8th January 2016 at 00:00

Second-career teachers ‘frustrated’

Staff who have changed career to teach are often frustrated by the lack of recognition they receive from colleagues for the value their pre-teaching experience brings to the job.

Chris Wilkins and Chris Comber, of the University of Leicester, examined the experiences of 24 second-career teachers. Most of them said that their previous careers gave them skills of value in their new jobs. They reported frustration with the fact that their colleagues and school leaders did not acknowledge this input.

Benefits of reading for pleasure

Young children who are strong readers are likely to make significant cognitive progress between the ages of 10 and 16, according to a large-scale longitudinal study.

Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown, of University College London’s Institute of Education, studied the maths and vocabulary test scores of more than 3,500 16-year-olds. They found that children who read for pleasure tended to make substantial cognitive progress between the ages of 10 and 16. Reading was most strongly linked to progress in vocabulary, but had a link to maths progress. It was a stronger predictor of teenage academic progress than parents’ levels of education.

SEN pupils ‘don’t interact as much’

The amount of time that pupils in general spend interacting with their teachers and classmates has increased significantly over 35 years. But the amount of time that children with special educational needs (SEN) spend with teachers has increased far less over the same period.

There has been almost no change in the amount of time SEN pupils spend interacting with their peers, according to Rob Webster, of University College London’s Institute of Education. Mr Webster, using data from studies between 1976 and 2012, argues that the difference between the experiences of children with SEN and those of their classmates could be down to the rise in teaching assistants hired to work with SEN pupils.

Men ‘don’t want to teach infants’

Teaching older pupils is a more appropriate job for men than teaching infants, as it requires greater intellectual capacity and offers higher social status, according to a group of male trainee teachers.

The trainees in South Africa, interviewed by Deevia Bhana and Shaaista Moosa, of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said that they viewed working with infants as feminised and unmasculine. The qualitative study revealed that these male teachers were also keen to emphasise their own power and masculinity. @adibloom

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