Research About Male Teachers

Male Teachers: Valued AND Vulnerable

The number of men who teach continues to decline. I have an on-going interest in researching stories about male teachers as they participate in schools.

During my first year in the public school system I was featured on the front page of the local newspaper, as the only male kindergarten teacher in the city. I didn’t know at the time that being a man who teaches young children would lead to topics that impacted my life long research interests. I am intensely interested in how our stories of gender, and the stories of others about our gender, shape our identities as teachers. I am interested in how our stories of gender shape our teaching of girls and boys.

While the most common discourse discusses male teachers as role models for boys, my work shows that the men who choose to teach experience complex lives. They are simultaneously valued AND vulnerable. Now teaching university students, I continue to notice small number of men entering teaching. 

Examples of Questions:

What are the lived experiences of men who choose to teach? Do those male teachers need support, and if so, what kinds of support? What do the women in schools need to know about their male colleagues? Should teachers reflect the complex social and cultural diversity of students? Why do men continue to ignore the call to teach?

 See below for articles, books and websites about male teachers


Books and Articles about Male Teachers

Allan, J. (1993). Male elementary teachers: Experiences and perspectives. In Williams, C. L. (Ed.)  Doing “Women’s Work”: Men in Nontraditional Occupations. 

Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Barreca R. and Denenholz Morse D.(Eds.) The Erotics of Instruction. Hanover: University Press of New England


Blount, J. M.(2000) Spinsters, Bachelors, and Other Gender Transgressors in School Employment, 1850  - 1990. Review of Educational Research.  70(1) 83-101.

Boyle, P. (1997) Gender Issues: An Annual Report of the Advisor on Gender Issues. Calgary: Calgary Board of Education.


Cushman, P. (2006) “Wanted! Male Teachers. The extent to which principals want 

and encourage a gender balance on school staff” British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, University of Warwick, 6-9 September 2006.

Cushman P. (2007) “The male teacher shortage: A synthesis of research and worldwide strategies for addressing the shortage”. KEDI Journal of Educational Policy.

Cushman Penni University of Canterbury, New Zealand. 

Her research focuses on issues that challenge male primary teachers. Look up other articles about male teachers. 

Coulter, R.P. and McNay, M. (1993). Exploring men’s experiences as elementary teachers. Canadian Journal of Education, 18

(4).  398-411.

Coulter, R.P. and McNay, M. (1995, April). Are more men in elementary school necessary? The Canadian School

Executive,  13-17.

Cowan, B.B. (1999, May) Canadian Living 24 (5)


Jones, G. (2001) A Narrative Inquriy of a Male Elementary Teacher and the Shaping of his Identities. Unpublished dissertation University of Alberta.

King, J.R. (1998). Uncommon caring: learning from men who teach young children. New York: Teachers College Press.

King, J.R. (2000). The Problem(s) of Men in Early Education. In Lesko, N. (Ed.) Masculinities at School. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Lesko N. (ed) (2000) Masculinities at School.   Sage:Thousand Oaks CA


Partridge, K. (1999, February). A few good men: What do kids lose when male teachers disappear from their classroom? Today’s Parent, 16 (1), 33-37.

Sargent, P. (2000). Real men or real teachers?: Contradictions in the lives of men elementary teachers.  Men and Masculinities, 2(14),  410 – 433.

Sargent, P. (2001). Real men or real teachers?: Contradictions in the lives of men elementary teachers.   Harriman TENN: Men’s Studies Press.

Spearman, J. (1978, October 6). Teacher fills fathers’ role. The Calgary Herald. (p. A1)

Unland, K. (1998, November 15) Male elementary school teachers are a vanishing breed.   The Edmonton Journal. (p. A.8).

Weber, S. and Mitchell, C. (1995). That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Like A Teacher! 

Interrogating Images and Identity in Popular Culture.  London: Falmer Press.


Weber, S. and Mitchell, C. (1999). Reinventing Ourselves as Teachers: Beyond Nostalgia. Philadelphia: Falmer Press.

Books and Articles about Masculinities

Connell R.W. (2000) The Men And The Boys.  University of California Press: Berkley, CA.

Goldstein, L. (Ed.) The Male Body: Features, Destinies, Exposures.  Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Johnson, A.G. (1997). The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal Legacy. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


Kimmel, M.S. and Messner, M.A. (Eds.) (1989). Men’s Lives. New York: Macmillan.

Kimmel, M.S. (1994). Consuming manhood: The feminization of American culture and the recreation of the male body, 1832-1920. In Goldstein L. (Ed.) The Male Body: Features, Destinies, Exposures.  Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Kimmel, M.S. (2000.) Saving the Males: The Sociological Implications of the Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel. Gender and Society, 14(4), 494 – 516.  

Lesko N. (ed) (2000) Masculinities at School.   Sage:Thousand Oaks CA


Messner, M.A. (2000). Barbie Girls versus Sea Monsters: Children Constructing Gender. Gender and Society, 1(6),765-784. 

Williams, C.L. (1989) Gender Differences at Work - Women and Men in Non-traditional Careers  Berkeley: University of California Press.

Williams, C. L. (Ed.) (1993). Doing “Women’s Work”: Men in Nontraditional Occupations. Newbury Park:Sage.

Williams, C.L. (1995). Still a man’s world: Men who do women’s work.  Berkeley:University of California Press

Zinn, B. M., Hondagneu-Sotelo, P., Messner, M.A. (1997). Through the Prism of Difference: Readings on Sex and Gender.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Websites about Male Teachers


Knowledge on Men in Early Childhood Education

"In 2008, the European research network 'Knowledge on Men in Early Childhood Education– KOME' was set up. Researchers meet to exchange theories, research strategies and methods as well as empirical results about men, masculinities and gender in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).

We build up on the work of researchers, teachers and practitioners who have been working on the theme since the early 90s in several European countries. Currently in charge of coordinating the network is Tim Rohrmann, coordination office “Men in kitas”, Berlin, Germany.

The network supports the aim of raising the proportion of male workers towards a more gender-balanced ECEC work force. At the same time there is a need for a more differentiated view. Research is necessary e.g..

·   on the significance of male pedagogues for children’s development

·   on the situation of men in ECEC institutions and in vocational training

·   on gender relations in ECEC."


Dr. Wayne Martino

Faculty of Education, The University of Western Ontario

 Research interests include: gender issues, boys’ education, masculinities and schooling, male teachers. His website offers publishing and links.


The Men's Bibliography

Compiled by Michael Flood
 First published in 1992 updated January 24 2008.

"The Men’s Bibliography is a comprehensive and up-to-date bibliography of writing on men, masculinities, gender, and sexualities. The Men’s Bibliography lists about 22,400 books and articles, sorted into over thirty major subject areas.

The bibliography is free and for public use. You are most welcome to make use of this bibliography, and to link it to your own web sites."

Men in Child Care

Men in Childcare, a group in Scotland who organized courses for men in child care programs.

  Men in Childcare and Education Global Network

 “Our aim is to set up a global network of those interested in encouraging men to work in early years both in child care and education.” 



"MenTeach is a non-profit clearinghouse for both men and women seeking information and resources about men teaching.

If you are a man thinking about teaching or currently teaching you’ve found a place to connect with others who share your vision for children and society. If you are a researcher, university or college student or faculty, a legislator or from the media, you'll find information to answer your questions.

MenTeach is about children's success. We want a diverse workforce, both men and women teachers, educating and caring for our children."

 revised May 2016