The prevailing construction of primary teaching in the UK and elsewhere is that of a feminised occupation. In popular discourse, male teachers have been variously depicted as 'unusual', 'ambitious', 'odd' or even 'deviant'. Such constructions have engaged policy makers, academics and practitioners. Although previous research has suggested that working with younger children is more likely to be viewed as a 'woman's job', no large-scale investigation has been conducted into the factors influencing male entry to lower and upper primary teaching. In this paper, the findings of a recently completed survey of gender differences in graduate students' images of primary teaching as a career--undertaken in England and Wales--are presented. As well as drawing comparisons between male and female student teachers, detailed consideration is given to the perceptions of men planning to work with younger children and older children respectively. The paper concludes with an exploration of the policy implications of the research.

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