SA Journal of Education, Vol 41, No 2 (2021)

Recruitment and retention of male educators in preschools: Implications for teacher education policy and practices

Chinedu Ifedi Okeke, Enock Nyanhoto


In the study reported on here we employed the interpretivist qualitative approach to explore the recruitment and retention of male educators in preschool centres. Purposive sampling was used to select 2 preschool owners, 2 principals, 4 preschool educators and 2 male educators in the Foundation Phase. Data were obtained by in-depth interviewing and were analysed thematically. Results showed no male educators in preschools in the education district where the study was conducted. Misinterpretation of cultural roles, stigma, fear and prejudice, low educator status within the preschool sector and a lack of male recruitment policies were found to be negatively affecting the recruitment of males into the preschool sector. A gender balance that ensures that both female and male educators are recruited within the preschool sector would appear to be congruent with the philosophical underpinnings of the Social Role Theory (SRT). The Departments of Education and Social Development should, therefore, embark on awareness campaigns to educate all stakeholders on the need for a gender balance within the preschool sector.

ORCiD iDs of authors:
Chinedu Ifedi Okeke -
Enock Nyanhoto -

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