Asses the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes in the education system

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Asses the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes in the
education system
The gender differences in achievement maybe due to internal factors such as inside the education system or
external factors such as family.
Internal factors, within schools and education system include equal opportunities, many sociologist argue
that feminised have had a big impact on the education system. Since those who run the school are more
aware of gender issues and teachers try to avoid stereotyping. This is where the belief that both boys and
girls should have an equal opportunity and is now the mainstream thinking of education and influences their
policies. This is supported by the fact that policies such as GIST and WISE encourage girls to go for careers
that are in non traditional areas. Also female scientist have gone to visit many schools acting as role models
and also encourages girls to aim higher but through their science teachers, who are provided with advise
upon gender issues etc. This could be used to explain as to why the gender differences in achievement may
be due to the education system, since now that there are organisations that are specially there to help and
encourage girls, also they have people visiting that are female from non traditional jobs that were usually
taken by men. This shows girls that they can aim higher for the bigger jobs with higher earning also it gives
them a role model to look up to. Continuing on since there are places and groups that are there for girls to
achieve higher, they can easily go there for advice etc when needed. Because of this advantage of having
more people to go to, it helps girls to go for the careers that before they felt they couldn't (`glass ceiling').
Also since policies such as WISE and GIST come talking about this to mixed gender schools, it may subtly
outlay to boys that education is more of a girl thing now.
Furthermore the start of the national curriculum where both girls and boys study similar subjects got rid of
one type of gender equality. Alison Kelly argues that making science part of the core curriculum helped
equalise opportunities. Because of the fact that science is now are core subject, girls have a better chance at
succeeding since nobody can say that they shouldn't do this subject since it's a boy subject. Also because
now that girls have that chance, boys have the competition of the girls and the pressure to be better than
them or act like they don't care, this leads them not paying enough attention etc, which in turn affects their
Moving on, the increase in female teachers and head teachers, give girls a positive role model that they can
follow or take advice on. By seeing that females can reach a higher level of authority it could motivate them
to aim higher. Also because there is an increase in the female teachers in school there has come to notice
that there is a lack of male primary school teachers, Tony Sewell has even gone on to say that primary
school has been `feminised'. This may not seem vital to the gender gap differences in achievement. But
some sociologist say that since boys see from an early age that schools are filled with female teachers, this
could lead them into thinking that education is a girl thing, which is understandable for a young child to come
to the conclusion to. But lots of 8-10 year old said they don't mind what gender their teacher is and in fact
prefer female teachers since the male teachers can be `harsher'. But they at that age may not be completely
conscience of the female role in school but unconsciously taking it in, not realizing that they see school as a
girl thing. But then again that could be just reading in to it to much. Anyways the fact that there is a decrease
in male teachers in primary school and increase of female teachers this could affect the gender gap in
achievement through the education system mainly because boys will see the female head teachers and
others in a high role which was originally a male, may now feel that education is no longer much of a boy's
thing, so its outside their domain. But you should remember this also depends on their background, what
class they are from and their expectations, but that comes more into the external factors.
As well as that there is an obvious one in the change in the education system, being the introduction of the
coursework in 1998 when GCSE came into existence. Stephen Gorard found that the gender gap was fairly
consistent from 1975, until 1988-9 which was said above was when GSCE was first introduced, which all
mainly had coursework as major part of the subject. Gorard thinks that the gender gap in achievement is the

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Eirene Mitsos
and Ken Browne also support this idea, they think that girls a more likely to be successful in coursework
because they are more conscientious and better organised than boys. Since girls tend to spend more time
on their school work, take time on the presentation, are generally better at meeting deadlines, since they are
more organised and bring the correct equipment and materials for their lessons etc.…read more

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Plus the fact that employment changed, the women felt they could aspire to be something more without the
worry of being put down and appearing unfeminine. The fact that women were afraid of appearing
unattractive if they used their brains just shows how male dominated education and work was, which
previously made it so hard for women to move forward in work.…read more


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