Chat Room

3rd February 2012 at 00:00
The latest chat from the TES Scotland forums

Feminine schools and boyish culture

Elohim: The theory of womanly schools suppressing boys' behaviour is becoming frighteningly more real as I walk around a different school - an international school where the corridors and classrooms are very much male-dominated. Primary children are reasonably pushed in sport where out- of-breath pupils and those injured are encouraged to carry on. The dry sense of humour of one Year 5 teacher expresses his regret that the classroom's electronic sunroof doesn't close fast enough - since he was looking forward to "trapping things in there . like animals" . All my observations as a TA over a week showed that male teachers are absolutely essential to pupils at primary schools - not just as academic and social role models, but as contributors to a balanced school culture.

CanuckGrrl: This is one more area where Scottish education lags decades behind. 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, but we ditched that model as sexist. Now, primary staffrooms are pretty much evenly split.

Airy: I'm sure we'd like a better balance, but there seems to be a lack of male applicants.

Poor tom: Why would young men in this country ever aspire to teach in primary schools when they see no authentic place for men there?

Dominie: Secondary used to be largely 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.

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