Lancaster UniversityGraduate School
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Seminar Series - "Build me a role model!" A critical exploration of the perceived qualities/characteristics of men in the early years (0-8)

Date: 20 March 2013 Time: 12.30 - 2.00 p.m.

Venue: B.89 County South

Dr Simon Brownhill, Senior Teaching Associate, University of Cambridge

"Build me a role model!" A critical exploration of the perceived qualities/characteristics of men in the early years (0-8)

The call for more male practitioners/teachers in 0-8 educational settings remains ever prevalent as boys' underachievement and their disaffection with learning continues to dominate education agendas (Francis, 2006). In an attempt to narrow the 'attainment gap' there is a recognised need, backed by government policy (Holley, 2010) and public discourse (Clark, 2008), for more men to work with young children, acting as 'male role models'.This talk will present select findings from the author's doctoral research which sought to investigate the thoughts and perceptions of the 'male role model' from a cross section of men with a range of roles and responsibilities who worked/trained in the 0-8 sector in a central county in the Midlands, UK.Research findings suggest that perceived qualities/characteristics of the male role model fall into three distinct categories: feminine, masculine and natural. Whilst there is an expectation that male role models will emulate a diverse range of personal and professional qualities/characteristics, tensions surround these being 'shaped' by not only the needs and circumstances of the children that the male role model comes into contact with but also the expectations of others e.g. parents/carers and staff.

Dr. Simon Brownhill has experience of teaching on a range of undergraduate and post graduate education courses at the University of Derby (2002-2012). Prior to working in Higher Education Simon was an Assistant Head teacher for the Early Years (3-6) in a large, culturally diverse, inner city primary school. His research interests include creative learning and teaching in the classroom, cultural diversity, children's physical development, supporting adult learners, and the male role model in the early years (the focus of his doctoral thesis). His infinite fascination with children's behaviour has led him to write several single authored and co-authored books on this topic.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education, Educational Research


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