Transcript: Male Teachers, Words | Jan 28, 2004

(music plays)

In animation, against a backdrop of colourful squares in hues of purple, blue and orange, words fly by as clips show people performing different activities: More to Health, More to Education, More to Science, More to Money, More to Family, More to Ontario. Finally, the title of the show reads "More to life."

Mary Ito sits in a studio made of translucent panes that mimic the animated presentation of the show.

Mary is in her late thirties, with short black hair and bangs. She's wearing a lavender blouse and a silver pendant necklace.

Mary says HELLO. I'M MARY ITO. WELCOME TO "MORE TO LIFE." LATE TODAY, NAUGHTY WORDS. HOW DID THEY ORIGINATE AND WHY ARE THEY IN SOME DICTIONARYS AND NOT OTHER IN WE'LL FIND OUT. FIRST, EDUCATION IN THE CLASSROOM. TODAY IT SEEMS THE HEAD OF THAT CLASSROOM IS MORE LIKELY TO BE A Ms. THAN A MISTER. IN CANADA, MEN DON'T WANT TO BE TEACHERS ANYMORE. WILL THIS AFFECT BOYS IN THE CLASSROOM? HERE ARE PAULA BOURNE, HEAD OF THE CENTRES FOR WOMEN'S STUDIES AND EDUCATION AT THE ONTARIO INSTITUTE FOR STUDIES IN EDUCATION...

Paula is in her sixties, with short blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a brown cardigan and a white turtleneck.

Mary continues CARL SUBAN IS THE PRINCIPAL OF THE WAREN PARK JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL...

Carl is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He's wearing a black suit, blue shirt and striped blue tie.

Mary continues AND Wili Liberman is here.

Wili is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing a blue denim shirt.

Mary continues WE CERTAINLY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MALE TEACHER TO TELL US ABOUT? HOW IMPORTANT ARE MALE TEACHERS TO YOU? HAVE YOU NOTICED A GENDER SHIFT IN YOUR SCHOOL? YOU CAN SEND US A BRIEF E-MAIL AT...

A caption reads "416-484-2727. 1-888-411-1234."
Then, it changes to "moretolife@tvo.org"

Mary says OF COURSE, IF YOU ARE A MALE TEACHER, WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU. WILLIE, WILL START WITH YOU. WHAT IS THE GENDER SPLIT IN TEACHING IN ONTARIO?

The caption changes to "Wili Liberman. Education Columnist."

Wili says WELL, IT'S PRETTY EXTREME, ACTUALLY. WE SHOULD PUT IT IN A LARGER CONTEXT. THIS IS PART OF THE A GLOBAL PROBLEM WITH TEACHER SUPPLY. TEACHERS, IN GENERAL, ARE IN DEMAND AND WE JUST DON'T HAVE ENOUGH. THIS IS A PROBLEM THAT'S ENDEMIC, REALLY, VIRTUALLY EVERYWHERE, CERTAINLY ACROSS CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES. WHAT TENDS TO HAPPEN IS THAT, YOU KNOW, TEACHERS SOMETIMES GET POACHED BY OTHER... BY OTHER REGIONS OTHER PROVINCES SO THAT KIND OF CONTRIBUTES TO THE PROBLEM. WITHIN THAT, BETWEEN THE MALE AND FEMALE SPLIT, THE MALES ARE OBVIOUSLY A SUNSET OF THAT AND THAT BECOMES EVEN MORE ACUTE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS. THE SPLIT IN ONTARIO, IT'S 70 percent FEMALE, 30 percent MALE. THAT'S AS IT STANDS TODAY. THEN WHEN YOU BREAK IT DOWN, YOU LOOK AT GRADE LEVEL AND AGE AND SO ON, IT ACTUALLY BECOMES EVEN MORE ALARMING, ACTUALLY, BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT SAY THE ELEMENTARY-PRIMARY PANEL, ONLY 18 percent OF TEACHERS IN THAT... IN THAT LEVEL ARE MALE. YOU GOT ABOUT 80 OR 82 percent WHO ARE FEMALE. IT STARTS TO GO UP AS YOU GO UP, YOU KNOW, THE GRADE LEVELS, BUT, STILL, YOU KNOW, IT'S... IT'S... YEAH, WE'RE LOOK FOR LOTS OF MEN HERE.

An illegible bar chart appears on screen.

Mary says PAULA, I MEAN, AS FAR AS BACK AS I CAN REMEMBER, THERE JUST WEREN'T A LOT OF MALE TEACHERS IN, CERTAINLY, MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS. IF YOU LOOK BACK HISTORICALLY, I MEAN, MEN DOMINATED THE TEACHING PROFESSIONS, RIGHT, HISTORICALLY SPEAKING?

The caption changes to "Paula Bourne. O.I.S.E."

Paula says CERTAINLY NOT AT THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL. WHEN THEY DEVELOPED THE PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM HERE IN ONTARIO BACK IN THE 1950s WAS CONCERNED A DIDN'T COSTS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AND IF THEY BROUGHT IN MALES, THEY KNEW THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY THEM MORE. HE HAD THE GREAT IDEA THAT WE ONLY REALLY NEED FEMALES TO TEACH THE YOUNG CHILDREN AND THERE'S A MARVELLOUS QUOTE HE USED, IS CALLED VIRTUOUS WOMEN AT HALF THE PRICE. THAT'S ALL WE NEEDED TO BRING IN.

[LAUGHTER]

Paula says INDEED, UP UNTIL, I WOULD THINK THE RECENT PAST THAT AT THE ELEMENTARY LEVEL, IT WAS ALWAYS DOMINATED AND CONTINUES TO BE BY WOMEN TEACHERS.

Mary says I MEANT REALLY HISTORICALLY. I MEANT...

Paula says 19th CENTURY, OF COURSE, AT THAT POINT, VERY FEW PEOPLE WERE GOING ON TO SECONDARY SCHOOL. YOU GOT TO REMEMBER SECONDARY SCHOOLS ONLY CAME INTO BEING IN THE LATTER PART OF THE 19th CENTURY, EARLY 20th ISN'T. VERY FEW FEMALES ATTENDED THEM. IT WAS CONSIDERED TO BE A PRESTIGIOUS JOB. AS SUCH, IT WAS MALES WHO TAUGHT AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL. AND THAT REALLY ONLY CHANGED... I LOOKED AT THE STATISTICS FOR '96, EVEN AS RECENTLY AS 1996, WE HAD SLIGHTLY MORE MALE TEACHERS THAN FEMALE TEACHERS AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL. THAT'S FLIPPED AROUND NOW.

Wili says YEAH, IT USED TO BE 55/45 MALE/FEMALE TEN YEARS AGO. NOW IT'S THE REVERSE. 45/55 AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL.

Mary says LET ME ASK CARL, BECAUSE YOU WERE A MALE TEACHER... YOU'RE STILL A MALE, BUT YOU WERE A TEACHER ONCE. YOU'RE A PRINCIPAL NOW. WHY DID YOU BECOME A TEACHER?

The caption changes to "Karl Subban. Principal. Warren Park Junior P.S."

Carl says WELL, I BECAME A TEACHER BECAUSE, UM, I ENJOY WORKING WITH KIDS. I FOUND OUT EARLY IN MY HIGH SCHOOL YEARS, FROM COACHING SCHOOL TEAMS AND WORKING WITH YOUNGER STUDENTS, THEY ENJOYED DOING IT. SO IT WAS JUST A NATURAL THING FOR ME TO GO INTO THE PROFESSION.

Mary says SO AT THAT TIME, WHEN YOU WERE THINKING ABOUT IT AND TALK ABOUT IT, IT WAS IT WAS A GOOD THING, I MEAN, AMONGST YOUR FRIENDS AND AMONGST YOUR FAMILY, THE TEACHING PROFESSION, WAS IT REGARDED HIGHLY THAT YOU COULD BE GOING IN?

Carl says WELL, I DID NOT RECEIVE ANY NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, UM, FROM THAT CHOICE. BECAUSE I THINK THAT PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME AND SEE MY... THE WAY I WORK WITH CHILDREN AND... AND... THAT IT WAS A NATURAL THING FOR ME. IF ANYTHING, I WAS ENCOURAGED TO DO IT.

The caption changes to "Today's topic: Male teachers."

Mary says RIGHT. IT'S NOT AS IF SOMEONE SAID, OH, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?

Carl says NO, I NEVER EXPERIENCED THAT. NEVER EXPERIENCED THAT. I KNOW A LOT OF MY COLLEAGUES, OR FRIENDS I GREW UP WITH, I THINK I'M THE ONLY ONE THAT ENTERED THE TEACHING PROFESSION SO, YOU KNOW, THINKING BACK, YEAH, I'M THE ONLY ONE.

Paula says WHAT WE ARE HEARING TODAY FROM SOME OF OUR MALE STUDENTS WHO ARE IN OUR TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME, THAT MANY OF THEM HAD... HAD A LOT OF, YOU KNOW, OPPOSITION ON THE PART OF THE PARENTS AND FRIENDS. WHY WOULD YOU GO INTO TEACHING?

Mary says WHAT WERE THE REASONS?

Paula says THE REASON THEY WANTED TO GO INTO TEACHING?

Mary says NO. WHY NOT.

The phone numbers and email reappear briefly.

Paula says OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS, EDUCATION AND TEACHERS HAVE REALLY BEEN VIEWED VERY NEGATIVELY. I THINK WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THIS TV STATION, THE OTHER MEDIA, THE TELEVISION, THEY... THE NEWSPAPERS AND SO ON, I MEAN, WE KNOW UNDER THE HARRIS GOVERNMENT, THE UNDERFUNDING. I MEAN, IT'S... IT'S JUST NOT AN ATTRACTIVE PROFESSION. THEY DON'T SEE IT POSITIVELY. MANY OF THE MALES, UM... THE MALE TEACHERS HAVE SAID, YOU KNOW, THEY REALLY WERE ENCOURAGED TO GO ELSEWHERE. WHAT I ALSO FIND, WHICH I THINK IS INTERESTING IS, YOU KNOW, WE KNOW, UM, HOW RATIONALLY AND ETHICALLY DIVERSE THIS GREATER TORONTO IS. WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DIVERFY OUR STUDENT POPULATION SO THAT THE TEACHERS GOING OUT THERE WOULD BE MORE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE STUDENTS THEY'RE TRYING TO TEACH.

