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Sociology in the News: Why girls lucky enough to have female teachers lead richer, longer lives

Vicki Woolven

12th September 2022

Having a positive role model in the classroom plays its part, but the effects last a lifetime

We all remember those good and bad teachers we had at school - and as teachers we always hope we will leave our mark on students for the right reasons - being seen as a positive role model and someone to aspire towards (rather than some boring middle aged figure who has no life and probably lives at school!).

Our school years certainly have a huge impact on our whole lives - whether it is achieving top exam results that springboard us into lucrative careers, making friendships that last a life time or inspiring us to love a subject to the extent that we study it for our whole lives (which is often the case with teaching).

However a recent piece of research into rural schooling in 1930s and 1940s America has shown that there is a link between being taught by female teachers and earning potential, as well as life expectancy. At the time there were few women in professional roles, so female teachers were seen as role models and not just educators. Children who were taught by women overall achieved better exam results, but also the impact lasted beyond the classroom, with those women then going on to earn more and, in some cases, living longer, than those who were taught by male teachers.

Read the rest of the article in The Guardian here

Vicki Woolven

Vicki Woolven is Subject Lead for Key Stage 4 Humanities at tutor2u. Vicki previously worked as a Head of Geography and Sociology for many years, leading her department to be one of the GA's first Centres of Excellent, and has been a content writer, senior examiner and local authority Key Practitioner for Humanities.

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