Boys and underachievement

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  • Created on: 10-05-12 13:29
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Boys and underachievement
Possible factors include external factors (outside the education system), such as boy's poor literacy's
skills and the decline of traditional `men's' jobs
Internal factors (inside the education system) such as the feminisation of education, and the
shortage, of male primary teachers and laddish subcultures.
Boys and literacy
DCSF [2007] = The gender gap is mainly the boys poorer literacy and language skills.
One reason may be that there parents spend less time reading to them, another may be since its
usually the mother who does the reading. They may come to see it as a feminine activity.
Boys leisure = football and computer games
This does little to develop their language and communication skills
While girls tend to have the `bedroom' culture which is centred on staying in and talking with friends.
This helps develop their communication skills.
Globalisation and the decline of the traditional men's job
Since 1980s there is a decline in heavy industry such as iron and steel and manufacturing etc. this is
partly due to the result of the globalisation of the economy, which has led the to move the industry
to LEDC countries for cheap labour.
Traditionally these sectors employed men
Mitsos and Browne claim this decline has lead to men having identity crises.
Many boys now believe they have little prospect of getting a better job.
Note this had been mainly in traditional working class jobs/.
Feminisation of education
Tony Sewell claims that boys fall behind because education has become feminised. Schools do not
nurture masculine traits such as competiveness and leadership. Instead they celebrate qualities more
associated with girl. Such as methodical working and attentiveness in class.
Sewell thinks coursework is the reason for the gender differences and thinks they should have a final
exam instead.
Shortage of primary school teachers
Lack of strong positive male role models both at home and school. Said to be the cause of boys under
Large number of boys being brought up by female lone parent families in uk.

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Men make up 16% of primary school teachers.
39% of 8-11 year old boys have no lessons with a male teacher.
42% of boys surveyed said that having a male teacher made them behave better and work harder.
Latter research contradicts this. e.g. Becky Francis [2006] found 2/3 of 7-8 year old boys believed
that gender of teacher did not matter.
Also Myhill and Jones [2006] found 13-15 year old boys found male teachers harsher.…read more


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