Mary says HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

Paula says WELL, WITH DIFFICULTY, LET ME TELL YOU, WITH DIFFICULTY.

Mary says YEAH. LIKE, HOW... HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

Paula says WELL, YOU TRY TO BE PROACTIVE. WE HAVE THINGS LIKE FUTURE TEACHER CLUBS THAT GO INTO HIGH SCHOOLS, THAT WORK WITH STUDENTS FROM VARIOUSRATIONAL AND ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS, THINKING ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A CAREER IN EDUCATION. WHAT I FIND WHEN I TALK TO THE STUDENT DO I HAVE, THE MALE STUDENTS WHO ARE COMING IN, SOUTH ASIAN, CHINESE BACKGROUNDS, THEY TELL ME THAT THEY ENCOUNTER EVEN MORE OPPOSITION THAN MANY OF THE NON-VISIBLE MINORITY STUDENTS FROM THEIR PARENTS WHEN THEY TELL THEM THEY WANT TO TAKE UP TEACHING AS AN OCCUPATION, BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS SEE THEM GOING ON TO BE DOCTORS, ENGINEERS AND LAWYERS. TEACHING IS CONSIDERED TO BE A LOW-STATUS PROFESSION FOR THEM, FOR THE IMMIGRANTS WITH VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS.

Wili says THAT'S TRUE.

Mary says WLII, WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR THIS SHIFT.

Wili says WELL, I THINK THERE'S A WHOLE MULTIPLICITY OF THINGS AND FACTORS THERE. THERE ARE MORE OPTIONS NOW FOR A MAN, AND THEY'RE LOOKING AT DIFFERENT OPTIONS. EVEN IF THEY GO INTO A FACULTY OF EDUCATION, THERE'S NO GUARANTEE ACTUALLY THEY WILL GO INTO TEACHING. EVEN WITHIN THE EDUCATION INDUSTRY, IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT THAT, THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THEY CAN DO. THE OTHER THING I THINK IS THAT WHEN MEN ARE IN THE SYSTEM, IF THEY ARE ENCOUNTERING DIFFICULTY, I THINK MEN MIGHT HAVE A TENDENCY TO CHANGE THEIR MIND OR CHANGE DIRECTION MORE READILY THEN WOMEN WOULD.

Mary says IS THERE A HIGH DROPOUT RATE FOR MALE TEACHERS?

Wili says WELL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT... MAYBE PAULA KNOWING.

Paula says I HAVEN'T SEEN THE FIGURES. I THINK ONE OF THE OTHER REASONS WHY THE NUMBERS HAVE SHIFTED THE WAY THEY HAVE IS THAT A LOT OF TEACHERS, OF COURSE, TOOK ADVANTAGE OF EARLY RETIREMENT PLANS WHICH CAME OUT UNDER THE HARRIS GOVERNMENT.

Wili says SURE.

Paula says MANY OF THOSE WERE MALES. I HAVE SEEN THOSE FIGURES. THERE WERE FAR MORE MALES LEAVING THE SYSTEM AND SO THAT'S OBVIOUSLY HELPED VISAGE THAT IMBALANCE. YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ABOUT THE OPTIONS. I THINK FOR MANY FEMALES, DESPITE ALL THE ADVANCES FOR WOMEN, THERE AREN'T THAT MANY OPTIONS, PARTICULARLY IF THEY'VE MARRIED AND THEY GOT CHILDREN, CERTAINLY, TEACHING HAS ALWAYS BEEN SEEN AS A CAREER THAT FITS WELL WITH FAMILY AND DOMESTIC RESPONSIBILITIES.

Wili says ONE INTERESTING STATISTIC THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS DID DO A SURVEY LAST SUMMER AND ONE QUESTION THEY ASKED IS WHETHER THEY SAW THEMSELVES IN THE PROFESSION OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD. CERTAINLY, THE MAJORITY OF MEN THEY QUESTIONED, THERE WAS A HIGHER NUMBER OF MEN WHO SAID NO OPPOSED TO WOMEN. THERE'S ALREADY THAT MIND-SET, YOU KNOW, I MIGHT STAY, I MAY NOT. AND SO... WE'RE SEEING THAT.

Mary says KARL, DID YOU SAY YOU TAUGHT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?

Carl says YES.

Mary says WHAT LEVELS?

Carl says GRADES, THREE, FOUR, FIVE AND SIX.

Mary says BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I HAVE HEARD... SOME PEOPLE DO HAVE THIS FEELING THAT, WELL, WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? YOU KNOW, WITH MEN NOT BEING IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. WOMEN ARE SUCH GREAT NURTURERS ANYWAY. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT SENTIMENT?

Carl says I THINK I'M NURTURING. I'M A GOOD EXAMPLE. I HAVE FIVE CHILDREN AT HOME RANGING FROM 22 TO 8. I'M VERY NURTURING. I'D LOVE TO SEE MORE MEN IN THE PROFESSION. THE ONES WHO ARE THERE ARE NURTURING AND THEY'RE GOOD TEACHERS BECAUSE THEY'RE USING THEIR STRENGTHS AND...

Mary says WHAT IS IT? WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT CHILDREN MISS OUT ON BY NOT HAVING MALE TEACHERS THERE. ARE THEY MISSING OUT ON SOMETHING?

Carl says WELL, I THINK THAT SCHOOLS NEED TO REPRESENT THE COMMUNITY AND... AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE TEACHING STAFF OR THE FACULTY DEMONSTRATE A BALANCE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALES. WE SEE AN EXPLOSION OF SINGLE-PARENT HOMES. WITH THAT EXPLOSION, IT WOULD BE GOOD IF WE HAVE MORE MALE TEACHERS IN OUR SCHOOL TO BE THAT ROLE MODEL, YOU KNOW, FOR JOHNNY. ALSO FOR MARY. I THINK BOYS, LIKE GIRLS, NEED ROLE MODELS AND MALE AND FEMALE TEACHERS NEED TO BE REPRESENTED THERE FOR THOSE KIDS TO LOOK UP TO. SOME KIDS ARE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE MALE TEACHER AS WELL SOME ARE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH A FEMALE TEACHER. SOME OF THEM LEARN BETTER. SOME OF THEM LEARN BETTER. I THINK AS EDUCATORS WE'RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE A BALANCE. ONCE WE'RE THERE, IT BODES WELL FOR THE FUTURE. PLUS, WE NEED... WE NEED ROLE MODELS NOW FOR THOSE FUTURE MALE TEACHERS, YOU KNOW, THAT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.

Mary says WE ARE TALKING TODAY ABOUT MALE TEACHERS. IF YOU HAVE A COMMENT, PERHAPS YOU HAD A MALE TEACHER, MAYBE HE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE OR YOU HAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THE SITUATION AND WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING ABOUT IT, GIVE US A CALL TODAY. THE NUMBER TO DIAL IN TORONTO:

Mary says HI.

The Caller says HOW YOU DOING?

Mary says FINE, THANKS.

The Caller says I WANT TO SAY THE REASON... AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL AS YOU KNOW THE TEACHERS OR THE COUNSEL ORS, YOU KNOW, CONSTRUCTION THIS. I NEVER SAW IN MY LIFE ONE TEACHER MENTION, YOU KNOW, HOW ABOUT YOU GOOD AT THIS, WHY DON'T YOU GO. THAT'S WHY A MEN, THEY ARE DISENCOURAGED. HALF AFTER THEM DROP OUT AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL.

Paula says I THINK THAT'S SORT OF INTERESTING. I WAS TALKING, ACTUALLY, TO SOMEBODY THE OTHER DAY. WE DO CAREER DAYS IN SCHOOLS FOR STUDENTS. WE BRING IN THE ENGINEERS, THE CHEMISTS AND SO ON. WE DON'T BRING IN TEACHERS BECAUSE THEY'RE SURROUNDED BY TEACHERS.

Wili says WHY WOULD THEY WANT TEACHERS?

Paula says ONE OF THE THINGS, AS I SAY, YOU KNOW, I DO BELIEVE IT'S NOT THAT WE HAVE A SHORTAGE OF PEOPLE APPLYING TO BE TEACHERS, WHAT WE HAVE, OF COURSE, IS A SHORTAGE OF MEN AND WE CERTAINLY HAVE A SHORTAGE OF THE DIVERSITY WE WANT TO BRING IN, MAYBE, YOU KNOW, WE SHOULD BE PROACTIVE ABOUT IT. THE FUTURE TEACHER CLUB, WHICH RUNS ON A SHOESTRING THAT WE DO, I KNOW THAT YORK UNIVERSITY HAS SOME VERY PROACTIVE PROGRAMMES THEY'RE ACTUALLY RUNNING OUT OF REGENTS PARK IN THE PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS AS WELL TO ENCOURAGE YOUNG PEOPLE CONSIDER TEACHING.

Wili says I THINK THAT WILL GO A LONG WAY, I THINK, TO HELPING AT LEAST SOLVE THIS PROBLEM OVER THE LONGER TERM, THAT, AGAIN, ONE OF THE PROBLEMS, WHEN YOU GET BACK TO THE BASICS, IS THAT, BECAUSE WE HAVE A SYSTEM WHERE THAT'S CONTROLLED BY PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES AND SO THEY'RE KIND OF, YOU KNOW, AT ODDS WITH EACH OTHER IF THEY'RE IF A COMPETITIVE SITUATION. ONTARIO MAY BE STEALING TEACHERS FROM ALBERTA AND VICE VERSA. WHAT IS REQUIRED IS A COMMON EFFORT TO PROMOTE THE PROFESSION IN A LARGE SENSE WHERE YOU GET ALL THE GROUPS TOGETHER, THE FEDERATIONS...

