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 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. 

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.

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.

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 Unpublished dissertation University of Alberta.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 

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

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.

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 

Heubeck E (2021) Male Teachers Share Advice for Getting More Men Into the Profession.

Jones G.R. (2002) Living with Contradictions – The Male Elementary Teacher. ataMagazine. 83 (2). pp 4-7

 Jones G.R. (2017) Burgers and Beer: An informal group supports male teachers 

Kadane L. The Importance of Male Teachers.  Today's Parent. October 2015

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 Men

Dr. Wayne Martino Faculty of Education, The University of Western Ontario

Research interests include: gender issues, boys’ education, masculinities and schooling.

  The Men's Bibliography

Compiled by Michael Flood First published in 1992 updated February 2021

"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.


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

Men in ECE a working group of World Forum Foundation

 revised March 2023