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Revered and Elevated or Invisible and Condemned, a male concern: Perspectives of Male Primary Teachers in English Primary Schools

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posted on 07.12.2016, 11:47 by John Vincent Ryan
This research critiques and explores how male primary school teachers construct their professional identities. The research also focuses on masculinity and femininity in public discourse and outlines how particular professions attract significantly higher or fewer males or females. In parallel, the study critiques the concepts of teacher professionalism and gendered behaviour linked to gendered assumptions underlying dominant conceptions of the professional male primary teacher. This research investigates the construction of male primary school teacher’s identities and its gendered dimensions. The significance of positioning strategies adopted by male practitioners in primary schools is explored. Contributory factors to professional identities, which are partly formulated by colleagues, parents, children and policy- makers is researched. Responses to policy assumptions and rhetoric are also shared. This research is also widened to examine the 'moral panic' (Cohen, 1972) apparent when discussing a lack of male primary school teachers in English schools and how many assumptions are articulated regarding the advocacy of a more balanced gendered profession in primary education. Findings reveal that the professional identities of male primary school teachers in this study are shaped by many influences, including policy. Following an analysis of the findings the significance of male teachers as role models; stereotypical behaviour and masculinity in primary schools; safeguarding; child protection and social spaces and the juxtaposition of power were revealed.


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School of Education

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University of Leicester

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