Mary says ARE YOU SAYING WE NEED TO REBUILD THE PROFESSION?

Wili says NOT REBUILD, BUT PROMOTE THE PROFESSION, JUST LIKE PAULA WAS SAYING.

Mary says THERE HAS BEEN DAMAGE DONE TO THE PROFESSION.

Wili says THERE HAS BEEN DAMAGE DONE, YES. IF YOU LOOK AT OTHER PROFESSIONS, LIKE THE CERTIFIED GENERAL ACCOUNTANTS, THEY RUN ALL THESE PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS, HEY, YOU KNOW WHAT, IT MAY NOT BE A BAD THING BEING AN ACCOUNTANT. WE SHOULD BE DOING, THAT REALLY, FOR THE TEACHING PROFESSION.

Mary says NOW, KARL, YOU'RE A PRINCIPAL. YOU HAVE TO RECRUIT TEACHERS, RIGHT? HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT AS FAR AS RECRUITING MALE TEACHERS?

Carl says WELL, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, I'M SURE THEY'RE AWARE OF THE SHORTAGE OF MALE TEACHERS. I'M SURE THEIR RECRUITERS ARE TRYING VERY HARD TO BRING MORE MALE TEACHERS INTO THE SYSTEM. IF THERE'S A NEED FOR A TEACHER IN MY SCHOOL, PERSONNEL WILL SEND ME A NUMBER OF RESUMES AND I JUST READ THROUGH THEM. OBVIOUSLY, YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE BEST TEACHERS, BUT, ALSO, YOU HAVE IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND THAT YOU LIKE, ALSO, TO HAVE A BALANCE OF MALE AND FEMALE AND THAT'S HOW I GO ABOUT IT.

Mary says THAT'S NOT AN EASY THING TO DO, RIGHT?

Carl says NO IT'S NOT.

Mary says OKAY. WHAT GRADES DO YOU HAVE?

Carl says KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SIX.

Mary says TOTAL STAFF?

Carl says THREE MALE TEACHERS OUT OF 12.

Paula says I KNOW IN OUR PROGRAMME, WHICH IS KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE SIX, I THINK CURRENTLY OUR NUMBERS ARE USUALLY ABOUT 90 percent FEMALE, 10 percent MALE, AT THAT LEVEL. NOW, THERE ARE AN AWFUL LOT OF OTHER REASONS. I KNOW THAT THE MEN GOING INTO TEACHING IN THE EARLIER GRADES AND THEY HAVE TO CONTEND WITH NOT ONLY SORT OF PRESSURES THAT THOSE GOING INTO TEACHING DO, BUT THERE'S A LOT OF, YOU KNOW, SORT OF THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM, YOU KNOW, WHY ARE THEY GOING INTO TEACH LITTLE CHILDREN? WE KNOW THE HOMOPHOBIA WHICH IS RAMPANT IN OUR SOCIETY. THEY HAVE ALL OF THAT TO CONTEND WITH. YOU KNOW, WE GOT A LOT OF THINGS WE NEED TO DO, YOU KNOW, SOCIETAL THINGS. IF YOU LOOK AT THE SOCIALIZATION, TO CHANGE ATTITUDES WITHIN THE INDIVIDUALS THEMSELVES IN ADDITION, YOU KNOW, WITH PARENTS AND WITH THE MEDIA, AND I LOOK BACK AT THE MEDIA AND I THINK OF THE COVERAGE WE'VE HAD OF TEACHERS OVER THE LAST, YOU KNOW, TEN YEARS, HOW HAVE TEACHERS BEEN DEPICTED? TOTALLY DEGTIVE. THEY'RE WORKING FOR MORE MONEY, WORKING TO RULE, ON STRIKE, NOT DOING EXTRACURRICULAR.

Wili says A BIG EFFORT TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT'S GONE ON.

Mary says YOU DO BRING UP AN EXCELLENT POINT. WOMEN TEACHERS, THEY DO HAVE A LOT MORE LEEWAY AS FAR AS, YOU KNOW, THAT WHOLE AREA OF BEING NURTURING, TOUCHING, REALLY. I MEAN, MEN CAN'T GO THERE.

Carl says IF YOU WALK INTO MY SCHOOL, I TELL YA, I'M NOT THE NORM. DO I HAVE THE KIDS, I PICK THEM UP. WHEN YOU'RE IN MY SCHOOL, I'M YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER.

Mary says YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY MALE TEACHERS MIGHT BE HESITANT IN GOING THAT ROUTE, RIGHT?

Carl says I UNDERSTAND. I REALLY UNDERSTAND. A LOT OF... I THINK THE... A LOT OF THEM ARE THINKING THAT... ABOUT THE CHILD ABUSE ISSUES AND BEING ACCUSED OF BEING ABUSERS. I'M SURE THAT COMES INTO PLAY.

Mary says SO, LIKE, WHY GO THERE, RIGHT?

Carl says YEP, YEP.

Mary says LET'S LOOK AT AN E-MAIL HERE FROM INGRID WHO WRITES FROM CAMBRIDGE. HE SAYS...

Text on screen reads "Have men left the teaching profession because it's not considered 'macho'?
Ingrid. Cambridge."

Mary says IS THERE A MACHO FACTOR, DO YOU THINK?

Wili says UM, YEAH I THINK... I THINK IN PART. AGAIN, IT GETS BACK, I THINK, LOOKING AT THE PROFESSION HISTORICALLY AND THE FEMININITY ATTACHED TO IT CERTAINLY IN THE LAST 30, 40 YEARS FOR SURE. SO I THINK THAT DOES HAVE AN IMPACT IN TERMS OF, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS, ESPECIALLY FOR... FOR YOUNGER KIDS. THERE'S ALSO THE IDEA, I GUESS, OR THE ASSOCIATION OF OTHER DAYCARE OR, UM, YOU KNOW, EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION OR BEING, LIKE, A CAMP COUNSELLOR OR THOSE KINDS, WHICH I THINK ARE SILLY STEREOTYPES, BUT THEY'RE ALSO PART OF THE PROBLEM IN TERMS OF BEING DIFFICULT TO COMBAT THOSE PERCEPTIONS.

Paula says I THINK IT'S PROBABLY LESS THAT MEN HAVE AN IMAGINE THAT IT'S LESS MACHO AS MUCH AS IT DOESN'T HAVE THE HIGH STATUS. IT CERTAINLY HAS LOST STATUS AS A PROFESSION OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS. FINANCIALLY, THE REWARDS HAVE CERTAINLY DECLINED. I WOULD TEND TO THINK BOTH OF THOSE FACTORS WOULD BE FAR MORE IMPORTANT OF THE IMAGINE OF TEACHING.

Mary says UH-HUH. YOU KNOW, PAUL, MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE, THOUGH, THAT BOYS... SPECIFICALLY BOYS CAN BENEFIT FROM A MASCULINE PRESENCE IN THE CLASSROOM BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY LEARN DIFFERENTLY, THAT BOYS LEARN DIFFERENTLY FROM GIRLS.

Wili says I BELIEVE THAT.

Paula says NO, NO, NO. THIS COULD TAKE A WHOLE PROGRAMME.

Mary says GENDER LEARNING, YES.

Paula says I WILL TRY TO BE SORT OF AS BRIEF AS I AM WITH SOME OF MY STUDENTS. I MEAN, WE CERTAINLY ARE AWARE OVER THE LAST, UM, COUPLE YEARS OF THE HEADLINES, YOU KNOW, WE SUDDENLY HAVE THESE OVERPERFORMING GIRLS AND THESE POOR UNDERPERFORMING BOYS. OF COURSE, WE GOT THE LEE TABLES TO ACCOMPANY THEM SO WE'RE ACTUALLY SEEING THE RESULTS ON THE READING AND WRITING TESTS. WHAT I WOULD SAY TO MY STUDENTS IS, FIRST OF ALL, NOT ALL BOYS ARE DOING BADLY AND NOT ALL GIRLS ARE DOING BADLY. LET'S... LET'S STOP THERE AND LET'S LOOK AT IT. SECONDLY, GIRLS HAVE ALWAYS DONE BETTER THAN BOYS IN SCHOOL. THE DIFFERENCES NOW IS THE GIRLS ARE ACTUALLY REAPING THE BENEFITS OF THEIR HARDER WORK BECAUSE THEY'RE ACTUALLY STAYING IN SCHOOL, GRADUATING AND GOING ON TO UNIVERSITY.

Mary says THEY'VE ALWAYS DONE WELL IN EVERY AREA?

Paula says IN TERMS OF ALL THE... IF YOU LOOK BACK AT THE OLD... I WAS LOOKING AT SOME 1940s AND '50s REPORT CARDS AND THE GIRLS' REPORT CARDS WERE BETTER THAN THE BOYS. MAYBE SCIENCE AND MATH WAS ALWAYS AN AREA THEY DIDN'T.

Mary says I'M SURE IT WASN'T, YEAH.

Paula says BUT THE KIND OF HEADLINES WE GET NOW SUGGEST THAT GIRLS ARE OUTSCORING THE BOYS IN ALL AREA, WHICH, YOU KNOW, IS TOTAL NONSENSE.

Mary says THAT THEY'RE NOT OUTSCORING? THERE WAS A RECENT WORLDWIDE REPORT IT WAS, LIKE, ALL ACROSS THE PAPERS WHERE IT SAID GIRLS WERE OUTPERFORMING BOYS... SOME GIRLS.

