Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson
The chief goal of this article is to discuss and problematize issues in the debate about men teachers and boys in schools as these issues play out in Iceland where its impact is not much different from the Anglo-Saxon or the Nordic world. In particular I review how sex-role theory and persistent myths about the need for boys to have men teachers are misleading for educators. A secondary goal is to propose alternative ways to approach gender relations in schools. These alternatives include a critical engagement with conceptions of masculinity and femininity and an emphasis on a caring pedagogy for both men and women teachers. The article also reviews figures about the gender and regional division of licensed and unlicensed teachers in Iceland, as well as gender differences among children in their performance in the PISA study in mathematics in 2003, where girls in all electoral districts of Iceland scored higher than boys in all categories of the test. Further the article reports the views of Icelandic women primary school teachers who regard individual differences at least as important as gender issues.
men teachers, role model, gender relations, PISA study, boys’ education, caring pedagogy