Teacher Gender Influences Students' Learning

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It's a new study that's surprising teachers, but students at Tallahassee's Raa Middle School seem to agree with the results, saying they learn better from same-sex teachers.

"I have had a better experience with females mostly because they attend to you a lot more," said Sheridan Crump, student at Raa Middle School.

"I feel males can relate to me better than a female," said Sam Manley, a student at Raa.

The National Education Association said students benefit by having exposure to teachers who look like them.

"She's really nice, she's really pretty, and she's like a role model for me," said Crump.

One science teacher sees the pattern.

"I find that girls tend to settle into a pattern quicker, and that helps them. Boys tend to come around a little slower," said Tom Price, a teacher at Raa Middle Schools.

Teachers said they appreciate the study and how it may help them to improve their classroom skills.

"Maybe with the results of the research they could use that to tell us what we need to do in order to relate better with children of one sex or another," said Jane Walker, a geography teacher at Raa Middle School.

Gender isn't the only variable to consider when it comes to student success. Teachers said smaller class sizes, informative textbooks and technology also influence how both boys and girls learn.

This study comes as the number of male teachers is at its lowest level in 40 years. Roughly 80 percent of teachers in the U.S. public schools are women.