Mary says BUT IN, LIKE, ALL THESE COUNTRIES. THEY WERE, YOU KNOW, QUOTING THE STATS WERE GIRLS WERE OVERACHIEVING BOYS IN MATH, SCIENCE, ENGLISH.

Paula says BUT, REALLY, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE FIGURES HERE, I MEAN... YOU KNOW, LOOK, SAY, AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, WHICH DOES HAVE NOW 58 percent UNDERGRADUATE FEMALES AND THAT'S A LOT, BUT LOOK AT THE BREAKDOWN AS TO WHERE THEY ARE. FOR MANY YEARS WE WERE TRYING TO PROMOTE GIRLS INTO MATH AND SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. YOU KNOW, WE GOT UP TO ABOUT 20 percent... WE GOT UP TO 27 percent. I'VE JUST BEEN TALKING WITH SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN THE ENGINEERING SCHOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. THEIR CONCERN IS THEIR NUMBERS FOR FEMALE ENROLLMENT ARE ACTUALLY GOING DOWN.

Mary says THAT'S ENGINEERING. LOOK AT MEDICAL SCHOOL.

Paula says MEDICAL SCHOOL, YES. BECAUSE WE'VE GOT THOSE SUCCESSES IN LAW AND IN MEDICAL SCHOOL, I DON'T THINK THAT WE KNOW WE CAN SORT OF TURN AROUND AND SAY THAT ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THE GIRLS ARE NOW DOING BETTER THAN THE BOYS IS BECAUSE THERE ARE FEWER MALE TEACHERS THERE TO BE THE KIND OF ROLE MODELS AND THAT BOYS ARE GOING TO RELATE TO FEMALE TEACHERS. I THINK THERE'S SUCH A COMPLEX PROBLEM IN TERMS OF ACHIEVEMENT AND WHY GIRLS ARE DOING BETTER AND WHY BOYS... BOYS DON'T READ AS WELL, BOYS DON'T WRITE AS WELL. I MEAN, WE HAVE TO LOOK AT EXPECTATIONS, PARENTS, MEDIA.

Mary says DO YOU THINK THAT BOYS AND GIRLS LEARN DIFFERENTLY BASED ON THEIR GENDER IN... GENDER?

Paula says I CAN NOT BUY ON A GENERAL BASIS THERE THERE ARE TOTAL DIFFERENCES IN LEARNING STYLES. I THINK SOME STUDENTS LEARN IN ONE WAY, SOME LEARN IN ANOTHER WAY. I WOULDN'T PUT ALL BOYS TOGETHER AND ALL GIRLS TOGETHER. SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES WILL, BUT I HAVEN'T SEEN THE PROOF YET.

Wili says I THINK IT DOES HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE SOME KIDS WILL HAVE. KIDS DOING WELL WILL DO WELL AS PAULA SAYS. KIDS WHO ARE STRUGGLING, THEN YOU HAVE TO FIND, YOU KNOW, OTHER WAYS OF HELPING THEM. NOW, I FIND THAT... THAT... YOU KNOW, I AM A PARENT OF THREE BOYS WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH THE SYSTEM. I FOUND FOR ONE OF MY SONS IN PARTICULAR, HE TENDS TO RELATE BETTER TO MALES, TO MALE TEACHERS. WHETHER IT'S JUST A ROLE MODEL KIND OF THING OR WHETHER THEY HAVE A WAY OF CONNECTING WHETHER IT'S THROUGH SPORTS WHICH IS A CONVENTIONAL IDEA, BUT, STILL, IT WORKS. I HAD A FEMALE TEACHER CONSTANTLY THERE HAD BEEN PROBLEMS THERE. DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO RELATE OR TO RESPOND. I THINK PART OF IT CAN BE, AND I DON'T WANT TO OVERGENERALIZE, IS THAT BOYS JUST BEHAVE IN A CERTAIN KIND OF WAY WHICH I THINK SOME WOMEN MISINTERPRET AS BEING... OR INTERPRET AS BEING NOT APPROPRIATE WHEN THEY ARE RAMBUNCTIOUS, BOISTEROUS, HANDS ON. WOMEN MAY INTERPRET THAT ONE WAY AND A MALE TEACHER MAY SAY, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WITHIN THE REALM OF NORMAL BEHAVIOUR FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF BOYS.

Mary says I THINK THERE'S A COOL FACTOR INVOLVED, TOO. I THINK THE OLDER YOU GET... BECAUSE, ONE OF MY SONS HAD ONE MALE TEACHER, YOU KNOW, AND HE WAS COOL. HE COULD REALLY RELATE TO HIM. I WONDER IF THAT CAN BE A REALLY IMPORTANT FACTOR AS A BOY'S OLDER. MAYBE THAT MIGHT EVEN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN HIS LIFE.

Wili says SURE. IT'S MAKING CONNECTIONS, I THINK.

Carl says THAT'S WHY I GO BACK TO WHAT I SAID PREVIOUSLY THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE A BALANCE IN TERMS OF FACULTY OF MALE AND FEMALE. SOME STUDENTS ARE ATTRACTED TO MALE TEACHERS, SOME ARE ATTRACTED TO FEMALE TEACHERS. YOU'RE RIGHT. BOYS SOMETIMES REACT DIFFERENTLY TO A MALE TEACHER THAN THEY DO TO A FEMALE TEACHER, I MEAN, FOR DIFFERENT REASONS. IT'S VERY COMPLEX. SO THAT'S WHY MY GOAL IS... AND IT IS A GOAL TO ACHIEVE A BALANCE. I'LL CONTINUE TO DO THAT.

Mary says DIANE ON THE LINE FROM BELLEVILLE. HI.

The Caller says YES.

Mary says HI, GO AHEAD.

The Caller says YES. I'M A SINGLE PARENT OF A LITTLE BOY WHO IS THREE AND A HALF. NEXT MONTH I SHALL HAVE TO START MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR HIM TO ENTER KINDERGARTEN IN SEPTEMBER, AND I THINK I HAVE A CHOICE OF THREE SCHOOLS IN OUR AREA WHERE I CAN SEND HIM. I THINK I'M GOING TO BE LEAGUE VERY MUCH TOWARD THE ONE THAT HAS THE MOST MALE TEACHERS, BECAUSE I MYSELF AM AN ONLY CHILD. HE DOESN'T HAVE ANY AUNTS OR UNCLES. I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR A LITTLE BOY... I KEEP HEARING ALL THESE THINGS LIKE Dr. PHIL'S SHOW THAT THE RELATIONSHIP WITH A MALE OR RATHER WITH SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX IS SO VERY IMPORTANT. I TRY TO GET HIM A BIG BROTHER AND THAT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. THEY'VE GOT A WAITING LIST AS LONG AS YOUR ARM AND THE CHILD HAS TO BE SIX BEFORE THEY CAN BE CONSIDERED ANYWAY. I'VE HEARD GOOD THINGS ABOUT A MALE TEACHER IN ONE OF OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS WHO TEACHES KINDERGARTEN.

Wili says THAT'S UNUSUAL.

Mary says I DON'T KNOW ABOUT ACADEMICALLY, THEY ALL SAY GOOD THINGS ABOUT HIM PERSONALITYWISE. I'M HOPING THAT WILL GO A LITTLE WAY TOWARDS PROVIDING HIM WITH A POSITIVE MALE ROLE MODEL.

Mary says GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. YOU HEAR HER CONCERNS, WILI.

Wili says I THINK SHE'S RIGHT TO BE DOING WHAT SHE'S DOING. SHE'S LOOKING AROUND, SHE'S GETTING FEEDBACK, SHE'S TALKING TO PEOPLE, SHE'S GETTING INPUT. I THINK THAT WILL HELP HER MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION. I THINK, FIRST OF ALL, HAVING A MALE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER IS VERY UNUSUAL. GET THERE FIRST.

Mary says THEY'RE LINING UP.

Wili says IT'S A GOOD WAY, I THINK, YES, FOR YOUNG BOYS, IN PARTICULAR, TO START THEM OFF AND HAVE THAT MALE ROLE MODEL. SHE'S REPRESENTATIVE, AGAIN, OF A HUGE PROBLEM WITH SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES. I DO THINK THEY ARE IMPORTANT. YOU WANT TO MITIGATE ANY POTENTIAL PROBLEMS... BEHAVIOURIAL PROBLEMS DOWN THE ROAD. IF A MALE TEACHER CAN DO THAT FOR A YOUNG CHILD, THEN I THINK THAT'S GREAT.

Mary says YOU KNOW, YOU WERE MENTIONING EARLIER, Paula, IT'S INTERESTING HOW CERTAIN MEASURES WERE TAKEN, UM, BY THE EDUCATION SYSTEM TO ENCOURAGE GIRLS TO PURSUE SCIENCE AND MATH TO STAY IN THERE AND, YOU KNOW, I'VE HEARD THIS TERM ABOUT THE FEMINIZATION OF THE CLASSROOM. DO YOU THINK WE MAYBE NEED TO SWING THINGS THE OTHER WAY AT THIS POINT, BECAUSE BOYS ARE DOING POORLY, AND THEY ARE DROPPING OUT. SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED WE NEED TO, PERHAPS, WE LOOK AT THE WHOLE MODEL?

Paula says I DON'T THINK WE CAN MAKE A DIRECT SORT OF CORRELATION BETWEEN THE FACT THAT SOME BOYS ARE DOING POORLY AND THE FEMINIZATION, QUOTE/QUOTE OF THE CLASSROOM. THERE HAVE BEEN STUDIES THAT LOOK AT FEMALE TEACHERS AS OPPOSED TO MALE TEACHERS. THERE ARE SO MANY COMPLEX FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE FACT THAT SOME BOYS ARE NOT READING AS WELL, AND THERE ARE SOME STUDIES THAT SHOW THAT CERTAIN SORT OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES ARE BETTER FOR SOME BOYS, BECAUSE THERE MANY THAT AREN'T.

