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Does the gender of the teacher really matter? Seven- to eight-year-olds' accounts of their interactions with their teachers

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


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In recent years, policy-makers in England, Australia and other countries have called for measures to increase male recruitment to the teaching profession, particularly to the primary sector. This policy of targeted recruitment is predicated upon a number of unexamined assumptions about the benefits of matching teachers and pupils by gender. For example, it is held that the dearth of male 'role models' in schools continues to have an adverse effect on boys' academic motivation and engagement. Utilizing data from interviews with more than 300 7- to 8-year-olds attending primary schools in the north-east and south-east of England, the paper sets out to scrutinize these claims. The findings revealed that the gender of teachers had little apparent effect on the academic motivation and engagement of either boys or girls. For the majority of the children, the gender of the teacher was largely immaterial. They valued teachers, whether men or women, who were consistent and even-handed and supportive of them as learners.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Educational Studies

Year: 2007

Volume: 33

Issue: 4

Pages: 397-413

ISSN (print): 0305-5698

ISSN (electronic): 1465-3400

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/03055690701423580


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