Male teachers are crucial role models for boys, suggests research

Posted: 3rd January 2023

Survey reports that boys find male primary school teachers more approachable and an inspiration to work harder

Male primary school teachers are vital role models for boys, new research suggests.

Almost half of men say that a male teacher has been a fundamental role model in their life, a survey commissioned by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) found.

The poll of more than 800 men looked at the impact of male primary teachers in boys’ development.

It found that more than a third (35%) felt that having a male primary teacher challenged them to work harder at school.

Those questioned also said that male teachers were more approachable. Half (50%) were more likely to approach a male teacher about bullying, a similar proportion (49%) were more likely to approach them about problems with school work, 29% went to them with problems at home and 24% were more likely to ask them questions about puberty.

The survey was commissioned to tie in with a new TDA campaign urging men to consider teaching.

Potential primary teacher trainees have less than nine weeks left to apply for postgraduate training courses next year.

Figures recently released by the General Teaching Council for England show that men currently account for just 13% of registered primary school teachers.

And data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency last week showed a widening gulf between the numbers of men and women gaining teaching qualifications from higher education institutions: only 23.8% of those qualifying to become teachers in 2006/07 were men.

Graham Holley, the TDA chief executive, said: “It is telling that more than one in 10 men would consider a teaching career if they felt they could improve the life chances of young boys, or if they heard positive things about male teachers from friends, family or the media.

“Not everyone can be a sports star or TV star, but they can be a ‘star’ in the classroom and help inspire thousands of young minds. We need to celebrate the important roles both male and female teachers play in schools and work to redress the gender balance to ensure the healthy development of children today.”

Dr Tanya Byron, the clinical psychologist and broadcaster, added: “Male primary school teachers can often be stable and reliable figures in the lives of the children that they teach. They inspire children to feel more confident, to work harder and to behave better.”

The survey was carried out by ICM and questioned 1,032 men between September 19 and 21. Of those 837 had a male teacher when they were at primary school.

Source: Male teachers are crucial role models for boys, suggests research | Primary schools | The Guardian

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