“Fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment for male students in undergraduate initial teacher education courses” (Area 3)

Rachel Barrell & Dr Colin Howard (IoE)

Current research has highlighted the significant issues surrounding attracting, recruiting and retaining male trainees in ITE, not only during their training, but also once they have entered the primary classroom. The study outlined will investigate the role that ‘male working in partnership groups’ (Male WiPs) can play in engaging and supporting trainees whilst on their undergraduate teacher training programme. In this pilot year a male focused support group was set up as a mechanism of supporting trainees in their development in what statistically is a female dominated course. Issues explored included the feelings of isolation that male trainees feel whilst on school experience and the limited opportunities for males to support one another not only when training but also in their induction year and subsequent course. The initial findings from this pilot year will be discussed and their significance examined in terms of the role that this initiative can play in fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within male trainees.

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