Teachers as Role Models: Masculinities, Femininities and Ethnicities in Elementary Schools
This paper is based on preliminary findings of a Canadian funded research project which aims to investigate the influence of male teachers as role models in elementary schools. To what extent does the gender matter in terms of how teachers understand their influence in the classroom and interaction with their students? Do male teachers display different styles of teaching that are influenced by their gender, sexuality and ethnicity? Do teachers relate to boys and girls in different ways according to their gender? What can we learn from talking to male and female elementary school teachers about their lives as teachers and the nature of their pedagogical practices/relationships with students? These questions are important given the current debates about the need for more male role models in elementary schools in North America, the UK and Australia. Given the intensification of these debates, as well as the development of educational policy issues surrounding the male teacher debate in Australia, Canada, the United States and the UK, this paper will focus on using teacher narratives to speak to the concerns that have been raised regarding the lack of male teachers as role models in elementary schools.
Keywords: Gender Issues, Masculinities, Role Models, Elementary Schooling, Feminist Perspectives
Prof. Wayne John Martino
Associate professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Western Ontario
Prof Goli Rezai-Rashti
Associate Professor, Education, The University of Western Ontario