A New University Course: Men In Education and the Male Teacher

We have been in touch in the past and it has been quite some time, several months perhaps, since our last correspondence. Things have nonetheless picked up in my work for the issue of male teachers and I wanted to update you on a project of mine.

Here at Indiana University, I proposed a course specifically addressing men in education, male teachers, and other gender issues. It is formally listed in our online course catalogue and will hopefully be taught our first summer session from 5/8 until 6/14. I am currently working on a curriculum for the course and getting it advertised so that it meets a mandatory enrollment. In addition to course content, I am developing the course as an interactive qualitative inquiry. In other words, potential students and I will engage in a participatory form of research design where we will all interact to engage in social action after the course is done - in this case, ways to promote andmentor more male teachers. The design that I am using is largely influenced by one text in particular and other influences from feminist praxis. It is my understanding that using feminist reseach methodology to investigate masculinity issues in education is a relatively new way of looking at things that I am looking forward to trying out.

This course, if picked up, will hopefully serve as part of my dissertation work. I would continue my investigations next fall and follow up with the teachers that were in the course. I am doing all I can to advertise, meeting with our School of Education's mediarelations person, for example. The course announcement will also be listed in a teacher professional development database, and I will also announce the course at a Men of Color Leadership Conference here at IU.

F500: Men in Education
and the Male Teacher

Summer I 2007: TR 4:00 – 6:45pm
May 8th, 2007 to June 14th, 2007

Instructor: Shaun Johnson

This course will address gender issues that underlie the lack of men in education, especially in the elementary grades. Special consideration will be given to reasons for the persistent fewness of men in education and the potential for social change.

The course is not limited to men only, and teachers in the field are above all encouraged to enroll. Content and readings will be discussed that are pertinent to gender and masculinity as it relates to education. In tandem to this academic focus, the students and the instructor will utilize this course as an interactive exercise with the potential for social action. In other words, we will jointly devise our own plans to encourage more men to educate and nurture young children.

Issues with regard to men in education are likely relevant to all teachers, namely status, salary, and public misconceptions about the profession. The course will hopefully offer those enrolled a vision for equity and fairness in education and for the need to diversify its workforce.

Please contact the course instructor Shaun Johnson via email should there be any questions about the course itself or how to enroll: shpjohns@indiana.edu

Attached you will find the formal course announcement that I am using for your records, should you be interested. This issue is really taking on a life of its own for me and I have reached several interesting insights.

I appreciate your consideration and a Happy New Year to you

Shaun Johnson
Curriculum and Instruction
Indiana University - Bloomington