Recruitment and retention of male elementary music educators
Good, Justin Max Gerhard
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The purpose of this study was to explore the qualities of successful elementary music educators and to identify why males remain the minority in this teaching field. Elementary music specialists who were members of the Texas Music Educators Association were asked to complete an online survey. Respondents (N = 212) included 49 men (23%) and 163 women (77%). The primary characteristics of an effective elementary music teacher listed by respondents included musically skilled, caring/passionate, fair/consistent, enthusiastic/positive, patient, having a sense of humor/fun, and flexible. Respondents described society's perception of male elementary music specialists as follows: homosexual/feminine, unqualified for a different career, lacking requisite skills, less challenging job/stepping stone position, having better classroom management, and being better role models. Many male participants had no issues with their masculinity or sexuality in relation to their job, but instead were concerned about reputation, modeling behavior, comments from students, and demonstrating singing/falsetto.