Pupils should call teachers by first names and scrap sexist titles 'sir' and 'miss' say academics

The Northern Echo: Pupils should call teachers by first names and scrap sexist titles 'sir' and 'miss' say academics Pupils should call teachers by first names and scrap sexist titles 'sir' and 'miss' say academics

SCHOOL pupils should refer to teaching staff by their first names rather than sexist titles such as "sir" and "miss", academics have said.

Senior education experts say the latter has connotations which make them appear less capable than their male counterparts.

In an interview with the Times Educational Supplement (TES), Jennifer Coates, emeritus professor of English language and linguistics at Roehampton University, said it was "depressing" that women teachers were given "low status" compared with men in the same roles.

She said: "'Sir' is a knight, but 'miss' is ridiculous, it doesn't match 'sir' at all."

Education historian Jacob Middleton told TES the different titles, widely used in schools as opposed to terms including "ma'am", embodied the "massive status disparity and sexism of former years".

Professor Sara Mills, a discourse researcher at Sheffield Hallam University, said pupils could instead refer to their teachers by their first names.

She said: "Sometimes teachers find that they try to stress the similarities between them, rather than trying to keep as distant as possible."

Comments (6)

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12:30pm Wed 14 May 14

loan_star says...

Using Sir and Miss shows respect to the teachers and is good for the kids to learn respect. As usual, some PC thinkers would have us believe its bad!
Using Sir and Miss shows respect to the teachers and is good for the kids to learn respect. As usual, some PC thinkers would have us believe its bad! loan_star
  • Score: 22

12:52pm Wed 14 May 14

lfp says...

Sorry but these so called experts really need to go back to school.
Sorry but these so called experts really need to go back to school. lfp
  • Score: 19

1:34pm Wed 14 May 14

DL5opinion says...

If Sir and Miss are really offensive, which I doubt very much, why did the p.c brigade not suggest the use of Mr. Surname or Mrs. Surname.
At least the staff can retain some position of authority and/or respect.
If Sir and Miss are really offensive, which I doubt very much, why did the p.c brigade not suggest the use of Mr. Surname or Mrs. Surname. At least the staff can retain some position of authority and/or respect. DL5opinion
  • Score: 12

1:46pm Wed 14 May 14

john tate says...

Ignore him ,he,s barmy.
Ignore him ,he,s barmy. john tate
  • Score: -1

2:57pm Wed 14 May 14

allfulcher says...

Kids need to learn about respect, teachers should not be addressed by their first name regardless if what academics say.
Kids need to learn about respect, teachers should not be addressed by their first name regardless if what academics say. allfulcher
  • Score: 9

4:22pm Wed 14 May 14

thehogman says...

what a load of old ****...these academics really need something to do!!!!
what a load of old ****...these academics really need something to do!!!! thehogman
  • Score: 0

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