Real Men or Real Teachers?

What kind of man is drawn to teaching in the earliest grades (K-3)? Are they welcomed by women colleagues, by their students’ parents, by the administration? Do they fit the “male role model” that many proclaim is desperately needed in the primary grades? Do men elementary teachers use their classrooms as stepping stones for advancing into administration? These are only some of the issues discussed by the men elementary school teachers interviewed by sociologist Paul Sargent in Real Men or Real Teachers? Contradictions in the Lives of Men Elementary Teachers.

We learn that their professional lives are fraught with contradictions rooted in a general atmosphere of suspicion over their motives and caretaking behaviors, an occupational division of labor that finds most doing stereotypic “manly” activities, and a pervasive confusion and ambivalence over just what a “male role model” in the primary grades is suppose to do. Real Men or Real Teachers? provides a forum for men teachers to disclose their “true” feelings about the details of their professional lives. We listen as they reveal the mechanisms and subtle pressures that cause them to teach differently from their women peers. The men’s stories are interwoven in a network of some current theories of gender relations, gendered work, social control, and the social construction of masculinities.

© 2001 / 248 pp / 5.5 x 8.5 / 0-9671794-3-2 (paperback)

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