Mary says WOULD THERE WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF THOSE BOYS TO WANT, PERHAPS, INCORPORATING THAT INTO THE SYSTEM?

Paula says TO INCORPORATE ALL MALE TEACHERS?

Mary says NO. ABOUT THE WAY WE TEACH. I'M TALKING ABOUT THE WAY FEMALE TEACHERS TEACH. WE'RE SITTING THERE IN ROWS AND LEARNING. MAYBE WE NEED TO HAVE IT IN SMALL DOSES. MAYBE SOME KIDS NEED TO GET UP MORE AND BE ACTIVE.

Paula says FEMALE TEACHERS DO THAT. I DON'T THINK IT IS A PREROGATIVE OF A PARTICULAR GENDER.

Carl says YOU'LL FIND THAT THE PRIMARY CLASSROOMS ARE A LOT MORE ACTIVE THAN... THAN THE JUNIOR GRADE CLASSROOMS. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE BOYS IN THE READING. I KNOW IN MY SCHOOL AND MANY SCHOOLS IN THE TORONTO SCHOOL BOARD, THEY'RE BRINGING INTO THE LIBRARY BOOKS THAT BOYS MIGHT LIKE TO READ. WE'VE DONE THE SAME THING, YOU KNOW, WAYNE GRETZKY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY. WE ARE DOING THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. THEY'RE STARTING UP BOYS CLUBS. WE'RE DOING A NUMBER OF THINGS TO... TO CLOSE THE GAP AND TO HELP THOSE BOYS ALONG, PLUS I THINK WE'RE DOING A BETTER JOB... WE'RE STARTING TO DO A BETTER JOB FINDING THOSE STUDENTS... THOSE BOYS WHO ARE STRUGGLING AT AN EARLY AGE AND TRY TO REMEDIATE SO THAT THEY'LL DO BETTER LATER ON. THEY'RE BEING IDENTIFIED EARLIER NOW.

Paula says I WOULD JUST LIKE TO POINT OUT, ALSO, THAT, AGAIN, YOU KNOW I MENTIONED EARLIER THAT GIRLS ALWAYS DID BETTER THAN BOYS. THERE WAS ALWAYS MORE GIRLS GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL IF YOU LOOK AT THE HISTORICAL STATISTICS, OF COURSE, THEY DIDN'T GO ON TO UNIVERSITY. ONE OF THE DIFFERENCES THAT WE HAVE NOW THAT WE DIDN'T HAVE THEN WAS THAT IT DIDN'T... IT WASN'T SO IMPORTANT THAT THE BOYS DIDN'T... THEY WEREN'T SO LITERATE OR NUMBERATE. THEY COULD LEAVE SCHOOLING AT 16 AND GET JOBS. THOSE JOBS AREN'T THERE NOW. THAT IS PART AND PARCEL. YOU KNOW, THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY, THE TESTING SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE WHERE THE BOYS ARE FALLING BEHIND AND WE KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE FIND WAYS OF DEVELOPING THEIR LITERACY AND SKILLS SO THEY WILL GRADUATE.

Wili says ARE WE A CULTURE THAT REALLY CELEBRATES ACADEMICS AS OPPOSED TO OTHER THINGS LIKE SPORTS, WHICH REALLY TEND TO BE MORE IN THE MALE DOMAIN, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE MANY GREAT FEMALE ATHLETES AND LOTS OF GIRLS INVOLVED, BUT DO WE RELATE IT TO BOYS? DO WE CELEBRATE BOYS WHO ARE... WHO ARE DOING REALLY WELL ACADEMICALLY? IS THAT CELEBRATED IN OUR CULTURE AS OPPOSED TO, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE THE STAR FOOTBALL PLAYER.

Paula says HOW DO THEIR PARENTS FEEL IF THEIR SON IS AT HOME READING A BOOK RATHER THAN OUT ON THE STREET PLAYING SHINNY HOCKEY. PARENTS GET CONCERNED.

Wili says THERE ARE GOOD REASONS FOR THAT.

Paula says THIS IS A BOOK FROM THE CANADIAN TEACHERS FEDERATION WHICH SAYS THERE IS A TRADITIONAL MASCULINITY IDEOLOGY WITHIN THE SCHOOL AND READING IS NOT SCHOOL. WRITING... IS NOT COOL. WRITING IS NOT COOL IF YOU'RE A YOUNG BOY.

Mary says YEAH. LET'S TAKE ANOTHER CALL HERE. HELLO.

The Caller says HI.

Mary says HI. GO AHEAD.

The Caller says MY SON ATTENDED WARREN PARK SCHOOL, NOW HE'S A SCHOOLTEACHER.

Mary says OH, CONGRATULATIONS.

The Caller says THANKS.

Mary says WONDERFUL. WHAT WAS HIS PRINCIPAL?

The Caller says I DON'T KNOW THAT. I KNOW HE HAD A TEACHER, HIS NAME WAS Mr. COLE.

Carl says OH, YEAH, Mr. COLE, YES. I KNOW Mr. COLE. GOOD FRIEND OF MINE.

Mary says THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THAT'S GREAT TO HEAR.

Carl says SO IT CAN HAPPEN IN OTHER WORDS.

Mary says YEAH.

[LAUGHTER]

Carl says WE SHOULD BE DOING MORE OF THAT.

Mary says YEAH. WHAT ABOUT, YOU KNOW, THE ISSUE... YOU WERE TALKING EARLIER ABOUT RECRUITING AND IT WOULD BE GREAT TO GET A BALANCE OF MALE VERSUS FEMALE. WHAT ABOUT THE WHOLE ISSUE OF RACIAL DIVERSITY?

Carl says ALSO, THAT'S IMPORTANT. LIKE I SAID, THE SCHOOL FACULTY SHOULD REFLECT THE COMMUNITY. I KNOW THE BOARD... I'M NOT SHEERV HERE TO SPEAK FOR THE BOARD, BUT I KNOW THEY'RE VERY AWARE OF THE COMMUNITY MAKEUP AND I KNOW THEY'RE DOING A GOOD JOB IN TERMS OF MAKING SURE THAT THE STAFF IS BALANCED IN TERMS OF MALE/FEMALE AND RACE AND SO ON. I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT.

Mary says YOU KNOW, YOU SAID YOU LOVE TEACHING, RIGHT?

Carl says I GOT INTO IT BECAUSE I ENJOY IT. I MEAN, I DO ENJOY IT.

Mary says SO, THEN, WHY DID YOU BECOME A PRINCIPAL?

Carl says WELL, YOU KNOW, I WAS... BECAUSE I WAS A LEADER IN THE SCHOOL. I MEAN, I... I COACHED A LOT OF THE TEAMS. I... I TOOK A LOT OF INITIATIVES TO DO MANY, MANY THINGS. I MEAN, I WAS REALLY INTO THE SPORTS, OBVIOUSLY, BUT SCIENCE, ALSO, IS A PASSION, FROM ORGANIZING SCIENCE FAIRS, JUST BEING A LEADER WITH THE STUDENTS, A LEADER WITH THE STAFF AND THEN I SORT OF WAS DIRECTED IN THAT DIRECTION. NOW I'M HAVING EVEN BIGGER IMPACT IN THE SCHOOL AND THE COMMUNITY I'M IN. EVEN THOUGH I'M THE PRINCIPAL OF THE SCHOOL, I STILL TEACH, I STILL COACH. I'M NOT IN THE CLASSROOM EVERY DAY. THOSE THINGS ARE IMPORTANT TO ME.

Mary says NO.

Wili says KARL'S A ROLE MODEL.

Mary says I ASKED BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, PAULA BROUGHT UP EARLIER ONE OF THE, I GUESS, REASONS THAT IS NOT ATTRACTIVE FOR MEN TO GO INTO THE PROFESSION IS THE SALARY. THE SALARY STARTING OUT... I MEAN, CONSIDERING YOU HAVE FOUR YEARS...

Carl says YOU'RE RIGHT. I REMEMBER STRUGGLING.

Mary says YOU'VE GOT FIVE KIDS. YOU KNOW, AS A TEACHER, THAT'S PROBABLY... AS A YOUNG TEACHER, AS A NEW TEACHER, YOU KNOW.

Carl says I'M HAPPY I'M IN THE PROFESSION. I WOULDN'T CHANGE IT FOR THE WORLD, BECAUSE I'M VERY HAPPY. I MEAN, I GO HOME EVERY NIGHT THINKING, GEEZ, I DID SOME GOOD TODAY AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT DAY. I REALLY MEAN IT. I MEAN, I ENJOY WHAT I DO.

Paula says I ALSO HAVE A LOT OF STUDENTS IN OUR PROGRAMME NOW WHO ARE MATURE STUDENTS.

Mary says OR THEY'VE DONE SOMETHING ELSE...

