by Richard Harty

Abstract: The theory that male teachers provide positive role models that can counter any negative male role models and compensate for the absence of men in children’s lives is considered in this paper. The review is positioned in the European context where there have been consistent calls over the years for an increase in the number of male teachers. It highlights the dearth of literature that attempts to identify and include the voices of very young children within the debate on the inclusion of men in early years education. My early analysis of the literature and my own pilot study of primary aged children’s views suggest the possibility that children may not necessarily agree with the gender role model idea. The paper argues that a way forward for research on teacher gender, and in particular on the role model argument, would be to include children’s voices.