HEDMARK STUDY: Students Thrive with Women Teachers

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Only 1 in 5 primary school teachers in Norway are men and a new study reveals the impact these reduced figures may have upon Norway’s student scholastic scores.


Education News reports results of a Hedmark, Norway teacher/student research study inquiring if teacher gender impacted upon overall student achievement.

The exhaustive study indicates that reduced ratios of primary school male teachers may not be hindering students of either gender.

Historically, girls generally excel over boys of the same age within primary school and a low exposure to the influence of male teachers has been offered as a potential contributing factor.

The Hedmark research reveals that students of both genders seem to fair better with women teachers, than as compared against male teachers. The study also indicates that boys don’t necessarily excel simply due to a male teacher presenting the course materials.

Professor Thomas Nordahl of Høgskolen i Innlandet said of the study results; ‘We find the widest reduction in performance, regardless of student gender, when students were taught by men.’

‘Simply stated: At the primary school level, male teachers aren’t as influential to student learning as their female counterparts.’

Students surveyed within the research study consistently ranked women teachers higher than their male counterparts in various sub-categories such as classroom feedback, professionalism, and teacher-student interaction.

ONLY 13%
The percentage of male primary school teachers within Norway has fallen from 36% in 2000 to 17% in 2018. Forecast employment statistics suggests the ratio may further decrease to a projected 13% of male primary school teachers from 1st to 7th grade.

Hedmark is a rural county within Norway; population of about 190k with extensive forests, Norway’s largest lake (Mjøsa) and shares a long border with neighboring Sweden.


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