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To Be What They've Never Seen: A Narrative Inquiry Study of Men in English Teacher Education

Scott V Gealy, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The demographic and gender divide between the populations of teachers and students in K-12 schools has long been a source of concern for progressive academics and policymakers. Much research has been done to support the effort to recruit and retain a more diverse teaching force, yet the number of men and teachers of color is declining. In an effort to better understand some of the human experiences behind the statistical data, this dissertation utilized a longitudinal and qualitative approach to examine the impact of the social construction of masculinity on men’s decisions to teach English, their experience in an English teacher education program, and the ways those formative experiences contributed to their preservice teaching philosophy and practice. To that end, this narrative inquiry study sought to learn, analyze, and share meaning derived from the experiences a diverse group of eight men drawn from a single English teacher education cohort at a land-grant university in the central plains. During their final three semesters in the program, the participants took part in a series of semi-structured interviews and group discussions and were observed in the classroom as both students and preservice teachers. Themes that surfaced illuminate the complex interaction of social, ethno-racial, cultural, and institutional forces that shaped these men’s transformation from students to teachers. Findings from this study contribute important insights for consideration in the ongoing attempt to attract and retain men from diverse backgrounds to teacher education programs in general and English education programs specifically.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Ethnic studies|Gender studies

Recommended Citation

Gealy, Scott V, "To Be What They've Never Seen: A Narrative Inquiry Study of Men in English Teacher Education" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30489095.