Researchers from Queensland University have found significant gender differences in the quality of the teacher-child relationship in the first year of school.
Researchers from Queensland University have found significant gender differences in the quality of the teacher-child relationship in the first year of school. They found that teachers— even in the earliest years of school—generally found girls to be more compliant and to display more positive behaviour and approaches to learning than boys. So, from year one or kindergarten, there is already a significant gender difference in the quality of children’s relationships with their teachers. The researchers argue that even at this age, most children are taught by people who perceive that their relationships with their male students have more conflict. School activities and culture may be biased against young boys and their learning styles, they say. These small differences between the sexes in attitudes and school performance in the early years can become large gender differences as schooling progresses. Focus groups of early secondary students indicated that boys and girls believe teachers are tougher on boys for the same misbehaviours. Interestingly, when asked about preferences for a male or female teacher, focus groups of both boys and girls said they would ‘just prefer a good teacher’.