Some selected publications

Selected (inter-)national research findings on ‘Men in ECEC‘

This is an updated version of the article first published in: Cremers, Michael/Höyng, Stephan/Krabel, Jens/Rohrmann, Tim (2012): Männer in Kitas, Opladen Berlin, Toronto: Verlag Barbara Budrich (Cremers and Krabel 2012a).

Michael Cremers and Jens Krabel

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

In the following selective presentation of the current state of (inter-)national research on ‘Men in ECEC’, our discussion of the findings focuses above all on the two most extensive studies thus far, Männliche Fachkräfte in Kindertagesstätten (cf. Cremers, Krabel and Calmbach 2010) and Elementar – Männer in der pädagogischen Arbeit mit Kindern (cf. Aigner and Rohrmann 2012), since other (inter-)national studies often reach similar conclusions, as Tim Rohrmann explains in the Coordination Centre’s 2012 book Männer in Kitas.


Generalised suspicion against male ECEC workers and sexual abuse in ECEC centres: an analysis of the current situation and modules for a protection concept

Michael Cremers/Jens Krabel

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Cremers, M./Höyng, S./Krabel, J./Rohrmann, T. (2012): Männer in Kitas, Opladen, Berlin, Toronto: Verlag Barbara Budrich, S. 265-288)

Introduction

The preconception you face when you are a man, the fact that … that people are always keeping an eye on you, … it was something I was very conscious of beforehand. Because the media always present men as predators when it comes to children. And I didn’t know how that … well, how that would affect me in my everyday work.  (Male ECEC trainee, 23 years of age; Cremers/Krabel/Calmbach et al. 2010, p. 60)
In the beginning it was really difficult for me to let children be close to me. […] There was something that made me consciously worried and afraid that someone might interpret it in the wrong way. (Male ECEC trainee, 21 years of age.)


Questions for reflexion for the ECEC team around issues of ‘male ECEC workers’, ‘corporeality’, ‘gender images’ and ‘generalised suspicions of men

Jens Krabel and Michael Cremers

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Sicherheit gewinnen, Berlin, p. 19-26)

Introduction

Experience reports by ECEC centre staff as well as studies on the topic of ‘Male ECEC Workers’ (see, among others, Aigner and Rohrmann 2012; Cameron, Moss and Owen 1999; Cremers, Krabel and Calmbach 2010) underline the degree to which the generalised suspicions of male professionals impact the ECEC centre as a field of work:

Parents, provider programme directors, ECEC centre administrators, female ECEC workers and sometimes even male ECEC workers themselves repeatedly (mentally) associate male teachers and trainees with child sex abuse. Even if this mental association does not affect the widespread desire for male ECEC workers among parents and ECEC professionals, (latent) suspicions do affect the work in ECEC centres: ‘And I had great difficulty in the beginning even allowing myself to get close to the children […] And there was something in me, where I consciously worried that somebody might take it the wrong way’. Male ECEC trainee, 21 years old


Diversity in teams: taking stock of the opportunities, team dynamics and possible lines of conflict

Michael Cremers & Jens Krabel

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Geschlechtersensibel pädagogisch arbeiten in Kindertagesstätten, Berlin, p. 49-63)

Introduction

In the debate within the profession about quality standards in ECEC centres, it is becoming increasingly clear that team diversity, in which female and male ECEC workers with different cultural and professional backgrounds and biographies work together, is a real gain for a team’s development and for its educational work. However, for this to become the norm, ECEC centre managers and ECEC workers must perceive this diversity within teams as a strength and recognise the role it plays a role in actively shaping teams. If we consider this in terms of ‘broader inclusivity’ , it can be said that a conscious and considered diversity among the team of ECEC workers is not just beneficial for children and parents, but is in fact a necessity. Diverse teams can better meet the quality standards of ECEC centres and have a better awareness of, sensitivity to and support for children with diverse backgrounds, different inclinations, competences and interests; they can also more easily identify and deal with discrimination. What is more, having a diverse ECEC team can also improve cooperation with parents.


