Gender Differences in Achievement


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Girls achievement
Challenge traditional stereotypes
Raise ambitions
McRobbie (magazines 1970s and 1990s)
Change in Families
30 years
divorce rates, lone-parent families, cohabitation
Female-headed lone-parent family: woman independent major income-earning role
Role model
Importance of education
Change in Women Employment
From 50% in 1957 to 70% in 2007
Break through `glass ceiling' invisible barrier which previously denied women from HLP jobs
Importance of education
Change in Ambition
Sue Sharpe (interviews 1970s and 1990s)
Equality of Opportunity
GIST, WISE -> encourage pursuit of traditionally male jobs
National Curriculum 1988 Boys & girls same subject
Jo Boaler -> More meritocratic, girls work harder, achieve more
Female Role Models
Female head teachers and teachers
Role model: women in positions of power and authority
Possibility of important job role
Examining system
Coursework in 1988
Mitsos and Browne: girls more organised and conscientious than boys
Meet deadlines, presentation, and take time
Elwood: Final exam more influence
Teacher Attention
Girls more positive than boys
Barber: (focus) girls -> work boys -> behaviour
Abraham (1995): See boys as badly behaved so expect it
Challenging stereotypes
-Gaby Weiner :
--1980s Teachers challenged gender stereotypes
-- Sexist images of girls removed from teaching materials
-- girls +ve image of capability
-- achievement
Selection Policy
Girls -> desirable recruits, better grades boys -> liability, barrier to tables
David Jackson: advantage to girls, get recruited by best schools, do better
School still patriarchal (male heads, subject limitation, etc)
Boys underachievement
Poorer literacy skills
Mitsos and Browne:
Reading: Women> men & mothers>fathers
Role model
Decline in Traditional Male Jobs
Mitsos and Browne: crisis of masculinity
male self-esteem, motivation
Give up qualifications
Semi skilled/non skilled manual jobs more WC
No impact

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Unrealistic ambitions
Boys failure luck NOT failure
Becky Francis: (aspirations)
Boys -> unacademic unrealistic
Girls -> academic
Feminisation of education
Tony Sewell (methodical working and attentiveness)
Coursework replaced with final exams and outdoor adventure
Teacher Attention
Girls more positive than boys
Barber: (focus) girls -> work boys -> behaviour
Negative labelling has impact (undermines boys confidence)
motivation in subject = achievement
Boys not pushed, given deadline leeway and not treated strictly as expectations of standards are low
Laddish Behavior
Mac and Ghaill:
-Schooling, work,…read more


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