Home Forum Dissertations & Researchers Why we need men in Early Childhood Education

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    • #7971

      I really enjoy your site and the information that you provide.

      I am a kindergarten teacher who is currently finishing up his masters in curriculum development and am wondering if there are any resources out there that you can point me towards.

      The topic of my thesis is : When deciding to enter the field of Education, why do men flock to the levels of secondary and post-secondary education? I am trying to find out why men decide to teach at a secondary or post secondary level, rather than early childhood or primary level.

      I have 3 avenues of questioning for my topic and plan to interview education majors that have yet to graduate, men who teach in ECED or primary grades and men who teach at the secondary level.

      I want to find out if there are certain stereotypes that drive men away from the field before they even start, or if there are influences I have yet to discover.

      Most research on the topic focuses on “why we need men in ECED” but I want to find out why men are staying away in the 1st place. I have searched the ERIC database and found limited info.

      Later comment:

      I have only just begun to interview people for my research because I am just finishing my core requirements for my curriculum development major but one thing that I have found to this point which has surprised me is that many of the males in my classes decided to go into secondary education because they wanted to coach high school sports. This is a variable that I never accounted for as I assumed there were only reasons such as influences while they were in school and academic/cognitive levels of the students they teach. This recent development has helped me become familiar with the local educational system and what it produces. I have recently moved to the area in which I go to school, I previously taught in Montgomery County Maryland and was a product of a local school system in Maryland. Washington state differs considerably from Maryland.

      I will keep you updated as I begin to become more involved in the research.

      Thanks for taking interest.

      Andy Ambrose

    • #8035

      Most days I look forward to work with young kids and their families. That’s a lot more than I can say for a lot of other jobs I’ve held.

      I also believe I bring skill, experience, passion and a much- needed sense of humor to early education. And if you really want to make a difference in this too-often mean old world, I believe that , in the words of Marianne Williamson,

      “There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.”

      Kitt Cox
      Gloucester, Massachusetts, US

    • #8031

      Here is a collection of references I have found. Forgive the messy format, it is crude but usually I am the only one using it, but it may give you some documents to chase down.
      I don’t know how to attach a document so here it is cut and pasted.
      Research studies
      • Bradley, J. G. (2000). Male elementary teacher candidates: A narrative perspective on
      their initial career choice. McGill Journal of Education 35(2), 155-172.

      Carrington, B. (2002). A quintessentially feminine domain? Student teachers’
      constructions of primary teaching as a career. Educational Studies, 28(3), 287-

      • Cooney, M. H., & Bittner, M. T. (2001). Men in early childhood education: Their
      emergent issues. Early Childhood Education Journal, 8(29), 77-82.

      • DeCorse, C. J. B. & Vogtle, S. P. (1997). In a complex voice: The contradictions of male
      elementary teachers’ career choice and professional identity. Journal of Teacher
      Education, 48(1), 37-46.

      • Hebert, T. P. (2000). Gifted males pursuing careers in elementary education: Factors that
      influence a belief in self. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 24(1), 7-45.

      Gamble nR. J., & Wilkins, J. (1997). Beyond tradition: Where are the men in elementary
      education? Contemporary Education, 68(3), 1187-1193.

      • Johnston, J., McKeown, E. & McEwen, A. (1999). Choosing primary teaching as a
      career: The perspectives of males and females in training. Journal of Education
      for Teaching, 25(1), 55-64.

      Klecker, B. M. (1999). Male elementary school teachers’ ratings of job satisfaction by
      years of teaching experience. Education, 119(3), 504-513.

      • Oyler, C., Jennings, G. T., & Lozada, P. (2001). Silenced gender: The construction of a
      male primary educator. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 367-379.

      • Skelton, C. (2003). Male primary teachers and perceptions of masculinity. Educational
      Review, 55(2), 195-209.

      Sumsion, J. (2000). Negotiating otherness: A male early childhood educator’s gender
      positioning. International Journal of Early Years Education, 8(2), 129-140.

      Thornton, M. (1999). Reducing wastage among men student teachers in primary courses:
      A male club approach. Journal of Education for Teaching, 25(1), 41-53.

      • Vogt, F. (2002). A caring teacher: Explorations into primary school teachers’
      professional identity and ethic of care. Gender and Education 14(3), 251-264.

      • Wilkins, J. & Gamble, R. J. (2000). An examination of gender differences among
      teachers in Jamaican schools. Multicultural Education, 7(4), 18-20.

