Gender differences in achievement- factors

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  • Gender differences in achievement- factors
    • External
      • Feminism raised girl's expectations and self-esteem. Angela McRobbie- media now presents women more as assertive and independent, so girls are more ambitious
      • Family changes, e.g. more divorces, cohabitation and smaller families, means girls have better female role models
      • Changes in women's employment, e.g. Equal Pay Act and more women in professional management jobs means girls now see futures as employed, not housewives
      • Sue Sharpe- girls once prioritised love, marriage and husbands, but now look towards a future as independent in a career
      • Becky Francis- many girls she interviewed had high aspirations requiring educational qualifications
      • DCSF- boys have poorer literacy and language skills, as mums read to children, but girls stay in bedrooms while boys are encouraged to play outside
      • Mitsos and Browne- traditional men's jobs are declining leading to their identity crisis- with fewer job prospects, they try less to get better education
    • Internal
      • Equal opportunities policies- mainstream thinking. N.C. made both study similar subjects. Alison Kelly- making science compulsory helped equalise opportunities
      • Jo Bowler- schooling is more meritocratic- girls work harder so achieve more
      • Female staff are positive role models, having gone to university, etc.
      • Stephen Gerard- gap appeared in 1988-89 as GCSEs had more coursework. Girls are better at this as they are more conscientious and organised, mature earlier and concentrate longer
      • 'Kaddish subculture' - boys are more concerned about labeling. Scared of threats to masculinity, girls having masculine careers, and being labeled as gay swots and harassed
      • Tony Sewell- education is feminised, and schools value feminine qualities over male qualities
      • Boys attract more reprimands, are disciplined more harshly and feel picked on by teachers with low expectations
      • Teacher interaction with girls is more positive and work-based. Girls prefer pair/group work  where they are better at listening and cooperation. Self-fulfilling prophecy- success
      • Gary Weiner- since the 80's sexist materials have been removed from learning materials, so girls have more positive impressions about what they can do
      • Marketisation policies make girls more desirable to schools for their results, while boys are less due to behavioural difficulties and exclusion rates

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