- Some researchers have claimed that gender of the teacher does play a role in the academic performance of a student
- Students perceive female teachers to be more sensitive and considerate
- Female students outperform male students when taught by female teachers
New Delhi, August 6, 2017: If the gender of a teacher plays a role in how efficient his/her teaching is, has been a matter of debate for years, both inside and outside of the classrooms. A lot of research has been done in order to find definite answers to the questions concerning whether gender does affect the performance of the students; whether students score better when taught with a teacher of the same sex, or is it the opposite and so on.
The two views that have emerged, naturally, are that of acceptance and denial. Some researchers have said that students indeed perform better when taught by teachers of the same gender. The reason given for this belief is that students, consciously or subconsciously, hold presumptions regarding the teaching style, level of interaction, which all, basically, have their roots in gender stereotypes.
There are others, however, who do not believe gender or teaching are in any way connected. A student’s academic achievements, according to them, are independent of the gender of the teacher they are being taught by.
A study by Basow (1995) revealed that students perceived women teachers to be more sensitive and considerate of student ideas whereas male instructors were believed to be more knowledgeable.
Apparently, students find that both male and female teachers have some major quality distinctive to them. However, female teachers take lead, when the study suggesting that girls share a better relationship with female teachers than with male teachers, whereas boys show fairly similar relationships with both, is considered.
Two economists from Texas A&M University reported that female students do even better than their male counterparts when they are taught by female teachers. The analysis of the standardized test scores of over 14,000 middle school students in South Korea, by Jonathan Meer and Jaegeum Lim, shows that when taught by a woman, girls’ scores on average were almost 10% of a standard deviation higher than boys. The economists also found that on substituting a female math teacher to a male math teacher, girls’ scores rose by 8.5% of a standard deviation compared to the boys’ scores.
“Female students outperform male students by roughly a third of a school year more when taught by female teachers than when taught by male teachers,” Meer explained to Quartz.
The gender of a teacher influences the way in which he/she interacts and communicates with his or her students. As Hurt, Scott and McCroskey (1978) have stated it, there is “a difference between knowing and teaching, and that difference is communication in the classroom”. Therefore, there is a possibility that the idea of women being better teachers than men stem from the general perception that female teachers are more empathetic and encourage equal participation and creative expression.
-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha