Frontiers | Editorial: Women in teacher education: gendered stories of teaching, learning, and teacher education (2024)

Editorial on the Research Topic
Women in teacher education: gendered stories of teaching, learning, and teacher education

The higher representation of women in the field of education is said to reflect traditional gender stereotypes that impact on women's trajectory into the teaching profession (Napierala and Colyar, 2022, p.14). Using international lenses, that view reflects UNESCO (2023) discussion of the predominance of women in the profession of teaching. Other reports about women in higher education corroborate when mentioning that “women make up 58% of faculty in fields stereotypically considered more feminine, such as education and health, whereas women make up just 21% of STEM faculty” (Napierala and Colyar, 2022, p. 5).

The present topic entitled “Women in teacher education: gendered stories of teaching, learning, and teacher education” emerged from the impetus to honor women researchers in recognition of International Women's Day. The Editors for this journal Research Topic that is focused on women in educational research and women in teacher education comprise researchers in the broad field of Education. We bring together shared perspectives from our contexts of Canada, Ireland, Pakistan, Spain, and the United States while shedding light on cutting edge research in Education involving women.

In contemplating the scope and concentration of this Research Topic, we noted how we had witnessed the keen (and important) focus among researchers on the disparities between that of women and men in the sciences, math, and engineering. However, less attention seems to have been paid to how women in teacher education and the educational field are faring. While we wonder if this scholarship gap is due to the predominance of women in the field, there are questions that remain even in the face of that predominance. For example, even though the gap in women's salaries is narrowing in comparison to that of men, the education field tends to pay a lower salary than that of researchers in the sciences, math, and engineering (Napierala, 2022, p. 6).

This Research Topic pays attention to the knowledge production among women researchers as sole authors, co-authors, and/or as primary authors whose work contributes to the field of education and teacher education and recognizes the added value they bring to the social sciences. Noting that those few studies that do consider women in social sciences (Oleschuk, 2020) do not incorporate educational researchers, this Research Topic offers a unique focus.

We provide below an overview of the articles that have been collected for this journal Research Topic. Each of the articles focus on pertinent areas of education and/or teacher education. They highlight a focus on gender in the field of Education and showcase the work of women educational researchers. We invite readers to explore this set of articles to shed light on the issues facing women in education and the perspectives of women in education. We anticipate that this Research Topic of research will pave the way for ongoing discussion and research.

In “Engaging practitioners as co-researchers in national policy evaluations as resistance to patriarchal constructions of expertise: The case of the end of year three evaluation of the access and inclusion model,” Sheridan et al., feminist theory is applied to understand the gendered experiences of one practitioner researcher in a national program, the Access and Inclusion Model in Ireland. Thematic analysis is applied to the critical reflection composed by the first author. Findings highlight the need to bolster feminine constructions of power related to care, nurture, collaboration, and enabling. Data also demonstrate the possibilities of a feminist lens in the discovery of expert identity and in the empowerment of others. Finally, the authors posit that focus on inclusion of practitioner voices in education, particularly feminized perspectives, could empower female educators to transform policy and practice.

In “Hate speech in adolescents: A binational study on prevalence and demographic differences,” Castellanos et al. argue that there is a predominance of researchers attending to hate speech as it occurs online. However, the authors argue that due to the impact of hate speech on “victims, perpetrators, and those who witness it” (p. 1) it is critical to pay attention and characterize its occurrences both online and offline with particular interest in schools. The researchers draw from data that includes 3,620 7–9th graders from 42 schools in both Germany and Switzerland. They identify that 50% of respondents named offline hate speech while 63% named online hate as being due to “skin color and origin” (p. 1). Findings regarding the high frequency of hate speech point to the need to make available school-based programs for youth that focus on prevention.

