Men in primary teaching : a study of a cohort at Dunedin College of Education : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Education at Massey University
This study examines factors contributing to decisions of men to withdraw from teacher education or from primary teaching within seven years of graduating and factors contributing to men remaining in the primary teaching service. It focuses on the cohort of 42 male students who embarked on primary teacher education at Dunedin College of Education in 1990. In 2000, a sample of 20 was surveyed with a postal questionnaire asking them to reflect on their experiences at Dunedin College of Education and subsequently in primary schools. Six men of this cohort were interviewed for in-depth information. These six men were representative of: those who had failed to complete their teacher education programme; those who had graduated but decided not to go teaching; those who had given up teaching within the first seven years; 4) those who were still primary teaching in 2000. The research revealed a range of factors influencing men's decisions to withdraw from teaching or to remain in the primary teaching service. These factors were linked to the men's age at enrolment, and men were classified into three age bands - school leavers, samplers or retrainers. It was found that men within each group shared some factors contributing to their decisions to leave or remain in primary teaching. In general the most common reasons given by men in this sample for failing to complete the teacher education programme was their inability to adjust to the culture of teacher education or to primary schools in the early 1990s. The most common reason for men in this sample deciding not to teach, or to withdraw from the service, was lack of commitment and the confusion they experienced in their roles as male teachers in primary schools. Those men surveyed who were still teaching in 2000, were more likely to be teaching older children and to have clearer ideas about their roles as male primary teachers, and specifically their relationships with boys in their care.