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Tes Editorial

Are young boys turned off reading by a lack of male teachers?

Surely female teachers are perfectly capable of picking books that boys will enjoy? It's just as likely that the dull-as-ditchwater reading scheme books, which our government is so keen to promote, are to blame.


Cultural elitism. Why would anyone care if boys don't read books? Being well-readliterate is not so important that we have to guilt-trip the parents of the not-much-bothered.


I do think that it is important for all children to read a variety of books. In my experience the children who read avidly are often better writers as a result. Reading widens their vocabulary and they seem to have better imaginations, too. I think that their home life has more influence than what happens at school.


I'm male and have always been an avid reader, despite never seeing a male teacher until I moved to secondary school. I also had several older sisters and would read some of their booksmagazines, too.


Back in the olden days there were very few male teachers yet boys read - probably because they didn't have computer games, 24-hour television and so on. Given the choices today, fewer boys choose to read than girls. Bugger all to do with whether their teachers are male or female.


That was also when comics and annuals were unashamedly male or female in their set-up. My father has an annual and all it has in it is war, football and boxing stories with strong macho men saving the day. Its literary standards are very high, too.


Interesting point - the old comic annuals often had quite lengthy text stories in them, too. I'd challenge anyone to claim that some of today's comics and graphic novels aren't literate and demanding, but it's a fairly select male readership that follows them.

magic surf bus

I read to my son every night, and as a consequence he loves books. I can't think of a more preposterous notion than somehow the lack of teachers with manberries at school will turn him off books.


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