Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Mitchell Olson

Abstract

The percentage of male teachers is at its lowest number in 40 years. The problem is that fewer males are choosing elementary teaching as a career choice. As a result, many elementary students rarely see a male teacher during their formative education years. This issue is a concern for superintendents, college of education deans, recruiters, school administrators, and parents whose children are not being exposed to a diverse teacher workforce that includes male elementary teachers. The purpose of this study was to better define and understand the unique experiences of male elementary teachers in today's classroom. The conceptual framework for the study incorporated Levinson's adult male development theory, Palmer's teaching landscape, and Mezirow's transformative learning theory. This qualitative study investigated the experience of 6 male elementary teachers in 3 different school districts in a southeastern state. This study followed Moustakas's phenomenological method utilizing criterion sampling. Data were collected, analyzed, and coded for preliminary categories and themes. Four themes emerged: (1) male role modeling, (2) readying students, (3) establishing mentoring relationships, and (4) mattering. The findings show that male elementary teachers are a crucial voice for some students, and they fulfill a needed role in the elementary school. This study addresses positive social change by providing a voice for the male elementary teacher, a diminishing but important teaching population, while also illustrating how the male elementary teacher's presence in the classroom can serve as a positive role model, mentor, and diverse elementary learning experience for the children.