Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Gender inequality in the primary classroom: Will interactive whiteboards help?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fay SmithORCiD, Dr Frank Hardman, Steven Higgins


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


This paper sets out to investigate (i) gender differences in whole class classroom interaction with a sample of teachers who were not using interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in their lessons; and (ii) the short-term and longer term impact of IWB use upon gender differences in classroom interaction. The study focused upon teacher-student interaction at Key Stage 2 in the teaching of literacy and numeracy in English primary schools. As part of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies, IWBs have been made widely available as a pedagogic tool for promoting interactive whole class teaching. In order to investigate their impact, the project looked specifically at the interactive styles used by a national sample of primary teachers. Using a computerized observation schedule, 144 lessons were observed over a two-year period. The findings concur with other research which has found that boys dominate classroom interaction in terms of the frequency of certain discourse moves. The average length of each move did not vary significantly between boys and girls. Frequency dominance was disproportionately stronger in classes with a high percentage of boys in class, and was also stronger in lessons where whiteboards were used. Understanding how interaction varies in the classroom, and how new technology might affect this interaction, has important implications for teachers, researchers and future research priorities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith F, Hardman F, Higgins S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gender and Education

Year: 2007

Volume: 19

Issue: 4

Pages: 455-469

ISSN (print): 0954-0253

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0516

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09540250701442658


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric