Recruiting of Male FCS Educators with Rob Van Dyke

Welcome to Connect FCS Ed. I’m so glad that you’re back, thank you so much for listening. I’m your host Barbara Scully and on today’s episode I have an awesome guest with me, Rob Van Dyke. With 10 years experience in various teaching and administrative positions, Rob has authored several classroom integration methods, lesson plans, leadership activities that have promoted Student Leadership literacy skills and membership development for classroom teacher use. Currently, Rob is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Texas Tech University while being the FCS educational consultant for North Carolina CTE, as well as serving on two executive boards with lead FCS Ed and a AAFCS.

Listen in…


•  So gender competence is a very fancy term for how do we understand how each gender fits within a current structure. So, what we’re looking at is how does the two different genders really work within family consumer sciences? FCS was founded for females, and it’s predominantly been a female-dominated field in the profession, and that’s just because of by nature and history and just where we were in society at that time. The home and all of the things that went around it in the early 1900s, when we were formed, was really relegated to females, and then throughout the last century, it’s been really re-emphasized that this is just for home, and especially with the name home economics, it really got that connotation that it was just for girls. It really wasn’t until the 60s and 70s when feminism took over and Title 9 came about and specifically called out home economics for not having male students and being open to male students.  (1:54)

• One of the big misconceptions about male FCS teachers is that we only came into the profession to teach Culinary Arts, that’s our only way into this profession is because we just want to eat or we just want to show students how to cook. But that’s not accurate. We have a lot of our male professionals that are coming in through FCS and really want to work with our students to learn how to be future EC educators or work with young children themselves or really just help with that parenting perspective, because that’s something that they’re super passionate about. We also have males that are coming in in the fashion and interior design side as well, so yes, the idea is that they’re coming in to just teach culinary arts, but that’s not correct, and that’s one of the big stereotypes that male FCS teachers really fall into when they come in. (6:17)

• So my doctorate is in Family and Consumer Sciences education through Texas Tech, and one of the big areas of emphasis and research that I was really drawn to was male inside this profession. Because my experience has been varied, and as I talked to other male teachers throughout the US and kind of mentored several of them as I was in the state administrator role, there seemed to be some common themes that are coming out in my mind about the experience that we were having inside of this profession, and so I really wanted to dig into that to see, if there any validity to this, is it just relegated to just the use people and just a phenomenon only happened by stance over here? But what I’m really finding in my research, and that’s part of what I’m writing my dissertation on them, still getting to that dissertation phase, but luckily, I had the opportunity to start writing pieces and researching things for my dissertation, as well as a textbook chapter that I’ve been offered the opportunity to write for preparing future FCS educators about males inside of the classroom. (10:53)

• The positive thing about FCS is, Yeah, we’re dealing with strengthen the home and the working life of individuals, families and communities, but we all come with different backgrounds, and so how are we working to tackle those problems to come up with those solutions? So that way we can make sure, that the new generation of students can effectively take on those problems and solve them for themselves, because that is something that we need to do in that varied background is something that always excites me, and that’s the other part of my research with men is, what is the value that they’re bringing to family consumer sciences? A lot of my research has been around the academic and social motivation side of the benefit of having a male teacher, and from what I found in my research is that being a male or a female teacher has no effect on your academic achievement as a student, and that’s good because that means a teacher… As a teacher, it doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, but male teachers actually help. (19:52)

• I chose to work in a school, or with a teacher that was teaching Child Development, and she had me come in and teach the menstrual cycle. So here I am this 18-year-old male teaching the 16, 17-year-old girls, because the class of all girls about the menstrual, they’re sitting there with their hands-crossed like you have no idea what we’re talking about, and I’m like, Yeah, I’m like five minutes older than you trying to teach you about this. But you are going to be talking about some of the subjects that, why is a male student teaching or a male teacher teaching female students about the metro cycle or sexual reproduction, or how to be a parent, or what does it mean to be a mother or just any topic? So you have to develop some things to make sure that you have the right relationships, so that way in case, and when it does happen, you get a question, you are able to defend yourself on, I know these students, I have these background and your students are able to stand behind you and not put it into any sort of bad areas, so understanding your passion, knowing students names and really getting to know your students are things that you have to do as a male teacher that yes, a female teacher has to do, but you have to do right away, you don’t have the opportunity to develop that. (29:05)


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January 20, 2021

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