Why men choose to become primary teachers

Year: 2012

Author: Cruickshank, Vaughan

Type of paper: Refereed paper


This paper presents a critical analysis of literature relating to why males choose to become primary school teachers. Discussion within the paper concentrates on identifying and exploring connections between what is currently known about being a male primary school teacher and what motivates these men as they both pursue and practice within the profession. This paper reflects the preliminary investigations of a broader doctoral project that will examine the recruitment and retention of male primary teachers within Tasmania.
Countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have experienced calls for increased male recruitment to and retention in the primary teaching profession. Current research into the male primary school teacher experience offers strong arguments for the need to recruit and retain more men into primary teaching as well as many attempting to explain the reasons for low numbers of male classroom primary teachers. Interestingly, studies investigating the motivations of those men who choose to teach young children are far less common.

The critical review of relevant literature allows for deeper understanding of present perceptions of the male primary school teacher and teaching experience to be established. In doing so, the paper emphasises exploration of the motivations of men who choose to be male primary school teachers, and proposes that it is within the exploration of male's attitudes towards and motivations to being a male primary school teacher that will elicit rich insight into how strategies currently utilised for the recruitment and retention of male primary teachers can be improved.