Few men around the world work in daycare settings, nursery schools or kindergartens. Yet wherever they are found, men who are perceived to have crossed the gender boundary in their choice of profession are widely acclaimed as gifted educators and excellent caregivers. Policy makers who care about providing quality education for young children need to understand what attracts men to work with young children and how to retain them in the workforce so they can make the most of this underutilized human resource in early childhood education.
This book fills a research gap, presenting the biographies of six talented men from Britain, Norway, Holland, Switzerland, Israel and the United States who have all been working with the youngest children for many years. A cultural lens is used to understand their motivation and reveal the difficulties they faced in choosing the profession, getting trained, working with young children and their parents, and opting to remain in the field. Their personal narratives will inspire other men to consider the profession and will shed light on society’s influence on cross gendered career pathways. The scholarly analysis of the case studies aims to help early childhood teacher educators to recognize and take account of what male degree candidates in their programs uniquely have to offer.
This book is a must for early childhood leaders who are interested in moving towards gender equality in the workforce. Those responsible for college and university training programs will need this book in order to gain empathy with the men they have recruited, and to learn how to go about making men feel more comfortable in their programs. Supervisors of men in the early childhood workforce will broaden their perspectives on the work lives of these minority employees, and will learn how to support their becoming part of a team consisting largely of women educators. The most significant contribution of this book is the window it gives to readers about men’s unique contribution to the care and education of young children around the world.
David Brody has written a well-researched book presented in an engaging manner. He tells powerful stories of men caring and teaching, that you, the reader will enjoy reading and connecting with. The depth and quality of his interaction with his subjects and his observation in the classrooms are translated into valuable insights for nurture. This book will serve not only those interested in men teaching but also those interested in how teachers, in general, provide quality education, care and nurture for young children. It is an excellent foundation and model for future study of further cultures. I have high hopes for future inclusion of perspectives from other continents.
— Bryan G. Nelson, Founder and Director of MenTeach.org
His research delivers much more than vignettes of men at work. It clearly makes the case that if young children are to thrive, as the research of the past fifty years has promised, it will be because the field itself shrugs off narrow dictums about what young children are capable of learning.
— Frances Rust, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
David Brody is chair of the Early Childhood Department and Academic Dean of the Efrata College of Education in Jerusalem, Israel. He taught in daycare settings, preschools, and kindergartens for 17 years before his academic career in training others in the profession.