Gender differences in achievement (internal factors)

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  • Created by: charl_w
  • Created on: 03-04-15 14:06
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  • Gender differences in education (Internal factors)
    • Equal opportunities policies
      • GIST (girls into science & technology)
      • WISE (women into science and engineering)
      • These policies encouraged girls to pursue careers in non- traditional areas.
      • Introduction of national curriculum in 1988 reduced gender inequality by making girls and boys study the same subjects.
      • Jo Boaler (1998) believes this is key reason for changes in girls achievement.
        • Schooling has become more meritocratic, so that girls can achieve more.
    • Positive role models in schools
      • Increase in female teachers and head teachers.
      • Act as role models for girls, showing them women can achieve positions of importance and giving them non-traditional roles to aim for.
      • Primary school teachers have become 'feminised' with nearly all female staff.
      • Women are positive, pro-education role models for girls.
    • Coursework
      • Way pupils are assessed favours girls and disadvantage boys.
      • Girls are more conscientious and better organised so coursework works well for them.
      • Girls mature earlier and can concentrate for longer.
      • Girls: spend more time on work, meet deadlines, bring correct equipment.
      • As a result, curriculum boosted girls exam results.
    • Teacher Attention
      • Dale Spender (1983) found teachers spend more time interacting with boys.
        • However this is because boys behaviour was bad and attracted punishments for misbehaviour. French & French (1993)
      • Francis (2001) found boys got more attention but felt they were disciplined harshly and teachers had lower aspirations for them
      • Swann (1998) found boys dominate class discussions, whereas girls worked better in pairs quietly.
        • Teachers favoured girls way of working and responded positively to them by giving them encouragement.
      • Teachers see girls as cooperative and boys as disruptive. Could led to self fulfilling prophecy.
        • Teachers promote girls self-esteem and raise achievement levels.
    • Stereotypes in learning materials
      • Removal of gender stereotypes from textbooks has removed a barrier in girls achievement.
      • Books previously portrayed women to be housewives or mothers.
      • Sexist images have been removed from learning materials.
        • Helped to raise girls achievements by presenting them with positive images of what women can do.
    • Selection and league tables
      • Marketisiation policies such as exam league tables have led to competition between schools.
      • Girls are more likely to be more successful than boys, so will be attractive to schools.
      • Boys are lower achieving and more badly behaved.
        • Schools see them as liability students who will give them a bad image and produce poor results.
      • As a result girls are more likely to be placed in successful schools- get a better education and achieve more.


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