MALE PRIMARY teachers are more confident teaching science than their female colleagues, even when they have the same qualifications.
Jacqueline Lewis, at Roehampton University, interviewed undergraduate trainee teachers to determine their level of subject knowledge in science. Female students felt that science, and particularly physics, was a male area of expertise.
Dr Lewis said: "Since the advent of the GCSE balanced-science award, more female primary teachers have qualifications in physics and chemistry and should therefore have positive attitudes towards the physical sciences."
Female teachers were more interested in pupils' ideas and misconceptions. Many of those inter- viewed did not see any point in learning to teach primary science unless they also understood how children would learn it. Dr Lewis concluded that students should be offered specialist science tuition while at university.
* 'I need a teacher: I'm not an Einstein': Jacqueline.Lewis@roehampton.ac.uk