I have several articles on the go about the issues with getting more men into Early Childhood Education. They all start the same way: There are a range of reasons why there are so few men working in the early years of the education sector...insert wages...insert feminised workplace...insert status...insert fear of accusation...blah, blah, blah. If you have ever engaged with Early Childhood Education as a teacher, a carer, an academic, or a parent, then you know how few men there are...we stand out, your eye is drawn to us; and you no doubt know the standard response to the WHY? question. These articles gather dust because I am tired of the same old stories. Whenever I am approached by the media after the latest wave of concern over the lack of men in education, I know what will be asked:
We need to be able to move on from treading the same ground over and over. We know there will always be a gaping chasm in gender diversity in ECE...even IF we could magically double, triple, even increase by tenfold the number of male Early Childhood Educators. We know that wage increases for those who care and educate our youngest humans will never equal many other professions who deal with less precious clientele. We know that as long as there are malevolent individuals who abuse young children, that men will always be open to suspicion from parents and carers with their child's welfare in mind. These things will likely never change. So I have decided that action is a better use of my time and influence, and have challenged myself to do what I can to increase the number of high quality male Early Childhood Educators despite these factors. So I am calling on all of you who believe that great male educators are needed in the education and care of infants, toddlers, and children of all ages to help me to raise awareness of ECE as a career for men, and to speak up about the great male educators already in our ECE centres and classrooms. Talk is cheap, but action can change the world.
I started a movement to increase #MenInECE