Original Research

Becoming a (male) foundation phase teacher: A need in South African schools?

Nontokoza Mashiya
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 4, No 3 | a224 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v4i3.224 | © 2014 Nontokoza Mashiya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2015 | Published: 30 December 2014

About the author(s)

Nontokoza Mashiya, University of Zululand, South Africa

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This paper reports on a case study of male foundation phase pre-service students who were among the first cohort to specialise in the foundation phase since the inception of the programme at one South African university. The students reported on their experiences of teaching in a female-dominated field and their views about their preparedness to teach in the field. This qualitative study is interpretive in nature. Using purposive sampling, eighteen students were sampled from a population of twenty. Data was generated through focus group interviews and then analysed and categorised. The patterns across categories showed that the pre-service teachers had faced an unwelcoming environment in the schools at the outset, but that this changed over time. Some parents were negative about male teachers in the foundation phase. However, the pre-service teachers were able to work hard and show that they can work with foundation phase learners. The study concluded that male students who enter foundation phase teacher education programmes need a lot of encouragement to boost their self-confidence and to realise the important role they can play in working with young children in a country where many young learners grow up in fatherless homes.


male teachers, foundation phase (FP), fatherless children, social bias, classroom management, attitudes


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Crossref Citations

1. ‘They won't take you as a man, as a real man’ why men can't teach young children in foundation phase
Shaaista Moosa, Deevia Bhana
International Journal of Inclusive Education  vol: 22  issue: 6  first page: 577  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1080/13603116.2017.1390002