Abandoning the doll and block corner for the pleasures of diverse realms of experience

Claudia Wallner

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Geschlechtersensibel pädagogisch arbeiten in Kindertagesstätten, Berlin, p. 11-20)

How ECEC centres can awaken girls’ and boys’ joy in exploration beyond gender stereotypes

Contrary to what people believed for many decades, ECEC centres play an important role in the development of gender identity for boys and girls, and they are also places in which gender is present in diverse ways.  This begins with the quantitative preponderance of women among ECEC workers and continues with the mothers who are in far more frequent contact with ECEC centres than fathers. It can be found in the arrangement of space and toys— for example when block and doll corners are standard equipment or the dress-up trunk is placed close to the doll kitchen— and does not end with the contacts between (male and female) ECEC workers and parents and children or of girls and boys among themselves. As early as the age of three or four, children correct one another: ‘That dress is for girls; boys don’t play with dolls: girls can’t play football’ or ‘girls love glitter’ are frequently heard statements.


Introductory lecture: Sexual and gender diversity in the context of inclusive education

Stephanie Nordt and Thomas Kugler

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Geschlechtersensibel pädagogisch arbeiten in Kindertagesstätten, Berlin, p. 41-48)

On the understanding of inclusion and inclusive education

Ever since Germany ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2009, thereby committing the country to implementing the demand for inclusive education, the debate on inclusion has influenced the discussion among early childhood education professionals as well. Petra Wagner, director of KINDERWELTEN, has pointed out that inclusion aims at the participation of all, and that educational work therefore needs to remove those barriers to participation that hinder children’s learning processes.*    This applies to both access to educational institutions and to the use of learning programmes. The inclusion index for ECEC centres describes it concisely as follows: ‘The task of inclusion is to reduce all barriers to play, learning and participation to a minimum for all children.’*


Media relations to promote men in ECEC centres – a balancing act between gender sensivity and news value

Sandra Schulte

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Geschlechtersensible Öffentlichkeitsarbeit für mehr Männer in Kitas, Berlin, p. 7-23)

Introduction

“And if one day, ballet with boys and football with girls has become an everyday part of his work, then maybe Huber's sex will not be an issue any more.“ (Newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, 16 August 2013)

The experience gained in model projects and at the Coordination Centre ‘Men in ECEC’ shows that the issue 'Men in ECEC centres' is of interest to the media. The general tenor in the articles published over the past years is that men are welcome in ECEC centres. This can be seen from over 500 articles published in high-coverage media, such as national and regional dailies, weekly magazines, as well as radio and TV, gathered by the Coordination Centre ‘Men in ECEC’ alone.

But can articles really help attract more men into early childhood education and care? Do they help to overcome the stereotypes that prevent greater diversity of personnel in ECEC centres? How is the issue dealt with in the public discourse under the aspect of gender equality? And what conclusions can be drawn for future media relations work?


Recognition and appreciation for ECEC as a profession – The idea and practice of ‘profession branding’

Cornelia Heider-Winter

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Geschlechtersensible Öffentlichkeitsarbeit für mehr Männer in Kitas, Berlin, p. 28-36)

Modesty is a virtue, yet the self-representations of ECEC workers are frequently an exercise in self-deprecation. One of the aims of the German federal model programme ‘MEHR Männer in Kitas’ (MORE Men in ECEC Centres) was to improve the profession’s image, while one of the challenges remains to convince ECEC workers and administrators themselves that their profession is actually attractive.


The question of what actually makes working in early childhood education desirable frequently elicits awkward silence and self-scrutiny.  The increasingly frequent public statements on the profession’s value, however, show that society no longer looks down on ECEC workers, but rather has a good deal of respect for them.


