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The Influence of the Teacher’s Sex on High School Students’ Engagement and Achievement in Science

Eyvind Elstad, Are Turmo

Abstract


The purpose was to explore relationships between teachers’ sex and a range of variables relating to adolescent students’ perceptions of their classroom engagement, quality of teaching and responses to their teacher, and their own achievements in science. A cross-sectional survey of 798 Norwegian students showed the potential influence of the sex of the teacher on engagement, motivation, volition, and learning outcomes which was estimated after they had known their teachers for six months. The conclusion is that there are interesting interactions between the sex of students and the sex of science teachers in high school along some dimensions. The statistical significant findings support the sex-stereotypic notion, while there are also tendencies supporting the sex-opposite notion. However, in most instances significant interactions between teacher sex and student sex are not established.  The conclusion is more nuanced than in earlier studies. Study shortcomings and implications for the practice  of future research are discussed.


Keywords


Teachers’ gender; teacher behaviour; student engagement; classroom interaction; student-teacher relationship; teacher influence; science

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