Mooney Simmie calls for critical feminist approaches to research in teacher education in “The fast globalizing gendered construction of teacher education: A critical feminist research policy analysis of the contemporary reform movement, challenges hegemonic masculinities at play in the fast-paced, globalized context of higher education.” This article raises a number of concerns about assumptions of gender-neutral inclusion policies and the ways in which macro policy shapes and re-shapes gendered constructions of teacher education. Through a feminist discourse analysis of two OECD educational policy texts, Mooney Simmie reveals the framing of gender relations in teacher education macro policy with specific reference to the uncritical nature of gender-neutral policies of inclusion and sustainability. Mooney Simmie's timely article invites readers to interrupt the audit culture, speed, and hegemony of contemporary discourse in educational policy and to consider emancipatory practices that can offer hope and solidarity to women teacher educators who seek to uphold affective practices, deep learning, and democracy.

In “Educators in Israel define cultural competence,” Shapira et al. focus on the concept and application of cultural competence as it pertains to the Israeli context. The authors consider the unique cultural setting of Israel, where schooling is organized along religious and cultural lines. The article presents the findings of a mixed methods study into teachers' perception of cultural competence. The authors highlight that most of the teachers understood the concept of cultural competence. However, the findings indicate the need to take into account the specific context of Israeli schooling in preparing teachers to be culturally competent educators in support of learners in Israeli schools.

In “Attending to the voices of parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder,” Schlein and Taft delve into a narrative inquiry case study of the school experiences of adoptive and/or foster parents raising children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Utilizing interviews and support group observations, data were collected from families facing the challenges of parenting children with attachment disorders. Results display the pervasive sense among caregivers that they are systematically silenced by educational institutions. The data elucidate the dissonance between the social, emotional, and academic needs of children with attachment disorders and the prevailing structures of educational accountability. Considerations regarding the imperative to reimagine educational accountability frameworks, emphasizing the necessity of aligning them with the perspectives and experiences of parents with children with special needs are highlighted.

In “Examining gender issues in education: Exploring confounding experiences on three female educators' professional knowledge landscapes,” Kelley et al. use a critical feminist lens to share stories of their early career, middle career and recent career experiences. These narratives have deeper implications for recognizing the way women face inequities in their academic workplaces. Employing the broadening, burrowing, and storying-restorying framework of Clandinin and Connelly (2000), the three female educators take the readers through an emotive continuum of reflective experiences, relating how their resilience toward inequitable treatments helped them break the “glass ceiling.” There are important lessons in these stories for all women to rise above the injustices and oppressions that they face in their workplaces and break through the glass ceiling through a collaborative knowledge community of mentors and critical friends.

Author contributions

DM: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing. RM: Conceptualization, Project administration, Writing—review & editing. GM: Writing—review & editing. MR: Writing—review & editing. GG: Writing—review & editing. CS: Writing—review & editing.


The author(s) declare that no financial support was received for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Publisher's note

All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Clandinin, D. J., and Connelly, M. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.

Google Scholar

Napierala, J. (2022). Trends in the Gender Pay Gap at Ontario Universities. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

Google Scholar

Napierala, J., and Colyar, J. (2022). Gendered Trends in Ontario University Faculty Employment. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

Google Scholar

Oleschuk, M. (2020). Gender equity considerations for tenure and promotion during COVID19. 2020 Canad. Sociol. Assoc. 57, 502–515. doi: 10.1111/cars.12295

PubMed Abstract | Crossref Full Text | Google Scholar

UNESCO (2023). Gender Equality In and Through the Teaching Profession. Available online at: (accessed January 28, 2024).

Google Scholar

Keywords: teacher education, educational research, women in education, gender and women, women teachers

Citation: Mogadime D, Moran R, Moore G, Rizvi M, Gratacós G and Schlein C (2024) Editorial: Women in teacher education: gendered stories of teaching, learning, and teacher education. Front. Educ. 9:1381108. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2024.1381108

Received: 02 February 2024; Accepted: 12 February 2024;
Published: 27 February 2024.

