We need more males in primary teacher education! Or do we?

Year: 1999

Author: Smith, Janet

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The cry of "we need more males in primary teaching" is frequently uttered by the media and is currently echoed in schools, the community and the academy. This paper explores both sides of the debate and takes contrasting perspectives to determine whether more males are needed in primary teaching and in primary teacher education.

The paper examines the issues faced by males who decide to become primary teachers, and emanates from longitudinal research carried out on a group of males training to become primary school teachers at the University of Canberra. The research utilised life history interviews to explore both the decision of males to train as primary teachers and their experiences whilst training.

The paper analyses and deconstructs the evidence which is commonly cited for needing more male primary teachers, such as the number of children living in single-parent families. It also looks at ways in which school systems and universities can encourage more males and explores what is at stake if such methods are employed.