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A perfect match? Pupils' and teachers' views of the impact of matching educators and learners by gender

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christine Skelton, Ian Hall


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British government policy on teacher recruitment gives a high priority to increasing the number of male teachers, particularly in primary schools. This focus stems from concern to challenge 'boys' underachievement': policy-makers believe that 'matching' teachers and pupils by gender will improve boys' engagement with school. Yet there is little evidence to support such assumptions which, as this article notes, are predicated on out-dated theories of social learning. This article reports findings from a large-scale qualitative study that sought to investigate primary pupils' and teachers' views concerning 'gender match' of teacher and learner. It demonstrates that the substantial majority of pupils and teachers rejected the salience of gender in pupil-teacher relations and learning outcomes, prioritising instead the abilities of the individual teacher. The explanations of those pupils and teachers who did support the notion of 'gender match' are also explored, showing how some pupils drew on stereotypical gender discourses to support their constructions, and how some (usually male) teachers were invested in the notion of male role models.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Francis B, Skelton C, Carrington B, Hutchings M, Read B, Hall I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Research Papers in Education

Year: 2008

Volume: 23

Issue: 1

Pages: 21-36

ISSN (print): 0267-1522

ISSN (electronic): 1470-1146

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/02671520701692510


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