Teacher gender-related influences in Greek schools
Background. Although there is a wealth of empirical studies examining the effects and the correlates of student gender in school, teacher gender has rarely been a research focus. Since Greece is one of the few Western countries with an about equal percentage of male and female teachers at primary and secondary levels of public education, it offers itself as a well-suited context for exploring teacher gender-related influences. Aims. The aim of the study was to examine gender-related differences in Greek classrooms focusing on teacher gender. It was hypothesised that due to the societal context clear gender effects could be detected. It was also assumed that teacher-student interaction patterns would be influenced by teacher gender not so much as a main effect but as interaction effects involving variables such as student gender, student achievement, grade, and teacher specialisation. Samples. The samples consisted of 1041 elementary school (mean age = 11.4 years) and 862 secondary school (mean age = 14.3 years) students in public schools in Greece. Methods. A multi-informant and multiperspective approach to academic and psychosocial competence was used, involving teacher, peer, and self-ratings. Achievement data were also obtained. Results. Several significant teacher gender differences were found in teachers' assessment of students' competence at both age groups. Furthermore, various domains of children's self-concept were found to be different in classes of female and male teachers. Conclusions. The findings indicate the need to use teacher gender as a relevant variable in future research.