Kinkead-Clark, Z. (2018). Where are the men in Jamaica’s early childhood classrooms? The experiences of those who choose to teach young children. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 21(1), 35 - 46. Retrieved from https://www.childforum.com/research/2018-nz-international-early-childhood-education-journal/1563-young-children-men-teachers-jamaica.html
PDF copies of articles are available for personal use - go to the ChildForum Store page
Original Research Paper
Where are the men in Jamaica’s early childhood classrooms? The experiences of those who choose to teach young children
University of the West Indies, Jamaica
With less than three percent of Jamaican teachers at the early childhood level being male, this study sought to understand some of the issues affecting men in the sector and to elicit the factors they believe prevent/ deter other men from joining them in the profession. Twenty-three males in the early childhood field participated in a focus group discussion. Using Denzin’s (2001) Interpretive Interactionist Framework to analyse the data for this qualitative study, three themes emerged from the findings: stigma, macho culture/ culture shift, and financial matters. These findings have implications for how men believe they are perceived in early childhood education. Men in the early childhood sector encounter significant challenges and they should be supported as they struggle to situate themselves and fight for acceptance and to be part of the sector.
Key words: Male teachers, men in childcare, gender, stereotype, Jamaica.
Globally, the appeal to increase the number of males in pre-primary and lower grade primary classrooms (grades 1 -3) has by and large fallen on deaf ears and it is clear that there are ‘glass doors’ impeding male entry into teaching and retention (Koch & Farquhar, 2015). Some countries are doing better than others in bringing more men into the predominately female workforce. In 35 OECD countries 93% or more of pre-primary teachers are women (OECD, 2017). Some exceptions are the Netherlands (13% male teachers), Norway (9%), France (8%), and Spain (7%). New Zealand is in the bottom half of the OECD with just 2% male teachers (ibid). In Jamaica, of the 8000 teachers and practitioners in the early childhood (EC) sector, only 200 are male (2.5%).
Varying factors account for the traditional feminised demographic of early childhood sector worldwide (Jones, 2009; Kinkead-Clark, 2015; Nelson, Carlson, & West, 2006; Sumsion, 2005). As suggested by Faquhar, Cablk, Buckingham, Butler and Ballantyne (2006) one of the main reasons is that the sector is not seen as attractive for men to enter - and for those already in it there is very little incentive to remain.
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.