Significant teachers as perceived by preadolescents: Do boys and girls perceive them alike?

Miriam Schiff*, Moshe Tatar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The authors examined the perceptions of preadolescent boys and girls regarding the characteristics of their significant teachers. Israeli elementary school students (N = 408; approximately 48% girls and 52% boys) studying in 5th and 6th grades, participated in this study. The findings showed that significant teachers were characterized as being, in descending order, learning facilitators, reliable, supporters, challengers, and antagonist individuals. They resembled, in descending order, an individual who will be missed in the future, a friend, a policeman or policewoman, and a mother. Significant differences were found between boys and girls: Boys more often characterized their significant teachers as being antagonist. Nevertheless, the size effects were modest. Our findings allude to the large potential influence that teachers may have on their preadolescent students.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)269-276
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by a grant received by Moshe Tatar from the Z. Aranne Foundation, School of Education, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The authors thank Liat Barkai-Goodman for her comments on an earlier version of the article.


  • Elementary school
  • Gender differences
  • Preadolescents
  • Significant teachers
  • Students' perceptions


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