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Issues in Educational Research, 2020, Vol 30(2), 473-492.
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Appropriate physical contact: The alignment of policy and male primary teacher perceptions

Vaughan Cruickshank
University of Tasmania, Australia

Young children often seek acceptance and warmth from their teachers in the form of physical contact. However, this expectation can create fear and uncertainty for male teachers who are unsure of what is, and is not, appropriate physical contact for a man to make with their young students. This paper builds on previous research by ascertaining male primary teachers' perceptions of when it is appropriate for them to make physical contact with their students and examining the alignment of these perceptions with relevant policy guidelines. Findings suggest that policy documents may need more specific clarity about what is and is not acceptable physical contact for teachers to make with their students. The comparison of perceptions and policy can provide important insights into male primary teachers' knowledge of appropriate physical contact and could be used to inform coping strategies to help them persist in the teaching profession.
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Author: Dr Vaughan Cruickshank is a former health and physical education teacher who taught mainly in primary schools. He is currently a lecturer in the School of Education, Launceston Campus, University of Tasmania, where he is the program director of the Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) and (Science/Maths) programs.
Email: v.j.cruickshank@utas.edu.au

Please cite as: Cruickshank, V. (2020). Appropriate physical contact: The alignment of policy and male primary teacher perceptions. Issues in Educational Research, 30(2), 473-492. http://www.iier.org.au/iier30/cruickshank.pdf

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Created 30 May 2020. Last correction: 30 May 2020.
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