A man in the centre: Inclusion and contribution of male educators in early childhood education and care teaching teams

Karen Thorpe, Victoria Sullivan, Elena Jansen, Paula McDonald, Jennifer Sumsion, Susan Irvine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pressure on labour-supply has rekindled concern about the low participation of men in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and public debate about the ‘appropriateness’ and ‘value’ of male educators in these settings. We examined this issue from the perspective of all staff (N = 23), in two Australian ECEC centres employing a male educator. A diversity lens framed analysis, providing a contemporary and inclusive account of male educators as members of the teaching team rather than as gender-anomalies in the workforce. Staff identified male educators as assets with their value extending beyond symbolic salience as men in a feminized workplace. Men’s pedagogical contribution was described as related to employment role, not gender identity. Distinct benefits to productivity and relationships were reported. From the perspective of those inside gender diversity enhanced workplace (relationships) and work productivity (quality); low participation of men presents an opportunity-cost that extends beyond simply increasing the workforce pool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-934
Number of pages15
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Volume190
Issue number6
Early online date22 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Grant Number

  • LP140100652

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