Early Childhood Education Requires More Male Teachers

Early Childhood Education

Pyara Singh is passionate about the education and development of young children. Formerly an insurance agent, he decided to pursue a New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) at New Zealand Tertiary College (NZTC). The flexibility of online learning allowed him to work full-time in an early childhood centre while completing his qualification.

Singh’s goal is to become a role model teacher, offering children the best possible care and learning experiences to help them develop essential life skills. “Working in early childhood education helps me to form meaningful relationships, interact with families and whānau, and promote diversity and inclusion.,” Singh says.

He emphasizes the importance of having more male teachers in early childhood education (ECE), believing they bring a unique perspective to the sector and their interactions with tamariki. “I provide a dynamic learning environment with opportunities to enhance and develop a wide range of physical play,” he explains. “I absolutely believe it’s important to have more male teachers in ECE.”

Research from resources such as the academic journal He Kupu and the New Zealand Council of Educational Research supports the idea that male educators offer children different approaches to play and serve as positive role models, challenging gender stereotypes. However, the 2018 Census recorded only 3% of male ECE teachers, with the 2023 Census data yet to be published.

While Singh plans to complete a bachelor’s degree with NZTC and become a fully qualified and registered teacher, the majority of students in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs at the college are female. Dr. Sean Dolan, NZTC’s Academic Dean, acknowledges that although the number of male teachers is increasing, it is not at the pace the sector needs.

“NZTC’s global prominence has resulted in a diverse student and alumni community, but unfortunately, gender balance is lacking. Of all the demographics, men are the least represented in the sector,” Dolan says.

Many male students, like Singh, are career changers who take advantage of NZTC’s reduced fees and blended learning to pursue an interest in education later in life. Dolan stresses the importance of men entering the sector regardless of how they get there. “Men bring particular qualities to early childhood education and interactions with children that are beneficial to their development, through both physical play and the perspectives they offer in a female-dominated environment.”

Read More: https://theeducationview.com/

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