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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK
Male teachers 'help boys behave'
Primary pupils
Research on the impact of a teacher's gender is mixed
Male teachers can have a positive impact on the behaviour of primary school boys, a survey suggests.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools wants to encourage more men to apply to become primary teachers.

The YouGov survey of 603 children aged eight to 11 shows 51% of boys believe they are better behaved with a male teacher - and 42% say they work harder.

At present, a large majority of teachers in England's primary schools are women with only 16% being men.

The TDA, which recruits and trains teachers, wants to see a more balanced workforce in primary schools - providing both male and female authority figures.

'Self-confidence'

Currently one in 12 pupils will have gone through primary school without ever having been taught by a man.

The survey suggests male teachers can provide a positive role model for boys at primary school - and that a large majority of boys would like to have both male and female teachers in their schools.

There were indications that having male teachers could help boys' overall experience of school - with 44% agreeing that male teachers "help them to enjoy school more" and 37% of boys saying it made them feel more self-confident.

More than a quarter of boys agreed that male teachers "understand them better" and could be "relied upon for good advice".

Conflicting opinions

There has been a rise in applications from men wanting to enter teacher training for primary school - up to 19% of applications - but the training agency would like to see a further increase.

"The number of men applying for primary school training courses is increasing, but not quickly enough," says chief executive Graham Holley.

There have been conflicting opinions over whether or not pupils gain from having a more balanced number of male and female staff - and whether schools have become "too feminine" for boys.

A substantial long-term study published in the United States last year suggested that being taught by a teacher of the same gender could raise pupils' academic achievement.

However, another study last year, carried out in primary schools in the UK, suggested that it made no difference to pupils whether they were taught by male or female teachers.


SEE ALSO
Male teachers 'better for boys'
29 Aug 06 |  Education
Pupils 'don't mind' teacher's sex
22 Jun 06 |  Education
Schools 'too feminine for boys'
13 Jun 06 |  Education

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