Diversity in teaching force

The vast majority of teachers across the world are women. Similarly, women have consistently made up about 70 per cent of the teaching force in Singapore over the years.

Diversity in teaching force

The disparity is most stark in the younger years of schooling, when the job typically calls for more "caregiving" and "nurturing".

Of 191 primary schools last year, three-quarters had women principals. Similarly, more than 80 per cent of the nearly 15,000 teachers in primary schools were women.

The numbers were less skewed when it came to teaching older students: Women made up about 60 per cent or more of teachers in secondary schools and junior colleges here, and some 50 per cent to 60 per cent of principals at those levels.

Some countries, such as Britain and Australia, are grappling with gender imbalances in teaching, and asking whether the shortage of male teachers in primary schools affects the academic performances of boys. But research is not conclusive on the link, and here grades are not a concern. Rather, a more gender-balanced pool of teachers can have benefits for primary school pupils who are the most impressionable.

Male teachers complement their female counterparts by bringing different perspectives and ideas. They can also serve as stable role models and mentors to their students.Being exposed to teachers from more diverse backgrounds, not just in gender but in ethnicity, can help students broaden their understanding of issues in society.

Ultimately, it is the best man, or woman, for the job. The best teacher is not defined by gender. But in a world that is increasingly diverse and open, it is important to challenge stereotypes that persist.

And for most children, the school grounds would be their first encounter with society outside their homes and families.

It would do well for them to see what is possible outside and beyond traditional gender roles.

Back to Career Resources »

Related Articles

    There is More to Being a Preschool Teacher Than Just Nurturing Young Minds

There is More to Being a Preschool Teacher Than Just Nurturing Young Minds

Preschool Teachers come together to organise a graduation musical extravaganza

    More making mid-career switch to teach in pre-schools

More making mid-career switch to teach in pre-schools

Enrolment in conversion scheme surges by 40% amid growing manpower needs in the sector

    Well versed in the art of teaching English

Well versed in the art of teaching English

Seven teachers out of 106 nominees win Inspiring Teacher of English Award

    NUS, NTU shine again in Asian university rankings

NUS, NTU shine again in Asian university rankings

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technology University (NTU) have performed strongly in an Asian education ranking for the second time in two days.

    NUS Business School courses rated 16th best

NUS Business School courses rated 16th best

THE National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School has put up a good showing in new league tables released by the Economist magazine and the Financial Times (FT) newspaper.

    Corporate leader Wong Su-Yen appointed CEO of Human Capital Leadership Institute at SMU

Corporate leader Wong Su-Yen appointed CEO of Human Capital Leadership Institute at SMU

Corporate leader Wong Su-Yen has been appointed the new chief executive officer of the Human Capital Leadership Institute at the Singapore Management University.