Educational Care: Male Teachers in Early Childhood Education


This essay is focused on the relation between educational care and masculinities. From a theoretical perspective it falls within Men’s Studies and describes an empirical research study, mainly realized using a biographical approach, on male teachers working in Early Childhood education (ECE). The aim of this study is to explore the stories of the lives of some men who do jobs closely related to childcare, three of which are summarized in the boxes below in an unconventional form to experiment with a new way to disseminate the findings of the sociological research. The interviews are focused on the biographical turning points and tbe reasons the men chose jobs with tasks traditionally considered to be “female” duties, as well as how these teachers feel about their work, their caring and relational approaches, and if and to what extent their jobs are changing/have changed their perceptions of themselves, and, finally, on the nature of the reactions to their choice both in the micro and the macro social context. The partial findings of our ongoing research are compared with the outcome of other international studies with a focus on some common issues emerging across different national contexts: the lack of role models or mentors in ECE; the challenge to ‘hegemonic’ masculinities of engaging in childcare in order to involve body, emotions and vulnerabilities; the shadow of paedophilia related to homosexuality and, finally, the role these men embody as ‘breakers’.

Ottaviano C., Persico G. (2019) "Educational Care: Male Teachers in Early Childhood Education " Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 11(1), 141-161. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-IJSE-2019-1-7  
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Italian Journal of Sociology of Education
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