[AQA] Unit 2 Sociology - Education: Boy's Achievement

Covers the reasons for Boy's Underachievement in Education

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What are the concerns about Boys' Achievement? Jason Tran
The improvement in girl's attainment has led to some sociologists to suggest that boys are the `new
This has triggered what Weaver-Hightower (2003) calls the `boy turn' in education research. More focus is
placed on why boys are underachieving rather than why girls are achieving.
Boys: The New Underachievers?
Boys & Literacy The Economy & Decline
Parents seem to spend less time reading with their of Traditional Men's jobs
sons which means that they develop fewer literacy
There has been a decline in traditional masculine
skills = Affects boys across subjects
manufacturing industries in Britain. Due to
outsourcing to other countries, there are fewer
Also, typical boy leisure i.e. football
jobs available which are masculine = little to aspire
or computer games do little to
develop language and communication.
Labour however, has tried to get boys reading Shortage of Male Primary School
through schemes like the `Raising Boys
Achievement Project' and the `National Literacy
Primary schools tend to be Female dominated. The
Strategy'. More emphasis has been placed on trying
number of male teachers across compulsory
to get more men into Primary School Teaching.
education is in decline.
Feminisation of
Why are boys
underachieving? Schools benefit girls as there
is emphasis on discussion,
creativity, and slow &
Lack of Role Models steady work (rather than on
Male academic achievers are absent high stake exams).
Laddish Subcultures or negatively stereotyped (i.e. Martin
Epstein (1998) ­ W/C Boys from the Simpsons). The New Right Phillips (2002) sees
who want to succeed = also see that an increase in lone parent education as less easy to
harassed and subjected to families causes boys to have a lack of a engage and associate with.
homophobic abuse. Labelled strong male role model.
as sissies/swots.
Boy's Attitudes
Francis (2001) ­ Boys Expectations of Boys Evidence suggests that girls
labelled as swots = threat to At home, parents tend to have lower enjoy education more than
their masculinity so aspirations and check-up less on boys. boys.
purposely underachieve to fit There is less pressure to work hard.
in. Male subcultures makes it
In schools, teachers treat boys and hard for all boys to achieve-
W/C culture = being tough girls differently. They are more those who attempt to
and doing manual work. tolerant of disruptive behaviour. succeed = outcast

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What are the concerns about Boys' Achievement? #2 17/1/12 S3
The increased success of girls relative to boys has caused alarm. Gordon Brown puts it as `a wasted generation
of boys'.…read more


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