Why Men Matter in the Classroom

  • BY Cal State East Bay
  • May 1, 2019

Schools need men and minorities. According to the U.S. Department of Education, while ethnic and racial minorities make up more than half of the student population in U.S. public schools, 80 percent of the teachers are white and more than three-quarters of the teachers are female.

“There is a real lack of minority male teachers and there is all kinds of research that demonstrates the importance of minority male children seeing teachers who look like them and connect with them,” said Eric Engdahl, Cal State East Bay associate professor and chair of teacher education.


This lack of diversity is the focus of “Men Teachers: Inviting and Welcoming Them to Our University” May 6 at 8:30 a.m. in the Bay View Room on Cal State East Bay’s Hayward campus. The event is being hosted by The Future Minority Male Teachers of California Project in collaboration with W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Men Teach.

Engdahl hopes to draw a wide audience for the event — academic advisers, faculty, district personnel who recruit and support teachers and organizations on campus.


A 2017 study co-authored by a Johns Hopkins University economist found that having just one black teacher in elementary school significantly increased a low-income black student’s likelihood of graduating from high school and considering college; for a very low-income black boy, the risk of dropping out was reduced by 39 percent.

“What we are hoping people get out of this is the opportunity for national scholars Dr. Lemuel Watson and Bryan G. Nelson to share their expertise on strategies to recruit, retain and support male minority teachers,” Engdahl said. “Also, because of Cal State East Bay’s unique place as being one of the most diverse universities in the lower 48 states, there is a dialogue we can have. We can learn from each other about how to work in a world of hyper-diversity.”


Interested in attending? Reserve a spot at https://f2mtcsueb.eventbrite.com.