Best Practice for ‘MORE Men in ECEC Centres’ – Press and public relations work as an essential element

Cornelia Heider-Winter and Birgit Hamm

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Geschlechtersensible Öffentlichkeitsarbeit für mehr Männer in Kitas, Berlin, p. 37-56)

Introduction

Since 2011, ideas and public relations measures have been developed in 16 model projects all over Germany to motivate men to choose the profession of early childhood ECEC worker. A variety of creative products, ranging from posters and brochures to websites, cinema spots, etc. were created as part of the Germany-wide 'MORE Men in ECEC' model programme. But what measures are most effective for getting through to men? And what might a successful image campaign for the profession of ECEC worker look like? In the following, we will summarise the experience gained in the model projects and provide information about effective public relations work.
A number of model projects developed concepts and coordinated activities under a central theme, such as the campaigns 'Diversity, MAN! Your talent for Hamburg's ECEC centres' from Hamburg, 'Strong guys for strong kids' from Stuttgart, 'ECEC worker, a great job' from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 'Live your talents – become an ECEC worker' from Wiesbaden or 'Become an ECEC worker' from Saxony, for example.
The strategy is the centrepiece of a communications concept. It describes the approach as well as which messages are to reach which target group. We also talk about a communicative lever to trigger a change of opinion and attitude among members of the target group. Strategies are developed during an analysis phase. Preparatory considerations are essential for the successful development of the campaign and the associated press and public relations work. Only then can targeted measures be implemented.


Fathers work - Introduction

 

Team of the Coordination Centre ‘Männer in Kitas’ (Men in ECEC Centres)

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Vielfältige Väterarbeit in Kindertagesstätten, Berlin, p. 4-8)

‘Fatherhood is my greatest role’.

Brad Pitt

ECEC centres are increasingly considering how better to address, reach and integrate fathers in the long term. For many reasons, including the gendered public and private division of labour, fathers are usually less present than mothers in ECEC centres. Some fathers also have a sense that the kind of work done with parents thus far does not apply to them, or feel rather uncomfortable or out of place given the scant presence of men in ECEC centres.

How can fathers be brought into ECEC centres as equal partners? How can fathers be firmly integrated into the everyday life of ECEC with their specific skills? Do fathers need male contacts in ECEC centres?


Fathers work – heterogeneity as a principle

Olaf Jantz

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Vielfältige Väterarbeit in Kindertagesstätten, Berlin, p. 9-14)

Introduction

After I was approached by the “Men in ECEC Centres” Coordination Centre to write an article for their publication on “Diverse fathers work in ECEC centres”, I spent a long while wondering what my contribution for the handout would look like. This is because, for me, fathers appear to be far too heterogeneous a group to be able to make general statements about the fathers or the fathers work in ECEC centres. It seems to me that attitudes to fatherhood are just too heterogeneous and the way many men see themselves just too different. They are simply connected by virtue of the fact that they have either fathered a child at some point, one or more times, or that they have come to social fatherhood in other ways. But being a father in itself also seemed to me to be so varied. There are as many endless variations as there are individual fathers with demands and their own claims on how to be a father. I experience this personally as a father of three daughters and I see it repeatedly in the fathers we support at mannigfaltig e. V. This is why it is not possible to come up with any general strategies for ECEC workers as to how they can involve these fathers more in ECEC centres.


Dedicated Fathers in a Society of Immigrants. The same and different!?

The editors interview Michael Tunç

(translated by / übersetzt von DETTMERS & WEPS)

(This article is published in German, in: Koordinationsstelle “Männer in Kitas” (2013): Vielfältige Väterarbeit in Kindertagesstätten, Berlin, p. 14-20)

We interviewed Michael Tunç about the background and practical approaches to cooperation between ECEC centres and fathers from immigrant backgrounds. Michael Tunç has a degree in social pedagogy and since January 2013 has been working in the project ‘Action research for the sustainable development of intercultural work with fathers in NRW (North Rhine Westphalia), a project of the Center for Turkish Studies and Integration Research (ZfTI) conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Labour, Integration and Social Affairs of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (MAIS). The two-year project will evaluate nine intercultural fathers’ projects in order to assess which factors lead to the success of this work with fathers. The project is intended to promote the further development of the participating fathers’ projects and the professionalisation of this field and to help to sustain the quality of intercultural work with fathers in the long term.