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Feminine Schools & Boyish Cultuer

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Imsdal, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. I've noticed that it's usually boys who are in trouble -would love to find more ways of harnessing "boyish" behaviour rather than trying to repress it.
  2. Nicely put. Too bad the powers-that-be just don't get it.
    This is one more area where Scottish education lags decades behind other English-speaking countries. I was astonished when I arrived here to find primary schools with not one man on staff.
    Canadian schools were like this 50 years ago, of course, but we ditched that model as blatantly sexist. Now, primary staffrooms are pretty much evenly split---you know, just like the population as a whole.
    The positive influence of male teachers in the primary school on both boys and girls, but particularly on boys, is well-documented.
  3. The OP seems to equate masculinity with idiocy. A false basis for his or her 'conclusion'.
    I see enough self-styled macho farters in S2 as it is...
    The value of male (and female) teachers in all schools (not just primary) is to model non-sexist roles, and undermine/prevent the harm which stereotyping inevitably brings.
  4. I don't think all female primary schools are a "model". I'm sure we'd like a better balance but there seems to be a lack of male applicants.
  5. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Adding 50% to teachers' salaries would sort that.
  6. Do you think? Just last week there was a post on the "main" Opinion forum about make Primary teachers being seen as paedophiles. I doubt this week's news has done much to change that perception. Money is only part of it, otherwise we'd have no men in Secondary teaching either.
  7. Of course they are a model, and of the most insidious kind for being unintentional and hence unexamined---for being just the way things are.
    All-female primary schools represent various assumptions about the proper roles of men and women and implicitly reinforce all sorts of sexist stereotypes in ways that should be unacceptable in a modern society..
    Well, of course there is. Why would young men in this country ever aspire to teach in primary schools when they see no authentic place for men there?
  8. Oh right, that old sexist perception, that men are dangerous and women are safe. The media do a great job of propping up those ancient stereotypes, don't they?
  9. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    I looked around my staff room t'other day and I was the only male there. Secondary used to be lagely male. Now it's going the same way as primary. It's not just salaries but men are not going to come into teaching unless it offers a premium of some kind. Most people who do any research at all know that it's a tough job with long hours prep which the hols no longer compensate for.
  10. Ah - we're talking about "model" in different ways. I was thinking you meant a deliberately chosen model rather than the kind you explain above. My point really was that we need to look at the reasons for the lack of male applicants - and I still say it's wider than simply what happens in schools. The societal assumption that men in Primary schools are either gay or "peedos" creates a very strong barrier.
  11. I remember a fairly even mix and I think that's what I still see across most departments (expect SFL, actually!) I wonder if there are figures.
  12. Absolutely agree with you.
  13. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    In primary schools, in 2009, 85% of HTs were female, 95% of DHTs were female, 93% of PTs were female and 93% of class teachers were female - TOTAL 92% female. (P 12)
    In 2000, 78.3% of primary HTs were female, 91.4% of DHTs were female, 92.4% of AHTs were female, 93.1% of STs were female and 95.3% of class teachers were female - TOTAL 93% female.
    In secondary schools, in 2009, the TOTAL was 61% female. (P17)
    This compares with a total of of 54.6% female in 2000 and, over the same period, the percentage of female secondary HTs has risen from 11.8% to 28%.
    Perhaps one of the most significant developments over that period has been the introduction, and expansion, of 'flexible working'. Whereas once female teachers were expected to return to work full time following maternity leave, or take a career break, the new employment regulations have allowed them greater flexibility to hold on to a permanent contract and continue their careers.
    One downside, however, is that there are now fewer full time, permanent, jobs for both male, and female, teachers who require full time, permanent jobs. This may be one reason to explain why the percentage of female staff has increased in secondary schools.
    In addition, despite all the alleged efforts made to encourage men to take up a career in primary teaching, their numbers have only increased by about 1% over that 10 year period.
  14. I'm pleased to see more female HTs. Have there been efforts to persuade men into Primary teaching? I haven't noticed any.
  15. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    I suspect there is a deeply engrained culture which encourages the belief that female teachers are best at nurturing young children in much the same way as there used to be a belief that the HT of a secondary school had to be male.
    It is, of course, complete tosh. Some female primary teachers would run a mile if they were asked to teach Primary 1 and the management skills of some male secondary HTs leave a lot to be desired.
    What is clear is that Scotland has the lowest percentage of male primary teachers in the UK at 8%. Northern Ireland has 15% male primary teachers and England 12%.
    That female dominated culture within primary schools may have some benefits but it can also be quite damaging when you consider the differences in the development of boys and girls.
    For example, it is not unusual to hear some primary teachers say: "Why can't you boys behave, sit still and be responsible like the girls?" The answer could be that they're boys and they don't behave and develop in the same way as girls.
    Go into any primary school and it's not unusual to find a line of boys being kept in at breaktime for some misdemeanour. Are boys really more badly behaved than girls?
    One problem is that when boys misbehave it tends to be 'in your face' whilst when girls misbehave it tends to be more subtle. However, the subtle misbehaviour that is overlooked, or sometimes even condoned, can often be far more damaging in the long run.
    For example, boys tend to get into trouble for arguing, and fighting, over a game of football in the playground whilst girls typically have arguments, and fall outs, over friendships. "She used to be my friend until Sophie said she had to play with her ... She keeps looking at me ... I think she's talking about me."
    However, whilst the boys will typically have made up, and be back playing together, by the next breaktime, the girls can quietly keep their friendship disagreements going for days, weeks, months and sometimes even years.
    Unfortunately, in a female dominated primary school, it is not unusual to hear staff excuse the misbehaviour of girls with: "Well, that's what girls do" whilst in the same breath they will say: "But those boys cannot be allowed to get away with it."
    In short, I would suggest there is a tendency for some female staff to empathise with the behaviour characteristics of girls whilst coming down hard on the natural, but perceived 'dangerous', behaviour of boys that has to be controlled. Of course, there are some female teachers who relate well to boys and understand their distinct needs and stages of development.
    Having at least some male teachers on a primary staff can bring a more healthy balance to the way in which the education, and behaviour, of all pupils is managed and can make the staffroom a much more pleasant place to be. [​IMG]

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