More male primary-school teachers? Social benefits for boys and girls

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Gender and Education, 2013, 25 (5), pp. 531 - 547
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The call for more male primary-school teachers has long been associated with the educational needs of boys, the importance of positive male role models in schools and the disproportionate number of male and female primary-school teachers internationally. However, little is known about whether or not parents and students actually want more male primary-school teachers and if they do, the reasons they have for wanting more. This paper addresses the under-representation of parents' and students' views by drawing from a study of the perspectives of 97 parents and 184 sixth-grade students from Sydney, Australia. Surveys and semi-structured focus group interviews with boys and girls, and their mothers and fathers revealed an overall perceived social need for more male primary-school teachers. In particular, the paper indicates that male primary-school teachers are considered important for boys; a view consistent with some extant research literature that does not include the views of parents or students. The paper further indicates that parents and students see male primary-school teachers as being beneficial to girls; a matter rarely discussed in any research literature irrespective of the stakeholder group studies
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