Balearic Islands University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Page: 388 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0154
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
In this paper we present the results of a literature review analysis carried out on the topic of how early childhood education male teachers construct their professional identity. Our main goal is to systematize and describe the existing main evidences, derived from empirical research, on the commented topic.

Today, despite improvements in gender equality in more advanced countries and societies, the almost exclusive presence of women in the early stages of formal education remains a reality. One of the statistics produced by the OECD (2012) reveals that the average number of men who work in Early Childhood Education in member countries does not exceed 3% of all teachers at this level.
Based on theories of neuroscience and starting from the idea of the importance of the education during the first years and therefore the importance of early childhood education, it is extremely important to explore how male teachers involved in this level of education generate their professional identity (Luginbill, 2016).

In order to carry out the literature review, the following databases have been used: EBSCOhost (selecting Academic Search Premier), ScienceDirect, Scielo, TDR, ERIC, Dialnet and Scopus. The keywords used for the documentary search were: Teacher's identity (TIP), Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), male teachers, gender, feminization of teaching. Teacher's identity AND (preschool OR kindergarten OR childhood OR nursery school) AND (male OR man OR guy).

The professional masculine teacher identity in the stage of early childhood education is a subject that is still little investigated, judging from the scarce amount of scientific literature available on the topic.
The main causes of early childhood education teacher feminization are considered to be historical and cultural. This cultural heritage places women in positions of support and care, and men in positions of superior authority. The “ideal” position for women is that of caregiver/protector of the youngest, while men, access to leadership positions in schools or higher stages, and more prestigious, within the educational system (secondary and university).
Men working in the early education cycles have shown, throughout various studies, that they find contradictions in understanding what are their tasks and roles in the kindergarden. Expectations from female partners, families and other educational agents are received as contradictory, since they seek behaviors associated with the female gender, such as nurturing, care and maternal skills, and in turn, it is desired that men serve as models for the male role in children in early childhood.

The potential benefits associated with the entry of the masculine gender into a feminized sector are numerous for the students, the other teachers and the families in general.

This paper derives from the Master Thesis of González Rosado carried out at the Balearic Islands University under the program Early Childhood: Perspectives and Lines of Intervention

[1] Luginbill, M. C. (2016). Negotiating Identity and Constructing Masculinities: A Narrative Case Study of Men in Early Childhood Education. Doctoral Thesis, Cleveland State University, USA. Retrieved from
[2] OECD. (2012). Distribution of teachers by age and gender. Retrieved from
Early Childhood Education, professional identity, professional genderization, teacher roles.