South African Journal of Education
On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
PETERSEN, Nadine. The 'good', the 'bad' and the 'ugly'? Views on male teachers in foundation phase education. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2014, vol.34, n.1, pp. 1-13. ISSN 2076-3433.
In the context of the foundation phase, where women tend to dominate, the increasing numbers of male students entering teaching programmes for this phase of schooling has generated considerable praise, as well as criticism. This paper explores the views of two first-year foundation phase (FP) student cohorts at a Johannesburg university about male teachers in the FP. Student responses to two open-ended questions formed the data for this study, with qualitative content analysis procedures used to make sense thereof. Findings indicate an uncomfortable tension between the 'good,' the 'bad', and the 'ugly' in student perspectives of male teachers in the FP, where the 'good' is reflected in recognition of the valuable role of males in countering the effects of absentee fathers; the 'bad' in the various reasons provided for male's unsuitability as teachers of young children; and the 'ugly' in the dominant association ofmales with the perception ofa threat ofsexual abuse and molestation, much of which is attributed to increased media coverage and public awareness of abuse in schools. The paper concludes with a discussion of the ramifications hereof for teacher education and for the profession.
Keywords : foundation phase teaching; male teachers; pre-service teacher recruitment.