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Including men in early childhood education: insights from the European experience

Jan Peeters (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
It was the European Commission Network on Childcare that introduced the issue of gender in early childhood education (ECE). In 1996 the Network set a target of 20% male workers in childcare that had to be reached by 2006. Several campaigns and interesting initiatives were set up and were successful in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the UK and Belgium, but ,no European country has reached the target. This has led us to investigate the reasons why early childhood education is so gendered. Childcare is seen as women’s work, something that women naturally do and are intrinsically better at. In addition, as gendered work assumes a female workforce, it is constantly reproducing its own patterns in recruitment and training. Several authors advocate on the one hand a gender-neutral culture that does not exclude men, and on the other hand they plead for gender pedagogy, a reflection on the differences between boys and girls, men and women. Subsequently, in this article we will try to answer the crucial question of what can be done to increase the employment of men in ECE. We will explore policy measures, men-only trainings, male mentorship of trainees, recruitment procedures that give equal opportunities to men, ways of remodelling the trainings in ECE, and the ways in which a father-friendly climate can make men visible in ECE. If we want to change the gender balance in ECE, all these measures must be integrated in a coherent ten-year action plan.
Keywords
gender, men in ECE, early childhood education, Europe

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Peeters, Jan. “Including Men in Early Childhood Education: Insights from the European Experience.” NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION 10 (2007): 15–24. Print.
APA
Peeters, Jan. (2007). Including men in early childhood education: insights from the European experience. NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, 10, 15–24.
Chicago author-date
Peeters, Jan. 2007. “Including Men in Early Childhood Education: Insights from the European Experience.” New Zealand Research in Early Childhood Education 10: 15–24.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Peeters, Jan. 2007. “Including Men in Early Childhood Education: Insights from the European Experience.” New Zealand Research in Early Childhood Education 10: 15–24.
Vancouver
1.
Peeters J. Including men in early childhood education: insights from the European experience. NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. 2007;10:15–24.
IEEE
[1]
J. Peeters, “Including men in early childhood education: insights from the European experience,” NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, vol. 10, pp. 15–24, 2007.
@article{691432,
  abstract     = {It was the European Commission Network on Childcare that introduced the issue of gender in early childhood education (ECE). In 1996 the Network set a target of 20% male workers in childcare that had to be reached by 2006.  Several campaigns and interesting initiatives were set up and were successful in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the UK and Belgium, but ,no European country has reached the target. This has led us to investigate the reasons why early childhood education is so gendered. Childcare is seen as women’s work, something that women naturally do and are intrinsically better at. In addition, as gendered work assumes a female workforce, it is constantly reproducing its own patterns in recruitment and training. Several authors advocate on the one hand a gender-neutral culture that does not exclude men, and on the other hand they plead for gender pedagogy, a reflection on the differences between boys and girls, men and women. Subsequently, in this article we will try to answer the crucial question of what can be done to increase the employment of men in ECE. We will explore policy measures, men-only trainings, male mentorship of trainees, recruitment procedures that give equal opportunities to  men,  ways of remodelling the trainings in ECE, and the ways in which a father-friendly climate can make men visible in ECE. If we want to change the gender balance in ECE, all these measures must be integrated in a coherent ten-year action plan.},
  author       = {Peeters, Jan},
  issn         = {1174-6122},
  journal      = {NEW ZEALAND RESEARCH IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION},
  keywords     = {gender,men in ECE,early childhood education,Europe},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {15--24},
  title        = {Including men in early childhood education: insights from the European experience},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2007},
}