Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Volk, Dinah

Subject Headings

Early Childhood Education, Gender, Sociology


Men teachers are not present in early childhood classrooms for many reasons, despite recruitment efforts. Many men who do choose to follow this feminized career path find themselves positioned as tokens and often quickly leave for administration. Informed by a three-dimensional narrative inquiry approach this research utilized identity and masculinities paradigms to investigate the experiences of veteran men teaching young children. A series of four interviews was used to explore and describe the individual professional life history of participants. The narratives of Frank, Jerry, and George provide a deeper understanding of how men negotiate identity and construct masculinities over time in early childhood education. Findings suggest a critical mass of men teachers can lead to their acceptance in early childhood education while augmenting the male privilege they receive. Themes emerging from the study offer paths for improving the recruitment and retention of men in early childhood education and continuing the discussion of gender and power in the workplace.

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