      Carrington, B. & Skelton, C. (2003). Re-thinking ‘role models’: Equal opportunities in
      teacher recruitment in England and Wales. Journal of Educational Policy, 18(3),

      King, J. R. (1998). Uncommon caring: Learning from men who teach young children.
      New York; Teachers College Press.

      Men, Pre-service Training and the Implications for Continuing Professional Development.
      Author(s): Thornton, Mary
      Source: Journal of In-service Education v27 n3 p477-90 2001
      Publication Year: 2001

      Title: Primary School Teachers’ Careers in England and Wales: The Relationship Between Gender, Role, Position and Promotion Aspirations.
      Author(s): Thornton, Mary; Bricheno, Pat
      Source: Pedagogy, Culture and Society v8 n2 p187-206 2000
      Publication Year: 2000
      ISSN: 14681366

      Title: A Few Good Men.
      Author(s): Vail, Kathleen
      Source: American School Board Journal v186 n10 p28-30 Oct 1999
      Publication Year: 1999
      ISSN: 00030953

      Title: Choosing To Teach: Perceptions of Male Preservice Teachers in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
      Author(s): Stroud, James C.; Smith, Lawrence L.; Ealy, Lenore T.; Hurst, Rosemary
      Source: Early Child Development and Care v163 p49-60 Aug 2000
      Publication Year: 2000
      ISSN: 03004430

      Title: Gender and Cohort Differences in University Students’ Decisions To Become Elementary Teacher Education Majors.
      Author(s): Montecinos, Carmen; Nielsen, Lynne E.
      Source: Journal of Teacher Education v48 n1 p47-54 Jan-Feb 1997
      Publication Year: 1997
      ISSN: 00224871

      Title: The Experience of Students in a Gender Minority in Courses at a College of Higher and Further Education.
      Author(s): Thurtle, Val; Hammond, Shaun; Jennings, Paul
      Source: Journal of Vocational Education and Training: The Vocational Aspect of Education v50 n4 p629-46 1998
      Publication Year: 1998
      ISSN: 13636820
      Descriptors: *Nontraditional Occupations; *Preservice Teacher Education; *Sex Stereotypes; *Vocational Education; Early Childhood Education; Engineering; Females; Higher Education; Males; Motor Vehicles; Postsecondary Education; Technical Institutes
      Abstract: Interviews with 10 men studying early childhood education and 8 women in motor-vehicle engineering, areas in which they were gender minorities, revealed intimidating behaviors and stereotypes preventing their full participation. Difficulties also arose in workshops and job placements. (SK)
      Language: English
      Clearinghouse: Adult, Career, and Vocational Education (CE534118)
      Number of Pages: 18
      Publication Type: Journal Article (080)
      Reports – Research/Technical (143)
      Journal Code: CIJOCT1999
      Entry Month: 199910
      ERIC Number: EJ580934
      Persistent link to this record: http://search.epnet.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&an=EJ580934

      Other Articles
      Cohen, D. (1992). Why there are so few male teachers in early grades. Education Digest,
      57(6), 11-13.

      Lawson, J. (2004, January/February). Male teachers in elementary schools. Athens
      Parent, 13-15.

      Mills, M. (2004). Male teachers, homophobia, misogyny and teacher education. Teaching
      Education, 15(1), 27-39.


      Mason, ,J. (2002). Qualitative researching. London: Sage.

      Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA:

      Too Old?

      Galbraith, M. (1992). Understanding career choices of men in elementary education.
      Journal of Educational Research, 85(4), 246-253.

    • #8029

      Hi Andy….just read about your thesis…sounds very interesting!! I, too have wondered what to do about attracting more males to early childhood teaching and why men feel inclined to go into HS or college teaching rather than elementary.
      Some background……I taught Elementary School for 33 years in NYState….early in the 1970’s, I began teaching 4th grade, later in mid 80’s went to 2nd grade, and then in 1988-2004 taught kindergarten! Of all the grade levels, kindergarten was so awesome!!! It was such an exciting career and I really enjoyed it! Over the years, I had many student teachers….but never a male! I am currently supervising Student Teachers out here at ASU and have succeeded in encouraging 1 male to get into kindergarten teaching and he reports that he likes it a lot.
      Contact me if you want more information or need someone to interview…more than willing to help.

      David George
      Phoenix, AZ

    • #8033
      Bryan G Nelson


      I think it would be good to make this a ongoing list that we keep adding to!



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