"A Few Good Men or a Few Too Many? A study of Male Teachers" was the very first - and original - research report on men in early childcare and education in New Zealand. It resulted in media and public attention to the difficulties that men were experiencing in working in early education and it showed the adverse effects of public fear about child abuse on men's participation in the sector.
The report presents the findings of an exploratory study of the characteristics, views and experiences men and their colleagues at 20 early childhood centres in NZ. Twenty men and their female co-workers working at 10 kindergartens and 10 childcare centres were interviewed.
The results showed that in most respects the backgrounds and training of the male and female teachers were similar. A key difference was that male teachers tended to be the main income earners in their household whereas for female teachers early childhood teaching provided a second household income. The majority of men entered the profession as a result of unemployment or redundancy. For the men early childhood teaching was a second career choice after they had tried other more traditional options.
The main reasons given by the male and female teachers for male under-representation in early childhood teaching were:
- Fear of child sex abuse,
- Low wages,
- The perceived feminine nature of the work,
- Low social status of the professions,
- A lack of career structure, and
- Public perception that men who work with children must be either homosexual or not real men.
Male teachers had a tougher time than their female counterparts. Their own families and friends tended to be less supportive of their decision to become teachers. They were more likely to have difficulty in gaining employment, and they experienced greater levels of suspicion from employers and parents. Male teachers tended to feel isolated at times because their colleagues were women.
All male teachers viewed their participation in early childhood teaching as valuable for helping children to see that men can care and teach young children. It increased awareness of sexism in the curriculum and in (female) teacher expectations. Female teachers liked having male colleagues on the teaching staff and there were few reported issues.
Read the full report below
Click on the link: A Few Good Men
To keep reading and view the full article login with your member's username and password
Here’s how our membership plans work:
- Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals (but not the ECE Service management article area). In addition, individual members can discuss and ask questions of fellow members any time through the online childcare and early childhood education practice, policy, and research discussion forum.
- Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles. Also on this membership plan members can access the online discussion forum for individual members AND the online ECE service management / business forum.
- Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and related research articles only
Should you not hold a current membership – you are welcome to apply now.