Finding studies that deal with the impact of men in ECE upon child outcomes has been unexpectedly challenging. I have found no research that examines this specific topic. Indeed, studies that look at the impact of men upon children in elementary school settings is rare. Further challenges are posed by the harsh reality that recent studies (published within the past five years) find no advantage to the presence of male teachers upon child outcomes, focus on same gender outcomes (male teachers/boy students), and do not control for cultural, linguistic or ethnic “matches” between teachers and students. Furthermore, the absence of men in early education (through the primary grades) promises limited sample sizes – compromising the validity and reliability of the results and discouraging researchers from entertaining the topic in the first place.
As a man that has been involved in the education and family service profession for 30 yeras, I have seen the importance of male involvement in programs that serve children. I have also experienced the biases, frustrations and low status that come along with being a part of an unacceptably small minority.
I have sent out an inquiry from a professor/colleague asking if he knows of any recent research on the topic. I also invite all of you who read this to comment with any thoughts, concerns, questions or resources.
My investigations thus far have pointed to a lack of research upon an important deficit and a clear “equity” issue in our profession. That we have not addressed this reflects poorly upon our committment to anti-bias and inclusion. Children deserve better. And so do the men that care for them.