EDUCATION & GENDER (GIRLS)

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GIRLS ACHIEVEMENT - PRE 1990 (INTRO)

- working class girls tended to drop out of education at age 16

- all girls tended to underachieve in comparison to boys

WHY?

- the curriculum was divided along gender lines e.g. cooking for girls, maths for boys

- patriarchy - womens role seen as a housewife not in the workplace

- socialisisation - traditional gender roles

- girls 'invisible' in the classroom - disadvandtaged, seen as passive & expected to get on with work

- differences in confidence - boys over-estimated their ability & girld under-estimated (Stanworth 1983)

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REASONS FOR ACADEMIC IMPROVEMENT

- changes in the labour market

- female aspirations

- changes in education

- influence of feminism

- behaviour

- socialisation

(see next cards for detail on the above topics)

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1) CHANGES IN THE LABOUR MARKET

- changes embedded in legislation have been positive according to liberal feminists

- feminisation of the workplace e.g. service sector jobs increased & 'masculine' manual jobs decline

- emphasis on now needed communication skills

- Legislation: Equal pay act (1970), Equality Act (2010)

- more high status, well paid jobs for women

- more role models for younger generation of women

- Mitos & Browne - womens movement raised expectations & self-esteem of women 

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2) FEMALE ASPIRATIONS

- girls now look beyond mother/houswife role

- Sue Sharpe (1976 & 1994) girls did prioritse loveand marriage most and now are more focused on jobs and careers

- Francais & Skeleton (2005) say a woman's career reflects her idenity, career bring fufilment

- increased incentives to gain educational qualifications

- girls look forward to jobs that need qualifications

- there has been a cultural shift - patriarchal attitudes have declined in society and the workplace

- media has a played significant role here

- McRobbie - girls have not become too radicalised, they still have 'bedroom culture' and this encourages verbal skills

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3) CHANGES IN EDUCATION

- Pirie (2001) - shidt towards coursework benfited girls at expense of boys. Research shows boys cram for exams effectively but are poor at organising themselves for coursework

- Myhill (1999) - criticses Pirie - argues that assessment shows this may not have made significant difference

- girls now hace more positive role models (teachers, heads of schools & colleges)

- Gray & McLellan (2006) - by year 5 girls more positive and enthusaistic about school whilst boys more disengaged and disaffected

- specific initiatives to encourage girls into specific subjects e.g. GIST, WISE etc

- single sex classes in some subjects such as English and Maths

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4) FEMINISM

- feminist movement of 1960/70s has been major influcence, led to mothers and teachers providing feminist role models

- all educational establishments must have equal opportunity policies in place and adhere to them

- teacher training - has led to less gender stereotyping in classroom

- Weiner (1995) argues that teachers now challenge sexist stereotypes and images in teaching resources

- howeverm Best (1993) & Abraham (1996) both say that women are still shown as 'passive' or in a narrow range of roles

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5) BEHAVIOUR

- evidence shows that girls work harder and are more motivated

- girls put in more effort, organise their work, draft and redraft work, meet deadlines etc more than boys do

- Burns & Bracey (2001) - show that boys think school is where you do school work and not at home. This trend continues throughout their life

- girls are 3 times more likely to borrow library books

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6) SOCIALISATION

- Hannan (2000) - girls spend leisure time differently to boys

- girls are not so affected by peer group pressure, are happy to help each other and unlike boys are happy to ask for help from the teacher in class

- girls have better organisational skills and motivation to do well in education

- girls are now socialsed into planning thei education and career - they can now do anything they want to do

- girls are now socialsed by mothers who have been influcnces by feminsm and/or benefitted from the effects of feminism

- Kirby (2000) - in their spare time girls have more 'communicative play' 

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GENDER ATTAINMENT STATISTICS

2006

- the number of females achiveing 2 or more A levels increased from 20% in 1990 to 42% in 2006. Males only increased from 18% to 33%

- 30% of 17 year old males and 37% females went on to higher education

2007

- England KS1 & 2 - girls scored higher than boys (2007)

- 66% of girls and only 57% of boys achived 5 or more GCSEs, 

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