Edited and reviewed by: Stefinee Pinnegar, Brigham Young University, United States

Copyright © 2024 Mogadime, Moran, Moore, Rizvi, Gratacós and Schlein. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Dolana Mogadime,

Frontiers | Editorial: Women in teacher education: gendered stories of teaching, learning, and teacher education (2024)


What percentage of teachers in the US are black? ›

Just over 6% of U.S. teachers were Black in the 2021-21 school year; 1.3% of U.S. teachers were Black men. Black students made up 15% of the students that year. The number of Black teachers in the U.S. has been declining for years.

How many female teachers are there in the US? ›

That means there are 3,198.385 female teachers in the U.s. and 1,293,729 male teachers in the United States.

How many teachers are there in the US? ›

How many teachers were there in the United States in recent years? In school year 2021–22, there were 3.2 million full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers in public schools (source). In 2019–20, there were 0.5 million FTE teachers in private schools (source).

What are the demographics of teachers in the United States? ›

About eight-in-ten U.S. public school teachers (79%) identified as non-Hispanic White during the 2017-18 school year, the most recent year for which NCES has published demographic data about them. Fewer than one-in-ten teachers were either Black (7%), Hispanic (9%) or Asian American (2%).

What state has the most black teachers? ›

Georgia is in the top 25 percentile for number of Black students in the country. Georgia has 28,935 Black teachers accounting for almost 25% of all teachers in Georgia and 11.4% of all Black teachers across the country. Lastly, Georgia also has the second highest number of black teachers in the country, behind Texas.

Why is teaching a female dominated field? ›

Industrialization, the availability of other jobs, and the perception of education affected the degree to which teaching became feminized. The industrial revolution created a wide variety of jobs for men; many of these jobs paid more than teaching.

What is the gender gap in teaching? ›

Across nearly all regions, women were less than 45% of the tertiary teaching force. The only exceptions in 2022 were Central Asia and Europe and Northern America, where women represented 55% and 50%, respectively, of the teaching force.

What grade has the most teachers? ›

There are 2,006,810 teachers that work in elementary schools, more than half the total number of teachers. Elementary schools are generally defined as kindergarten through fifth grade, though some include sixth grade and some continue to eighth grade.

How many years do most teachers teach? ›

The average teacher has about 15 years of teaching experience.

What state has the most teachers? ›

Texas public schools had more teachers than any other state.

What is the average age of a teacher? ›

StateAverage age of teachersMedian age of teachers
65 more rows

Why is there a lack of diverse teachers? ›

Two potential contributing factors for this gap are the rapidly changing student demographics and the slow increase in people of color entering the teaching profession. Simply put, recruitment and retention of diverse teachers is not on pace with the increase of students of color seen in the classrooms.

Are most teachers non white in the US? ›

Some 79 of all K–12 teachers are white, about 9 percent are Hispanic, and 7 percent are Black, federal data show.

Why is teacher diversity important? ›

Having a diverse teaching workforce allows teachers to connect with a variety of students, and allows teachers to collaborate and learn from each other to benefit all the students they serve.

Why is there a lack of black teachers? ›

The reasons for this underrepresentation​​ include barriers to entry and retention in teacher preparation programs and schools, such as lack of financial resources and student debt, obstacles to college completion, discrimination and bias about educators of color, isolation, and lack of mentorship and support, and ...

What percentage of high school teachers are white? ›

In 2018-19, California's teachers were predominantly white (61%), with Hispanic teachers at 21% the next largest group. That is quite a different look from the student population, which is 55% Hispanic and 23% white.

What is the education rate of African Americans? ›

According to the Census' American Community Survey, in 2021 12% of the total U.S. population identified as Black or African American. Among Black residents aged 25 or over, 22.6% had earned a bachelor's degree or higher. This rate is up from 17.9% in 2010, but falls short of the national rate of 32.9%.

How many black female teachers are there? ›

Percentage distribution of female public school teachers, by race/ethnicity and state: 2017–18
Percent of female teachers by race/ethnicity
StateHispanic, regardless of race1Black or African American, non‐ Hispanic
59 more rows


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