Paula says THEY ARE IN THEIR 30s, THEY ARE IN THEIR 40s AND THEY ARE COMING BACK INTO TEACHING. ONE OF THE GROUPS I HAVE AT THE MOMENT ARE PRACTICALLY ALL GOING INTO HIGH SCHOOLS TO... THIS IS VERY PREDOMINANTLY MALE, MATH AND PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY AND SO ON, THEY'VE ALL HAD EXPERIENCE IN INDUSTRY AND SO ON. FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS, IT'S OBVIOUSLY NOT THE MONEY, BECAUSE THEY TELL ME THAT THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE A PAY CUT, BUT THEY WANT A CAREER CHANGE, AND THEY SEE TEACHING AS SOMETHING THEY WANT TO DO. I ALSO HAVE A GROUP OF MEN WHO ARE IN THEIR 40s AND 50s WHO ARE COMING IN TO TEACH TECH STUDIES. THAT'S ARE YOUR CARPENTERS, PLUMBERS AND ELECTRICIANS. THERE YOU HAVE TO TOTAL ROLE REVERSAL, BECAUSE WE HAVE 92 percent OF THE CANDIDATES ARE MALE AND ONLY 8 percent ARE FEMALE. ONE OF THE THINGS I'M DOING IS TO TRY TO SEE HOW WE CAN PROMOTE MORE FEMALE INVOLVEMENT IN THE NON-TRADITIONAL SKILLED TRADES. AFTER ALL, THIS COUNTRY'S GOT THIS HUGE NEED FOR SKILLED TRADES. THESE ARE THE STUDENTS... MANY OF THESE STUDENTS ARE NOT STUDENTS WHO ARE GOING TO GO ON TO UNIVERSITY, AND AS THE NEWSPAPER REPORTED JUST THIS LAST WEEK, WE HAVE SO MANY STUDENTS WHO ARE FAILING IN HIGH SCHOOL, WHO WILL NOT GET THEIR HIGH SCHOOL CREDITS AND WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, HERE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THAT THERE ARE JOBS OTHER... WE HAVE A CURRICULUM IN THE HIGH SCHOOL AT THE MOMENT WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, DESIGNED FOR THE 30 percent OF STUDENTS THAT GO INTO POST-SECONDARY, NOT FOR THE 70 percent WHO DON'T.

Mary says ONE MORE CALL HERE. DARREN ON THE LINE.

The Caller says HI.

Mary says HOW YOU DOING?

The Caller says NOT TOO BAD. I TRIED TO GET INTO TEACHING A FEW YEARS AGO. I'M A ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGIST BY TRADE. I WAS BASICALLY PUT UP AGAINST THE WALL AND SAID, YOU KNOW, THEY CAN'T GET IN. THEY'RE CUTTING BACK ON TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMMES. I DIDN'T HAVE ANY TEACHER CERTIFICATE. I WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH A LOT TO GET THAT AND THE, ALSO, THE PAY WAS REALLY LOW. I LOOKED AT IT AND SAID IT'S NOT REALLY AN OPTION. I CAN MAKE 60 GRAND STARTING OUT AS A ROBOTICS TECHNOLOGIST AS OPPOSED TO BECOMING A TEACHER AND HAVING TO GO THROUGH COURSES AGAIN AND GO THROUGH SCHOOL. IT WAS FRUSTRATING. I GOT INTO THE TECHNOLOGY SIDE AND GOT INTO THE COLLEGE SIDE OF TEACHING FOR A LITTLE BIT. I WOULDN'T MIND GOING BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL AND TEACHING IN HIGH SCHOOL, BUT I'M STILL UP AGAINST THAT WALL, THAT I HAVE TO GET ALL THESE COURSES TO DO THIS.

Paula says ACTUALLY, THIS... I'M SORRY...

Mary says DARREN.

Paula says DARREN, YOU'RE EXACTLY THE KIND OF PERSON I JUST SPOKE ABOUT WHO ARE... THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO ARE IN OUR PROGRAMME, WHICH IS THE TECHNOLOGICAL STUDIES PROGRAMME, AND THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING IN HAVING WORKED IN VARIOUS AREAS. THEN THEY GO INTO THE HIGH SCHOOLS TO TEACH.

Mary says BUT THEY DON'T HAVE ALL THOSE PREREQUISITES.

Paula says YOU HAVE TO GET THE TEACHER CERTIFICATION FROM THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS. NOT ALL THE FACULTIES OF EDUCATION DO, IN FACT, OFFER THAT PROGRAMME. IT'S OFFERED HERE AT O.I.S.E. DARREN, FOR THOSE PEOPLE, RATHER THAN STARTING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAY SCALE, MANY OF THE BOARDS, BECAUSE WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU TEACHING IN THE SCHOOLS, WILL GIVE YOU A YEAR OF SENIORITY IN TERMS OF SALARIES FOR EVERY YEAR YOU'VE WORKED. I HAVE MANY OF MY STUDENTS WHO GO INTO TEACHING AND THEY START RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE PAY SCALE AND THAT IS ACTUALLY QUIET SIGNIFICANTLY MORE THAN 60,000.

Mary says WILI, WHAT ARE THEY DOING IN THE U.K. TO RECRUIT MEN TEACHERS?

Wili says IN THE U.K. THEY HAVE A PROGRAMME CALLED TEACHER TRAINING CENTRES. THEY ACTUALLY ACTIVELY GO OUT THE RECRUIT. THEY'VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL WITH ATTRACTING MEN. VERY MUCH LIKE THE STUDENTS THAT PAULA'S BEEN TALKING ABOUT, THOSE WORKING FOR A WHILE IN INDUSTRY OR BUSINESS OR WHATEVER. IT'S THE SOFTER TOUCH OF THINGS. I MEAN, ON THE HARD ISSUES LIKE SALARY AND SO ON, TEACHING MAY NOT BE ABLE TO COMPETE. IT'S REALLY THE FULFILLMENT, THE CONTACT, THE DESIRE TO EITHER TEACH SOMETHING THEY LOVE AND CONNECT WITH KIDS AND HAVE AN IMPACT ON THOSE LIVES. THOSE ARE THE DETERMINING FACTORS. THEY ALSO OFFER BURSARIES, THOUGH, OF 10,000 pounds TO EASE THE TRANSITION. THEY PAIR NEW TEACHERS UP WITH A MENTOR. RIGHT AWAY YOU'RE IN THE SYSTEM, NOT LOST, YOU HAVE SOMEBODY TO HELP YOU WITH ANY PROBLEMS OR CHALLENGES YOU MIGHT FACE, AND THAT HAS MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE. OF COURSE, IN THE U.K., IT'S AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, IT'S CONTROLLED BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. HERE, OF COURSE, BECAUSE WE HAVE THIS COCKAMAMY SYSTEM WE DO, IT'S A PROBLEM.

Paula says ONE THING ABOUT THE BRITISH SYSTEM, BECAUSE I SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN THE U.K., HAVE MANY FRIENDS WHO TEACH THERE, IS THEY HAVE A DREADFUL SHORTAGE OF TEACHERS THERE. THOSE BURSARIES ARE OFFERED TO BOTH FEMALES AND MALES. THE OTHER THING IS THAT, IN FACT, MANY OF MY STUDENTS WHO GRADUATED LAST YEAR HAVE NOT GOT JOBS. SO ON THE ONE HAND, YOU KNOW, WE SORT OF TALK ABOUT... NOW, THIS IS IN PARTICULAR AREAS, BUT, YOU KNOW, NOT EVERYBODY IS COMING OUT OF TEACHERS COLLEGE AND GETTING JOBS. WE DON'T HAVE A SHORTAGE.

Mary says THANK YOU. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU.

Paula says THANK YOU.

Mary says PAULA BOURNE IS THE HEAD OF THE CENTRE FOR WOMEN STUDIES IN EDUCATION AT O.I.S.E. KARL SUBBAN IS A PRINCIPAL AND WILI LIBERMAN IS OUR EDUCATION COLUMNIST AND THE EDITOR AND PUBLISHER OF "TEACH" MAGAZINE.

A picture of one edition of the Teach magazine appears briefly with the caption "www.teachmag.com."

Mary continues ANOTHER GROUP OF BOYS WHO RELY ON ROLE MODELS ARE THE SCOUTS. EVERY YEAR MILLIONS OF KIDS WORLDWIDE ARE INTRODUCED TO ROASTED MARSHMALLOWS, CAMP FIRE SONGS AND BADGE-EARNING ACTIVITIES, BUT IT'S THE DEAD OCCASION OF PARENTS WHO BECOME LEAD THERE'S MAKE THESE MOMENTS POSSIBLE. TVO'S "PLANET PARENT" GAVE ONE SCOUTING MOM A CAMERA FOR THIS VIDEO DIARY.

Music plays as a montage shows a teenage girl handling a camcorder.

Then, a woman sits outdoors. She's in her late forties, with short wavy gray hair.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Deirdre Walcot. Mom."

She says ON MY HONOUR, I PROMISE TO DO MY BEST, TO DO MY DUTY TO GOD AND THE QUEEN, TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES AND CARRY OUT THE SPIRIT OF THE SCOUT LAW.

The caption changes to "Grant. 7."

Grant says I PROMISE TO LOVE GOD AND HELP TO TAKE CARE OF THE WORLD.

The caption changes to "Spencer. 8."

Spencer says I PROMISE TO KEEP THE LAW OF THE WOLF CUB PACK AND TO DO A GOOD TURN FOR SOMEBODY EVERY DAY.

Deirdre says WHO'S YOUR FAVOURITE LEADER?

Grant says YOU.

[LAUGHTER]

Grant says WHAT?

Deirdre says IT'S NOT FAIR. I'M YOUR MAMA.

Later she says HEY.
[LAUGHTER]
YOU'RE BEING DIFFICULT.

Sitting outdoors, Deirdre says WHEN I HAD MY OWN CHILDREN, I DECIDED THAT I WANTED THEM IN THE SCOUT PROGRAMME, AND THEY JUST HAPPENED TO NEED A LEADER AT THE BEAVER COLONY NEAR US. I GOT INVOLVED AS A LEADER MOSTLY BECAUSE I WAS A LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT SENDING MY FIRST CHILD OUT WITH STRANGERS AND NOT KNOWING WHO THEY WERE AND WHAT THEY WERE DOING, SO I SIGNED ON AS LADDER. I'VE BEEN A LEADER NOW FOR FOUR YEARS.

Grant says YOU'RE GETTING ON YOUR SCARF AND STUFF.

Deirdre says YES.

Grant says HOW FANCY.

Deirdre says VERY FANCY.

During her interview, she says WHEN I JOINED, UM, I HAVE THE GUITAR PLAYING AS A BACKGROUND, AND I LOVE IT. SO I STARTED SINGING WITH THE KIDS, AND THEY JUST WERE ATTRACTED TO IT LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS. WE NOW HAVE 36 CHILDREN IN OUR COLONY AND EIGHT LEADERS.

