Elementary Male Teachers' Perceptions of the Factors Influencing Their Grade Level Preference in Selected North Carolina School Districts

Phoebe M Chavis-Harris, Fayetteville State University


The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of elementary male teachers from two selected southeastern North Carolina school districts in order to generate a substantive theory on their grade level preference. This qualitative study used active interviewing and followed a Straussian grounded-theory design to guide the collecting and coding of interview data in order to identify emerging categories (Corbin & Strauss, 1990; Strauss & Corbin, 1990; Strauss, 1987). The researcher collected data through interviews with 12 elementary male teachers. The purpose of this qualitative study was also to examine the challenges that elementary male teachers perceive associated with being a male in a predominately female field.^ Data were collected and transcribed using an online transcription and call recording service, ©NoNotes. An interpretation of the data generated several recurring themes, however, the overarching grounded theory that emerged from the findings; yield the theory of a Nurturing Environment for Promoting Student Learning. A nurturing environment is identified as a surrounding that fosters successful development and prevents the development of psychological and behavioral problems (Biglan, Flay, Embry, & Sandler, 2012). The elementary male teachers were asked what factors they perceived as influencing their grade level preference and the challenges associated with being a male in a predominately-female field. Many of the recurring themes that were most common that emerged were: (a) role models, (b) unique and rare heroes, (c) mentor in education, (d) love of curriculum, and (e) service to the profession, as the factors influencing their grade level preference. Regarding to the challenges of working in a female dominated profession, a few of the recurring themes that emerged were: (a) level of respect, (b) placement of challenging students, (c) expectation of manual labor task, (d) stronger disciplinarian, and (e) shortage of male counterparts. It is recommended future studies be conducted to expand beyond the state of North Carolina and the elementary level to allow for a more in-depth examination of male teachers in education. ^

Subject Area

Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Chavis-Harris, Phoebe M, "Elementary Male Teachers' Perceptions of the Factors Influencing Their Grade Level Preference in Selected North Carolina School Districts" (2018). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI10991768.