Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Poll: Is it sexist and outdated for pupils to call teachers ‘Sir’ and ‘Miss’?

18:55 14 May 2014

Academics say pupils should drop the terms

Academics say pupils should drop the terms 'Sir' and 'Miss'

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

shares

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.”

However teachers in Suffolk have opposed the move. The headteacher at Holbrook Academy said “too much familiarity can breed contempt” while the leader of Suffolk and Norfolk Initial Teacher Training said it was important “to denote professional distance between the teacher and pupil”.

Geoff Robinson added that the term ‘Miss’ had become so commonly used that previous connotations had been abandoned. “People don’t actually give it a second thought,” he said.

Have your say in our poll or leave a comment below.

shares
Luke, Nicki and Alicia Durbin

For 10 long years Nicki Durbin has fought relentlessly of trying to find out what happened to her son Luke who went missing after a night out in Ipswich.

Two fire crews have tackled a blaze involving a container full of rubbish.

Two fire crews have tackled a blaze in a shipping container at a site in Henley Road, Ipswich.

Missing Honnington man Christopher Mcleod, 37

Police are appealing for help in tracing missing Honington Christopher Mcleod, who has not been seen since Friday.

Two teenagers have been arrested following the death of a 14 year old boy after an incident at an address in Thurston.

Friends of a 13-year-old schoolboy from Thurston who died after being shot with an air rifle have paid tribute.

A BMW X1

Hundreds of thousands of pounds were spent on luxury cars for managers by the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) in the past year, it has emerged.

Benefit cheat in court

An Ipswich benefit cheat has been spared prison after she fiddled more than £15,000 in false claims over 29 months.

The Mendlesham Street Fair in full swing.

Fun, laughter and a sense of community were the order of the day at the annual Mendlesham Community Council Street Fayre.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24