Last March, when I was interviewing a few teaching candidates, one told me that “Teaching was a Woman’s job” and that men “should find themselves something better.”
I have often wondered what some of the historical reasons for the predominance of women in our classrooms are. Last week, while researching American Education History, I came across an interesting fact that throws some light on this.
The Carnegie unit and the Graded classroom are typical of schools all over the world; so it is the case in America. But it has not always been so. Before Horace Mann, American Educator and Politician went across the pond, visited schools and came back with the idea of the graded school, American education and classrooms were vertically grouped.
What that meant was that students aged 5 to 20 were schooled together in the same class. Because of presence of older students, men were required to maintain order in the classrooms. As the graded classroom evolved and students of the same age started being schooled together to the exclusion of other ages, managing them because easier. This ushered in women into American classrooms.
The same is seen even today – the percentage of men teaching High School is significantly higher than the percentage teaching elementary school.