Saturday, July 08, 2006

Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement :: NBER Digest

Dee finds that gender interactions between teachers and students have significant effects on these important educational outcomes. Assignment to a teacher of the opposite sex lowers student achievement by about 0.04 standard deviations. Other results imply that just "one year with a male English teacher would eliminate nearly a third of the gender gap in reading performance among 13 year olds…and would do so by improving the performance of boys and simultaneously harming that of girls. Similarly, a year with a female teacher would close the gender gap in science achievement among 13 year olds by half and eliminate entirely the smaller achievement gap in mathematics.
. . .
Overall, the data suggest that, 'a large fraction of boys' dramatic underperformance in reading reflects the classroom dynamics associated with the fact that their reading teachers are overwhelmingly female.' According to the U.S. Department of Education's 1999-2000 Schools and Staffing Survey, 91 percent of the nation's sixth grade reading teachers, and 83 percent of eighth grade reading teachers are female. This depresses boys' achievement. The fact that most middle school teachers of math, science, and history are also female may raise girls' achievement. In short, the current gender imbalance in middle school staffing may be reducing the gender gap in science by helping girls but exacerbating the gender gap in reading by handicapping boys.

The question is, how to get more men interested in teaching adolescent boys? How much would pay have to increase to attract men into the profession? Right now, schools are paying that attracts women, but not men.


Blogger uae alias said...

I think that more financial motivation would be appealing for men... coz a man will always think he has better apportunity in other jobs. Adding that men enjoy working in a competitve envirnoment more tha women, so teacing isn't the first choice for most men therefore i believe applying the competitve edge in a more present manner would attract more men to join this fieled.

10:13 PM  

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