Elementary educators typically teach children between the ages of 5 and 12 years, or from the end of preschool until the children are ready for secondary school education. Similar to early-childhood educators, childcare workers, and others whose work centers around caring for and nurturing children, elementary educators are typically among the lower-paid, lower-status professionals in industrialized nations. The majority of elementary educators are also women, with the percentage of women in that field increasingly dramatically in recent years in some Western contexts. This increase is known as the “feminization” of teaching. Although this phenomenon varies in both intensity and scope across contexts, elementary education has been, and continues to be, gendered work.

Beginnings and Professional Preparation


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