Sunday, July 06, 2014

Black Men Teaching Initiative aims to attract black males into teaching

A doctoral candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania recently stood in front of high school students from the Homewood Children's Village and asked how many planned to go to college. All hands shot up, but when he asked how many planned to go into education, the hands dropped down.

National statistics echo this scene, which involved about 20 black students, most from Pittsburgh Westinghouse 6-12 in Homewood. Less than 2 percent of teachers in the U.S. are African-American males, according to Robert Millward, education professor at IUP. To try to increase those numbers, Mr. Millward started the Black Men Teaching Initiative, which led to the teens, male and female, from Homewood Children's Village attending a workshop at IUP.

Through workshops such as this one, billboards on buses and changes in admissions policies, professors and administrators at IUP, California University of Pennsylvania, Point Park University and Community College of Allegheny County are trying to persuade young black men to pursue higher education and to become teachers. The second task is more difficult than the first, Mr. Millward explained.

"They say that teachers don't make much," he said. "They see teaching as a woman's profession. They say, 'I didn't have a good experience in school, so why would I want to spend life teaching?"

Read more: Program aims to attract black males into teaching

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