Education & Gender Differences

INternal Factors

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1.Equal Oppurtunity Policies

GIST-Girls into science and technology, inspires girls to do what they want to, and not be fed by the gender stereotypes.

National Curriculum- Removed inequalities, as boys and girls study the same subjects and therefore they can pursue in the same careers and do just as well.

Alison Kelly (1987)- Science becoming compulsory opens oppurtunities for both boys and girls, and therefore they can both pursue a career in science if they would like, as it stereotypically used to be a male subject.

Boaler (1998)- The imapct of Equal Oppurtunity Policies are the main reason for girls achievement, as schools have become meritocratic (based on Equal Oppurtunities)

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2.Positive Role Models

In recent years, there has been a massive increase in the proportion of female teachers and head teachers, as they therefore build good relationships with girls and become their role models.

Primary Schools have become feminised, with the majority of the staff in primary schools made up of females.

Having women as teachers shows pupils that they can achieve the grades and qualifications to do what they wants as their teachers had to do it to become a teacher.

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3. GCSE and Coursework

The way pupils are assesed favours girls, especially coursework. Girls are likely to spend more time on their work, take more care with their presentation, meet the deadlines and have the correct equipment needed.

Mitsos and Browne- girls mature earlier than boys. Boys have a lower concentration span than girls also, so find it harder to concentrate in exams and controlled assesments.

Oral Exams benefit girls because girls generally have better developed language skills and are therefore more confident and speak in proper English. This is due to early gender role socialisation.

Girls tend to be neat, tidy and patient, this benefits them thoroughly in exams and therefore has an impact on girls achieving greater success.

Jannette Elwood(2005)- The gender gap narrowing isnt only because of coursework, but because of final exams also as they have more of an impact on the final grades.

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4. Teacher Attention

Teachers interact with Boys and Girls differently.

Dale Spencer(1983)- Teachers spend more time interacting with boys than they do girls.

Becky Francis(2001)- Boys got more attention, yet harsher discipline, and they felt they were picked on more than girls

Teachers respond more postively to girls, this creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it creates self-esteem for girls and therefore it reflects in their achievement

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5. Challenging Stereotypes in the Curriculum

The removal of Gender Stereotypes from resources, textbooks etc. has removed a barrier to girls' achievement.

Girls are presented with more positive images, like scientists and doctors, yet in the past women were always portrayed as housewives and mothers, and didnt have the chance to pursue in careers.

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6. Selection and League Tables

Marketisation Policies have made the market a competitive climate. Schools see girls as desirable recruits as they achieve better exam results.

Jackson(1998)- The introduction of Exam League Tables puts high volume on academic achievement, and improves girls' oppurtunities.

Self fulfilling prophecy for girls, girls achieve higher and therefore are chose by better schools, this means they are likely to do better in the future.

Slee(1998)- Boys are less attractive to schools as they are more likely to gain lower grades and more likely to have behavioural problems and be disruptive. Boys are seen as ''Liabillity Students'' as they are an obstacle to league tables.

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