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ERIC Number: ED418064
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Persistent Fewness of Men Elementary Teachers: Hypotheses from Their Experiences.
Allan, Jim
Male teachers constitute only 12 percent of the elementary teaching workforce. This low number persists despite nearly a century of work to increase their numbers. This paper outlines various hypotheses generated from collaborative interviews with 15 Iowa elementary teachers. Section 1 examines the assumed advantage men have in affirmative hiring, which the interviews indicate is self-limiting and can create several disadvantages. Section 2 explores men's experiences of conflict in the gendered power structure of elementary schools, highlighting gender conflict with male principals and conflict with female co-workers. All of the men in the study described their own resistance to women's work. They resisted de-skilling and asserted independent judgment; were scornful of rationalization and top-down prescribed curricula; and were impatient with intensification, which they felt distracted from and displaced the school's true goal of focusing on the big picture. In resisting these aspects of women's work, male teachers experienced conflict with veteran and nominally successful women teachers, who had accepted and internalized the institutional definition of teaching as professional behavior. The need to get along with women colleagues and challenges to men's legitimacy as elementary teachers were felt acutely by men because of their small numbers and social isolation within the school. Being the first or the only man, though it carried advantages, isolated men as tokens. (Contains 21 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa