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International Review of Education

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 183–203 | Cite as

The Feminization of Primary Education: Effects of Teachers’ Sex on Pupil Achievement, Attitudes and Behaviour

  • Geert Driessen
Open Access
Article

Abstract

Since the mid-1990s, considerable concern has been expressed about the feminization of education. The underlying assumption is that the increasing number of female teachers is leading to a lack of male role models, which may then have negative consequences for the achievement and behaviour of boys in particular. For this reason, policy is currently being pursued in several countries to increase the number of male teachers. In the present article, the theoretical foundation for this policy will be shown to be weak at best. To test this empirically, a large-scale study of Dutch primary schools was conducted, which involved 5181 grade eight pupils, 251 teachers and 163 schools. This study confirmed that teacher sex has no effect whatsoever on the achievement, attitudes or behaviour of pupils. This finding holds for both boys and girls, for both minority and non-minority pupils and for both children from lower and higher social-economic milieus.

Keywords

Work Attitude Measurement Occasion Female Teacher Male Teacher Social Milieu 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Zusammenfassung

DIE VERWEIBLICHUNG DER HAUPTSCHULBILDUNG: DIE AUSWIRKUNGEN DER GESCHLECHTSZUGEHÖRIGKEIT DER LEHRKRÄFTE AUF LEISTUNG, EINSTELLUNGEN UND VERHALTEN DER SCHÜLER – Seit Mitte der neunziger Jahre wurden immer wieder erhebliche Bedenken gegen die Verweiblichung der Schulbildung erhoben. Dem liegt die Annahme zu Grunde, dass die wachsende Anzahl weiblicher LehrkrÄfte zu einem Mangel an mÄnnlichen Rollenvorbildern fÜhre, welcher sich negativ auf die Leistungen und das Verhalten besonders der Jungen auswirke. Aus diesem Grund verfolgen mehrere LÄnder derzeit die Politik, die Zahl der mÄnnlichen LehrkrÄfte zu erhÖhen. Der vorliegende Artikel zeigt, dass die theoretische Grundlage dieser Politik auf sehr schwachen FÜssen steht. Zum empirischen Nachweis diente eine Breitenuntersuchung in hollÄndischen Hauptschulen, in welche 5181 AchtklÄssler, 251 LehrkrÄfte und 163 Schulen einbezogen waren. Die Studie ergab, dass die GeschlechtszugehÖrigkeit der LehrkrÄfte keine wie immer gearteten Auswirkungen auf Leistung, Einstellungen und Verhalten der SchÜler hat. Dies betrifft sowohl Jungen wie MÄdchen, Minderheiten wie Nicht-Minderheiten sowie Kinder aus niedrigerem wie hÖherem sozialÖkonomischen Milieu.

Résumé

LA FÉMINISATION DE L’ÉDUCATION PRIMAIRE: EFFETS DU SEXE DES PROFESSEURS SUR L’ACCOMPLISSEMENT, LES ATTITUDES ET LE COMPORTEMENT DES ÉLÈVES – Depuis le milieu des annÉes 90, on a exprimÉ de grandes inquiÉtudes à propos de la fÉminisation de l’Éducation. L’hypothÈse sous-jacente est que le nombre croissant de professeurs fÉminins conduit à un manque de modÈles du rôle masculin, ce qui pourrait alors avoir des consÉquences nÉgatives sur l’accomplissement et le comportement des garçons en particulier. Pour cette raison, on poursuit actuellement dans plusieurs pays une politique visant à augmenter le nombre de professeurs masculins. Dans le prÉsent article, on montrera que la base thÉorique de cette politique s’avÈre faible tout au mieux. Pour vÉrifier ceci sur le plan empirique, on a entrepris une Étude à grande Échelle sur les Écoles primaires hollandaises, impliquant 5181 ÉlÈves du niveau 8, 251 professeurs et 163 Écoles. Cette Étude a confirmÉ que le sexe du professeur n’a aucun effet quel qu’il soit sur l’accomplissement, les attitudes ou le comportement des ÉlÈves. Ce rÉsultat vaut pour les garçons et les filles, pour les ÉlÈves de minoritÉ ou non, et pour les enfants de milieux sociaux-Économiques les plus faibles comme les plus ÉlevÉs.

Resumen

LA FEMINIZACIÓN DE LA EDUCACIÓN PRIMARIA: INFLUENCIA DEL GÉNERO DE LOS DOCENTES SOBRE EL RENDIMIENTO, LAS ACTITUDES Y LA CoNDUCTA DE LOS ALUMNOS – Desde mediados de los noventa se viene manifestando una considerable preocupaciÓn sobre la feminizaciÓn en la enseñanza escolar, en el sentido de que un creciente número de docentes femeninas pueda causar una falta de modelos masculinos y que esta falta podría tener consecuencias negativas para el rendimiento y la conducta de los alumnos, particularmente de los varones. Por esta razÓn, en varios países se está siguiendo la política de incrementar el número de docentes masculinos. El presente trabajo muestra que el fundamento teÓrico de esta política es sumamente frágil. Para obtener una prueba empírica, se ha realizado una amplia investigaciÓn en escuelas de educaciÓn básica de Holanda involucrando a 5181 alumnos del octavo curso, 251 docentes y 163 escuelas. El estudio confirmÓ que el gÉnero del docente no tiene efecto alguno sobre el rendimiento, las actitudes o las conductas de los alumnos. Los resultados se refieren tanto a los varones como a las niñas, a alumnos de grupos minoritarios o mayoritarios y a niños de estratos socioeconÓmicos más bajos o más altos.

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Notes

Acknowledgements

The research reported on here was financially supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Education. Use was made of data from the PRIMA study, which was subsidised by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ITS – Institute for Applied Social SciencesRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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