Research reveals problems faced by male teachers

After investigating the behaviour of children in classrooms, researchers at Warwick revealed that, on average, male teachers face more problems than their female counterparts.

Not only did the National Union of Teachers report that men had more pupils answering back and recorded an increase in classroom disruption, but a minority of men were also being threatened by parents.

The researchers found that fewer teachers in general are reporting threats from parents on an annual basis (they found a five per cent increase in the number of teachers who do not admit to threats). Relative to 2001 levels however, a rise from two per cent to four per cent was reported for men receiving threats on a weekly basis. Females reported a 1.5 per cent increase from 0.5 per cent.

Both men and women have experienced a drop in pupils disobeying them in class, a drop that seems more pronounced among female teachers. At the same time however, 52 per cent of men say they now experience rudeness on a weekly basis, compared to 54 per cent in 2001. 40 per cent of women reported the same problem. Their number fell by four per cent from 2001 levels. Swearing remains a big problem for many teachers, with 69 per cent of men and 57 per cent of women stating they have been subjected to offensive language of some kind.

On behalf of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), Christine Blower commented on the strange phenomena: “Despite the impression given by some national figures that women teachers are more subject to bad behaviour than men, the evidence is that it is male teachers who sometimes experience greater levels of poor pupil behaviour. It also demonstrates how misleading gender stereotypes are.”

Even more concerning were the findings that only 39.9 per cent of men and 40.3 per cent of women had received behaviour training, and 6 out of 10 teachers had not received training of any kind. The NUT regarded this as “a matter of real concern.”


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