Narratives of male elementary teachers: understanding the construction of a professional identity within a female-dominant work environment

Due do the traditional perception that teaching is “women’s work,” especially at the elementary level; men are hesitant to enter this profession. Therefore, few men become elementary school teachers. In existing scholarship, researchers have produced limited knowledge on the motivations and influences that lead men to stay in this profession. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which male teachers construct their professional identity while working within a female-dominant educational environment. This study uses semi-structured interviews as the main data set. The results of the study include three themes. The first theme explores men’s motivations to become teachers. The second theme shows the ways in which men construct their professional identity and authority with colleagues and parents in the school setting. The third and final theme identifies the pedagogical practices that the participants created and the ways in which their professional identities are embedded in those practices.