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Mixed teaching helps students with jobs

31 Jul 2007

Mixed teaching helps students with jobs Mixed teaching at primary schools helps prevent students from taking a gender-stereotyped outlook to the job market later in life, a study suggests.

The Training and Development Agency (TDA) found that many children at primary schools said they would rather be taught by a man than a woman.

But men currently make up only 16 per cent of primary school teachers and 34 per cent of headmasters.

John Connolly, head of maths and science recruitment at the TDA, told Life Style Extra that having male and female primary school teachers was important if children were to be prevented from thinking that there are 'male' and 'female' jobs.

He said: "I think we certainly don't want a generation of people growing up thinking there are men's jobs and women's jobs and having a mix will fix that.

"And there is an element that in some parts of the country there are children whose main male role models are those that teach them in school.

"If you ask primary school aged boys what they want, they say that they want a balance of male and female teachers."

The results of a survey of primary school pupils which accompanied the TDA study suggested that many children think male teachers can persuade them to behave better and work harder.

It found that 51 per cent of pupils say they would behave better in the presence of a male teacher, and 42 per cent said that they would work harder.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of boys aged 8-11 said teachers of both sexes had their strengths.

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