As a group of children and adults gather around a campfire, a man says I HEREBY DECLARE THIS CAMPFIRE OPEN.

(music plays)

Deirdre plays a guitar and they all sing.

She says OH, CAMPFIRES ARE USOME. CAMPFIRES ARE... THEY'RE MAGICAL. IT'S MAGICAL NOT ONLY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ME AS THE PERSON BEHIND THE GUITAR WATCHING EVERYBODY SING, IT'S MAGICAL FROM SEEING THESE KIDS EXPERIENCE IT FOR THE FIRST TIME.
AS A LEADER AND AS A MOTHER, I GET THE... THE REAL SENSE OF JOY IN LIFE FROM THE KIDS. THEY HAVE SO MUCH FUN, AND THEY SHARE THAT FUN AND THEIR JOY FOR LIFE WITH ME. I COME OUT INVIGOURATED FROM EVERY SINGLE MEETING.

As she interviews Grant, she says DO YOU LIKE BEAVERS?

Grant says YEAH.

Deirdre says WHY? WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT BEAVERS?

Grant says PLAYING.

Deirdre says OH. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE... WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE TRIP? DO YOU REMEMBER ANY OF THE TRIPS?

Grant says CAMPING!

Interviewing Grant, she says DO YOU ENJOY CUBS?

Spencer says YES.

Deirdre says WHY?

Spencer says BECAUSE WE GET TO STAY UP A LONG TIME AND WE ROAST MARSHMALLOWS AND HAVE S'MORES.

Deirdre says I SEE THEM BECOMING MORE INDIVIDUALS THROUGHOUT THE PROGRAMME BECAUSE THEY'RE WORKING WITH OTHERS AND THEY'RE LEARNING DIFFERENT SKILLS AS THEY GO THROUGH IT.

Spencer shows a piece of fabric with dozens of badges sewn to it and says THESE ARE ALL MY BADGES THAT I WON.

Deirdre says THIS IS YOUR BLANKET, ISN'T IT?

Spencer says YES. THESE BADGES IS WHAT I'VE GONE THROUGH.

Deirdre says I THINK THE SCOUTING BLANKET IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THEM. THEY ARE ALLOWED TO PUT THE BADGES ON THEY'VE LEARNED. IT'S PART OF THE SCOUTING TRADITION. IT'S ALSO PART OF MY FAMILY'S TRADITION BECAUSE WE HAVE MY FATHER'S BLANKET, SO THEY SEE THEIR GRANDFATHER DID SOME OF THE SAME THINGS AND WENT TO SOME OF THE SAME PLACES.

Spencer says THAT'S GRANDDAD'S BLANKET.

Deirdre says THIS IS HIS CAMP BLANKET, ISN'T IT? THAT WAS WORLD JAMBOREE.

As she shows names sewn onto a blanket, she says NOW, THESE ARE ALL THE DIFFERENT TROOPS HE WAS IN. FIRST YORK MILLS, FIRST HAVILAND. FIRST EDMONTON. SOMEWHERE IN THAT GROUP, MOMMY WAS BORN. I THINK THAT SCOUTING ITSELF IS AN INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAMME AND I THINK IT'S GOOD FOR THE BOYS TO SEE THEY'RE DOING SOMETHING THAT THEIR GRANDFATHER AND THEIR UNCLE DID, THAT THEY'RE CONTINUING IN SOMETHING THAT'S EXISTED FOR SO LONG, AND THAT IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S GEARED TO DOING GOOD FOR OTHER PEOPLE AS OPPOSED TO JUST BEING IN IT FOR THEMSELVES. IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME. IT... IT TAKES A LOT OF ORGANIZATION, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE COLONY GETS TO BE AS LARGE AS OURS, BUT I FIND THAT THERE'S A GREAT SENSE OF FAMILY BETWEEN ALL OF OUR LEADERS, AND SO WE SHARE ALL THE DUTIES. YOU HAVE TO PHONE PARENTS. YOU HAVE TO CHECK WITH, YOU KNOW, GROUP COMMITTEE TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN OUTINGS, THINGS LIKE MAILINGS NEED TO BE DONE, NEWSLETTERS NEED TO BE CREATED. AND THE ACTUAL WEEKLY PROGRAMME AS WELL NEEDS TO BE ORGANIZED. I DON'T SEE IT AS A BURDEN TO INVEST THAT KIND OF TIME IN GETTING THE PROGRAMME TOGETHER, BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING WORSE THAN GETTING INTO A MEETING AND HAVING FIVE MINUTES WITH 36 FIVE, SIX AND SEVEN YEAR OLDS WHEN THERE'S NOTHING PLANNED. I THINK THAT MY BEING A BEAVER MOM HAS REALLY SET AN EXAMPLE FOR THE BOYS. SPENCER HAS ALREADY SAID, YOU KNOW, AFTER CUBS, DO I GO TO SCOUTS? AND THEN WHEN DO I BECOME A LEADER? IT'S PART OF WHAT HE'S LOOKING FORWARD TO AS AN ADULT. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT A PARENT GET INVOLVED IN THE PROGRAMME AS A LEADER, BECAUSE THEY... THEY GET SO MUCH OUT OF IT THEMSELVES FROM BEING ABLE TO WATCH THEIR OWN CHILD AND BE WITH THEIR OWN CHILD FOR SPECIAL MOMENTS THAT DON'T COME UP IN DAY-TO-DAY LIFE. IT'S A LOT OF FUN.

As a group of children and parents gathers for a group hug, Deirdre says HOLD ON. HOLD ON.

She joins in.

The clip ends.

Mary says HERE WE GO. "PLANET PARENT" CAN BE SEEN EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT 7:00 RIGHT HERE ON TVO.

Now music plays as an animated slate reads "More to Education."

Mary says GEORGE ORWELL ONCE SAID, IF THOUGHT CORRUPTS LANGUAGE, LANGUAGE CAN ALSO CORRUPT THOUGHT. SOME SENATORS IN THE STATES SEEM TO AGREE. THEY WANT TO BAN SEVEN WELL-USED BAD WORDS FROM THE AIRWAVES TO AVOID CORRUPTING YOUNG MINES. BUT HOW BAD ARE THESE WORDS? WELL, AREN'T THEY, AFTER ALL, JUST WORDS? HERE TO SPEAK ABOUT THE UNSPEAKABLE IS KATHERINE BARBER. SHE'S THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FOR CANADIAN DICTIONARYS AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS...

Katherine is in her forties, with short brown hair and bangs. She's wearing a blue floral print blouse and a silver necklace.

Mary continues HELLO, KATHERINE.

Katherine says HELLO, MARY.

Mary says WE CAN'T SAY THOSE BAD WORDS. YOU'RE GETTING GOOD AT THIS, I THINK. LET ME ASK YOU, WHY DO WE SWEAR?

The caption changes to "Katherine Barber. Lexicographer."

Katherine says WELL, I THINK IT'S A PERFECTLY NATURAL HUMAN NEED. THERE ARE CASES WHERE YOU GET VERY EXASPERATED, YOU HAVE STRONG EMOTIONS SO YOU NEED A WORD THAT'S GOING TO CONVEY THAT STRONG EMOTION. TRADITIONALLY, LANGUAGES HAVE USED WORDS THAT DESIGNATE THINGS THAT ARE TA BOO... TABOO OR SACRED IN THEIR CULTURE. SO IN... IN MANY CULTURES, UM, ITS RELIGIOUS WORDS THAT ARE TABOO AND THEY CREATE THE SWEAR WORDS. IN FRENCH, FOR INSTANCE, IT'S VERY WELL KNOWN, THAT YOU KNOW, WORDS LIKE TABERNACLE ARE THE REALLY, REALLY STRONG WEAR WORDS THAT ARE THE MOST SHOCKING. IN ENGLISH-SPEAKING SOCIETY, PARTLY BECAUSE ENGLISH-SPEAKING SOCIETY TRADITIONALLY HAS BEEN MORE PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC, IT'S NOT BEEN CHURCH-RELATED THINGS AS BODILY FUNCTIONS AND SEXUAL WORDS.

Mary says YOU KNOW, IT MAKES ME WONDER, THOUGH, BECAUSE, AS YOU SAY, YOU NEED A WORD FOR MAYBE WHEN YOU'RE REALLY ANGRY AND UPSET, BUT THAT WORD ALSO HAS TO HAVE A SHOCK VALUE, RIGHT?

Katherine says YES.

Mary says I'M WONDERING... I MEAN, IS THERE AN AGE-GROUP THAT THIS ORIGINATES IN? I THINK OF TEENS. OFTEN IT'S IN THOSE YEARS THAT SWEARING REALLY DEVELOPS INTO A FINE ART?

Katherine says I DON'T KNOW HISTORICALLY BACK IN, YOU KNOW, THE CAVES WHAT AGE PEOPLE STARTED SWEARING. IT'S HARD TO KNOW.

Mary says BUT SWEARING HAS EXISTED THAT FAR BACK?

Katherine says I CAN'T IMAGINE IT WOULDN'T, REALLY.

Mary says EVERY CULTURE HAS SWEAR WORDS?

Katherine says THEY MUST HAVE SOMEWAY OF EXPRESSING THOSE THINGS.

Mary says DO YOU THINK, THOUGH, THERE IS A TIME AND A PLACE FOR SWEARING?

Katherine says YES, CERTAINLY.

[LAUGHTER]

Mary says OTHERWISE YOU'D BE DOING IT RIGHT NOW.

