International Journal of Academic Research in Education and Review

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International Journal of Academic Research in Education and Review

Vol. 2(4), pp. 82-96, May, 2014.

ISSN: 2360-7866

DOI: 10.14662/IJARER2014.017



Full Length Research


‘Moving away from the caring’: exploring the views of in-service and pre-service male teachers about the concept of the male teacher as a role model at an early childhood and post-primary level


1Orla McCormack and 2Simon Brownhill


1Orla McCormack, Room CM049, Department of Education and Professional Studies, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

2Simon Brownhill, Trumpington House Room 1, University of Cambridge, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PQ

Corresponding author’s email: spb55@cam.ac.uk.  Telephone number: +44 (0)1223 767646, Fax number:  +44 (0)1223 767602


Accepted 9 May 2014



International calls have frequently been made by policy makers and professional/public discourse for more male teachers to enter the education profession under the assumption that they will act as role models for boys. The role of these male teachers as role models is an attempt to not only raise boys’ academic achievements but to help improve standards of behaviour and attitudes towards learning. Their presence also is designed to offer those boys who are living in single-parent families with a father figure. However, a level of ambiguity surrounds the male role model argument and this paper is written to critically explore this. The paper examines the views of English and Irish male teachers at early childhood (0-8) and post-primary (12-18) in relation to the concept of the male teacher as a role model, considering if and how male role models differ depending on the age of the child, and whether female teachers serve as role models for boys. Based on the findings gathered through the use of questionnaires, interviews and focus groups, the authors raise a number of questions and concerns regarding the continued practice of ‘blanket calls’ for male role models in early years and primary school settings.

Key words: male role model, male teachers, early childhood male teachers, pre-service male teachers, in-service male teachers.




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  Vol. 2 No. 4

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