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The role and social perception of male preschool teachers

Nina Mav Hrovat (2014) The role and social perception of male preschool teachers. MSc thesis.

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    The profession of a preschool teacher is commonly described as a feminised profession, which is a product of gender imbalance and employment policies. The share of male employment in Slovene kindergartens has merely reached 2%. My anticipation is that an increase in the share of male teachers would positively affect children sexual identity, help compensate the deficiency as a result of inappropriate family circle, and prompt tolerance, acceptance and cooperation between the two genders considering and respecting the present differences. The research was carried out on a target sample of 123 people, divided into three groups: female teachers who have worked with a male colleague, female teachers who have never worked with a male colleague, and male teachers. The aim of my research was to find the reasons why men are so unlikely to decide for this profession. I also tried to get an insight into male and female perception of the profession, the reasons for discrepancies in expectations, competences and prejudices related to kindergarten teachers' gender. My intention was also to find out whether women have any second thoughts when it comes to hiring their male colleagues, and if their acceptance is somewhat influenced by their own stereotypical or even subconscious patterns. I conclude that the level of education, years of working in intergender tandem and length of service have no crucial influence on work assessment of the colleague of the opposite gender. However, statistically important differences are to be found between females, who have previously worked with a male colleague, and those who have not. The former tend to perceive their male colleagues much more positively than the latter, who could only anticipate what their working relationships with males would have been like. Professionals of both genders believe that parents see females as more trustworthy than males, since upbringing is nowadays still believed to be a mostly female domain. On the other hand, teachers’ professional opinion is that children are more likely to choose a male teacher to play with and that the males prefer more dynamic games. The majority of teachers involved in the research (88%) are in favour of working with a colleague of the opposite gender. The presence of male teachers could help improve children's development and learning processes, it would result in better quality of preschools, the profession would gain more respect, the discrimination would be decreased and the share of feminised professions would be diminished. There are many statistically important differences between men and women when it comes to male employees in preschools. Men are more likely to agree with the notion that the presence of male teachers in preschools would definitely improve the working conditions, preschool quality, and enable more efficient development of children.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: preschool education, gender differences, sexual stereotypes, sexual identity, male preschool teachers
    Number of Pages: 82
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Marcela Batistič ZorecMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=9992777)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2037
    Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 11:37
    Last Modified: 24 Feb 2014 11:37
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2037

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