Katherine says WHEN YOU'RE THUMBED WITH A HAMMER, THAT'S USUALLY A GOOD TIME. IT'S LIKE ALL OTHER KINDS OF LANGUAGE. YOU KNOW, THE LANGUAGE DIVIDES ITSELF INTO DIFFERENT REGISTERS, SLANG, INFORMAL, NEUTRAL, FORMAL AND EACH IS APPROPRIATE TO A DIFFERENT CONTEXT. SO YOU CERTAINLY... YOU DON'T EVEN EXPECT TO HEAR INFORMAL OR SLANG LANGUAGE ON TVO OR IF YOU'RE WATCHING THE NEWS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. YOU CERTAINLY DON'T EXPECT TO HEAR SWEARING IN THOSE CONTEXTS.

Mary says THIS IS THE POINT OF SENATORS, RIGHT?

Katherine says DEPENDS. THEY'RE TALK ABOUT YOU CAN'T SAY, WE'RE GOING TO BAN IT FROM THE AIR WAVES, AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO DO. I MEAN, THE MEDIA COVERS A WIDE, WIDE RANGE OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF DISCOURSE, RIGHT. YOU HAVE THE NEWS, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE REALITY TV, WHH IS, ACTUALLY, NOT VERY... IT'S KIND OF ARTIFICIAL REALITY TV, ISN'T IT? YOU KNOW, DOCUMENTARIES. I WAS WATCHING, A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, JAMIE'S KITCHEN ABOUT JAMIE OLIVER, THE CHEF, WHO HIRED 15 YOUNG PEOPLE. THERE WAS QUITE A LOT OF SWEARING IN THAT FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER.

Mary says THAT'S APPROPRIATE?

Katherine says I FIND IT WAS APPROPRIATE. I MEAN, IT WAS JUST... IT WAS A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY WENT ON IN THAT CIRCUMSTANCE. SO IT DIDN'T SHOCK ME. ALTHOUGH, I HAVE TO SAY, I THINK IT WAS ON THE FOOT NETWORK, BETWEEN... IT WAS A FIVE-HOUR MARATHON BETWEEN 6:00 AND 9:00, THEY BLEEPED OUT THE SWEAR WORDS BUT FROM 9:00 ONWARDS THEY DIDN'T. I FOUND IT IRRITATING. EVERY TEN MINUTES THEY SAID, THERE WILL BE FOUL LANGUAGE IN THIS PROGRAMME.

Mary says HISTORICALLY, RIGHT, WHAT WAS GOING ON HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO WITH CURSE WORDS? CAN'T SOME WORDS WE USE TODAY OKAY?

Katherine says SOME WORDS FOR BODY PARENTS, FOR INSTANCE, THAT ARE NOW ARE CONSIDERED HIGHLY TABOO SWEAR WORDS WERE, IN FACT, THE WORD FOR THAT BODY PART.

Mary says THERE WAS NO MEDICAL WORD?

Katherine says THERE WAS NO... YEAH, THERE WAS NO LATIN MEDICAL WORD. THERE WAS A WORD, AN ANGLO-SAXON OR NORSE WORD. THAT WAS THE WORD YOU'D USED INSPECT THE 16th CENTURY, ALL THESE LATIN AND GREEK WORDS CAME INTO THE LANGUAGE, AND THOSE NUDGED OUT THE OLDER WORDS AND THOSE BECAME... CAME TO BE CONSIDERED NOT APPROPRIATE ANY MORE.

Mary says WERE THEY CONSIDERED NOT APPROPRIATE, THOUGH, BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE USING IT IN SOME SORT OF INFLAMMATORY WAY, RIGHT? IT'S NOT THE WORD ITSELF. IT'S THE MEANING WITH THE WORD, ISN'T IT?

Katherine says WELL, I THINK IT'S... IT'S... I MEAN, IN TERMS OF BODY PARTS, OBVIOUSLY, WORDS DESIGNATING, YOU KNOW, GENITALIA, THERE'S A WHOLE TABOO ABOUT THAT WHICH HAS TO DO WITH SEX, WHICH IS TABOO. IF YOU READ CHAUSER IN THE MIDDLE AGES THEY WERE SELF-CONSCIOUS ABOUT THESE THINGS. NO ONE TOLD THEM YOU SHOULDN'T TALK ABOUT THAT. THERE WAS A PRUDISHNESS THAT INSTALLED ITSELF IN, SAY, THE 16th AND 17th... MAYBE 17th AND 18th CENTURY. THOSE THINGS BECAME MORE TABOO. THERE WAS, YOU KNOW, A LATIN OR GREEK ALTERNATE WORD THAT COULD BE USED.

Mary says THE WORDS THAT PEOPLE USE AS REPLACEMENTS FOR THESE SWEAR WORDS. I MEAN, IT'S FUNNY, BECAUSE THERE, IS ACTUALLY, THE TECHNICALLY CORRECT WORD, THEN WE GET A SWEAR WORD AND THEN WE GET A REPLACEMENT FOR THAT SWEAR WORD.

Katherine says THAT'S NATURALLY THING, TOO, THESE WORDS ARE TABOO. PEOPLE STILL GET FRUSTRATED. FOR INSTANCE, A VERY INNOCUOUS WORD, GEE, THAT WAS AN EXCITING THING. IT REALLY IS A CORRUPTION OF JESUS.

Mary says IT IS ANY DIDN'T KNOW THAT. GEE?!

Katherine says YES.

Mary says OH.

Katherine says THIS HAPPENS WITH A LOT OF THINGS.

Mary says WHAT ELSE AM I SAYING I DIDN'T REALIZE WAS SO BAD?

Katherine says YOUR LANGUAGE IS JUST SHOCKING. SO... BUT, I MEAN, THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF EXAMPLES.

Mary says THERE'S ONE, ACTUALLY, YOU MENTIONED, FREAKIN.

Katherine says FREAKIN, YES.

Mary says TELL ME ABOUT THAT.

Katherine says IT WAS INVENTED BY TELEVISION SCRIPTWRITERS AS A EUPHEMISM FOR THE F-WORD BECAUSE THEY OBVIOUSLY COULDN'T USE THE F-WORD ON TELEVISION. THEY THOUGHT, WELL, WE'LL INVENT SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS SIMILAR WHICH ISN'T THAT WORD. IT WAS A TOTALLY ARTIFICIAL CREATION. IT'S ACTUALLY CAUGHT ON. I HAVE FRIENDS THAT USE THE WORD FREAKIN.

Mary says DO THEY USE IT IN THAT CONTEXT?

Katherine says YES, YEAH, YEAH.

Mary says OH, THEY DO. IS IT THE SAME THING WITH SWEAR WORDS? LET'S SAY I CREATED ONE, RIGHT. THEN I GOT OTHER PEOPLE TO USE IT, THEN, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE USING IT AND IT WAS WRITTEN INTO MAGAZINES, THEN WOULD IT GET INTO YOUR DICTIONARY?

Katherine says OF COURSE. MARY ITO'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT.

Mary says CAN I EVEN TAKE AN EXISTING WORD AND PUT A BAD MEANING ON IT? LET'S SAY I TOOK THE WORD COW AND I SAID, OH GO COW YOURSELF.

[LAUGHTER]

Mary says RIGHT?

Katherine says YES.

Mary says THAT GOT A BAD MEANING TO IT. IF IT WAS USED ENOUGH...

Katherine says OH, YES. COW DOES HAVE A VERY NEGATIVE THING. WHEN YOU CALL SOMEONE A COW, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WELL ESTABLISHED. YES, ABSOLUTELY.

Mary says WHY IS IT THAT SOME SWEAR WORDS MAKE IT INTO SOME DICTIONARYS AND NOT OTHERS?

Katherine says WELL, FIRST OF ALL, HISTORICALLY, UP UNTIL ABOUT THE 1960s, THERE WERE ACTUAL LEGAL BANS AGAINST PUBLISHING CERTAIN SWEAR WORDS. YOU COULD NOT ACTUALLY PRINT THOSE WORDS WITHOUT...

Mary says ANYWHERE?

Katherine says I'M TALKING ABOUT... IN NOVELS, YES. THE CLASSIC CASE WAS THAT LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER BY D.H. LAWRENCE USED A LOT OF THESE WORDS. THE PUBLISHERS WERE TRIED FOR OBSCENITY... THERE WAS AN OBSCENITY TRIAL. THE PUBLISHERS ACTUALLY WON. THIS DEFEATED THIS OBSCENITY LAW. THEN IT MEANT THAT PEOPLE COULD... THAT THESE WORDS COULD BE PRINTED. AFTER ABOUT 1960, DICTIONARIES COULD PRINT THE WORDS.

Mary says YOU OWE A LOT TO LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER.

Katherine says I READ IT WHEN I WAS 12. I HAVE TO SAY IT DIDN'T CORRUPT METREBLY. I WAS RATHER PRECOCIOUS READER.

Mary says I'M SURE YOU WERE. IT'S OKAY NOW TO PUT THOSE IN DICTIONARIES, RIGHT, BUT THEY'RE STILL NOT IN ALL DICTIONARIES.

Katherine says GENERALLY, OBVIOUSLY, CHILDREN'S DICTIONARIES YOU WON'T BE SWEAR WORDS IN. THE CANADIAN OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL DIRECTIONARY, WE DID A SURVEY AND SAID, DO YOU WANT THESE WORDS AND DON'T YOU? IT CAME DOWN 50-50. WE LEFT THEM OUT. THAT WAS... YOU KNOW, THAT IS A MARKETING DECISION MORE THAN A...

Mary says WHERE WOULD WE FIND THEM?

Katherine says IN THE CANADIAN OXFORD DICTIONARY YOU CAN FIND THEM.

Mary says THANKS, KATHERINE FOR SHEDDING LIGHT ON THIS. KATHERINE BARBER, THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FOR CANADIAN DICTIONARIES AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS. THE LATEST RELEASE IS...

A picture shows the Canadian Oxford Paperback Thesaurus.

Mary says but that's it for our show today. Thank you for watching, and please join us each weekday, Monday to Friday, for More to Life at 1 o'clock.

Watch: Male Teachers, Words