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The status of care: linking gender and educare

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2014
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Journal number1
Volume23
Number of pages14
Pages93-106
Early online date17/01/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The connections between debates about male absence in primary and pre-school teaching, and wider debates about the status of the caring professions are explored here. It is suggested that neoliberal concepts of educational purposes are deeply entwined with hegemonic masculinity, resulting in the current patterns of male employment that we see as a global phenomenon in educational work with young children. The argument draws on three sources: a body of case studies of the individual experiences of male teachers/carers; comparative conversations within a network of Swedish/English gender and education researchers who recognise that government educational reforms in both countries have sidelined the caring purposes of education and feminist study of an ethic of care that emphasises relational and egalitarian dimensions of caring. The debate about 'missing men' is reframed in the primary stages of education to ask how society would be different if care ethics were taken seriously in terms of educational policy and practice. The concept of ‘educare’, derived from Swedish pedagogy, has the potential to portray holistic educational purposes and the power to transform professional gender roles within education.
Key words: care, male teachers, educare, gender transformation