New ACU analysis of ABS Labour Force data reveals that as few as one in five Australian primary school teachers have been men over the course of the past 20 years.
In 2014, only 16 per cent of NSW primary school teachers were men, with Victoria faring little better at 18 per cent, while Queensland was marginally worse at 15 per cent.
Professor Tania Aspland said correcting the gender imbalance among Australian primary school teachers was long overdue.
“Studies by Australian researchers indicate that both boys and girls benefit with male teachers acting as strong role models and even father figures,” she said.
“Boys seek an adult to relate to and confide in especially as they approach puberty and girls gain an understanding of how to interact with men, which contributes to developing their self-image. These roles are critical as our children develop.”
Professor Aspland urged governments, policy makers and school communities to consider a range of strategies for boosting male participation in teaching including education campaigns, scholarships and even targets.
“Australia needs to give our children the best start in life. That means giving them a chance to learn from the best male and female teachers.”