The Professional Journey of Male Primary Teachers: Experiences and Perceptions of Entering into a “Sacred Female Space”

By Michael Parr, Douglas Gosse and John Allison.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The reality of so few male teachers in primary grades continues to be a topic of debate in most countries where issues of underachievement of boys, a lack of male role models, and gender equity is a concern. In Ontario, males make up less than one tenth of all primary teachers and these numbers are declining. Fewer males than females apply to teacher certification programs and even proportionately fewer males than females get accepted, only adding to the growing shortage of male primary teachers. This present research used qualitative interviews to explore the experiences and perceptions of male teacher candidates enrolled in a primary/junior teacher education certification program in a Northern Ontario faculty of education. Of specific interest in this study were the candidates’ own understanding of what facilitated their interest in such a career, as well as any barriers that they perceived would affect them becoming and remaining as primary teachers. Several candidates who had withdrawn from the program were also interviewed to explore factors that led to their decisions not to pursue certification. Implications from this research are discussed in the context of the roles that a variety of educational stakeholders (including schools, federations, ministry of education, faculties of education) may consider as options in increasing male participation in this traditionally female dominated space.

Keywords: Teacher Education, Gender Bias, Equity, Stereotyping, Homophobia, Gender Equality, Sex Role Stereotyping, Effects of Role Modelling, Male Studies

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.257-266. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 582.570KB).

Prof. Michael Parr

Professor, Faculty of Education, Education and Schooling , Special Education, Nipissing University, Canada

Michael Parr currently teaches in the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University and brings with him considerable experience working with students ‘at risk’ as well as those students identified as having specific emotional and behavioural disorders. His wide variety of teaching experiences in resource and regular classroom settings, as well as his experiences as an administrator, have been instrumental in serving as a springboard into his research investigating the needs of students ‘at risk’. Other research interests center around teacher education, and educational leadership & change with emphasis placed on practices that foster Inclusive schools and issues of equity and social justice.

Dr. Douglas Gosse

Nipissing University, Canada

Douglas Gosse teaches in the pre-service teacher education program at Nipissing University, North Bay, ON, Canada, specializing in Junior/Intermediate and Intermediate/Senior Curriculum Methods. Douglas ’ research topics investigate questions of identity construction, hidden curriculum, queer theory, male studies, fiction writing, storytelling, and the creative research process of writer-researchers.

Dr. John Allison

Nipissing University, Canada

John Allison is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University. He teaches Education and Schooling to Junior/Intermediate students and International Teaching to all Divisions. He is a Historian and has a doctorate in the History of Education from the University of Toronto. His interests include the history of education, educational technology, global governance in education, best practices in higher education teaching and international practicums, histories of male teachers and their professional lives.


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