Macquarie University research leader Dr McGrath.
“That tells us that there's a national trend that actually needs to be addressed if anything is to change.”
Dr McGrath said government intervention was needed to ensure male teachers do not disappear entirely from the education system, recommending the introduction of teaching scholarships for men.
"Men, and young men in particular, face social pressures to conform to particular masculine ideals," he said.
"It's the personal trainer effect. There are a lot of men who graduate from high school who want to be a personal trainer and that makes a lot of sense because it fits within those masculine ideals.
“There's fewer and fewer who actually see teaching as a viable career path because they're seeing fewer and fewer men in teaching."