Study dismisses the 'myth' of role models
the idea that footballers such as David Beckham are role models for young children is a myth, according to new research.
Dr Simon Brownhill, education expert at the University of Derby, said children aged eight or below were unable to grasp the concept of what a role model is until they are older.
Dr Brownhill surveyed 178 men who work in nursery and primary school settings to see if they saw themselves as role models for children.
But he found respondents could not give clear meaning to the term "role model", giving instead many differing definitions.
In his research, entitled "The 'brave' man in the early years (0-8): the ambiguities of being a role model", Dr Brownhill found respondents felt both teachers and parents set more of an example for youngsters than sports stars and celebrities.
Dr Brownhill, a senior lecturer on the Foundation Degree Children's and Young People's Services (Pathway), said: "The results from this study suggest that children aged eight or younger are still finding their feet in the world and do not have a clear understanding of what a role model is.
"The men surveyed in the study, who work with young children every day, supported the idea that children are more likely to be influenced by people who are their own age, who share the same experiences and who live close by, such as friends and family, rather than by actors or sports stars such as Wayne Rooney.
"A friend who, for example, shows no fear when going on a fairground ride is more likely to be a role model for a youngster."
Dr Brownhill said that men are not automatically role models to children if they work in early-years settings, because the status has to be earned. And in some cases role models can have a negative impact on children's lives, he said.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Ottawa shootings: Terror strikes Canadian capital as attacks leave one soldier and one suspect dead
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are looking for Founda...
Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...
£19200 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Physics Teacher January 201...