The Symposium was held on 15 August 2016, in Wellington city, NZ.
Guest speaker: Dr David Brody (Israel), author of "Men who Teach Young Children".
Introduced by: Dr Sarah Alexander (NZ), researcher on men in ECE in NZ
Here in New Zealand, the proportion of female to male teachers has been around 98% for a long time. The care and education of young children is almost exclusively the domain of women. But right now, as Dr Sarah Alexander, will point out our NZ early childhood teaching workforce stands upon the precipice of change. With reference to research and advocacy over the past 20 years she will explain that the barriers to male participation have weakened and recent national survey results show majority support in the early childhood sector for gender equality. While this development is positive, political support and effective policy is vital if we want NZ to be a place where men’s contributions to early childhood education are valued and it is considered normal to see men in the work setting.
Dr David Brody will discuss in more depth the contributions men make and why men choose to teach young children. He observed and interviewed men in the field from six different countries. His research explored both the hardships and the successes of men in the profession and how they construct their gender identity within a work setting that society views as female territory. David claims that understanding these narratives is crucial to creating new strategies to attract and retain men in the early childhood workforce.
Read the disappointing response of the NZ Ministry of Education reconfirming its long-held position of supporting the status quo of ECE as work for women and not men and women by clicking here.
Below is video of Dr Body's lecture. It is approximately 1 hour 28 mins and this includes questions and discussions at the end.