EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT: BOYS

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BASICS

-  most boys are improving their performance in primary, secondary, further & higher education but the rate of improvement is slower than that for girls & working class boys are doing significantly worse

- on average girls achieve 10% more A* - C grades at GCSE than boys

- at age 11 the average boy is 9 months behind the average girl in speaking, 12 month in literacy and 6 months in numeracy

- white working class boys are the lowest achiveing group

- boys are 10% behind girls at GCSE English

- young males are more likely to be excluded from school than girls

- boys are virually unemployable as they lack interest, drive, enthusiasm and social skills (Burns and Bracey 2001)

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JOHN ABRAHAM: 'DIVIDE AND SCHOOL' (1995)

- teachers ecpected more bad behaviour from bpys

- boys were not willing to spend time on homework

- got more bad reports for poor behaviour than girls

- judged on gender expectations as they were on actual behaviour

- teahcres reinforced rather than challenged tarditional geder norms

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MITOS & BROWNE (2004)

- teachers were less strict with boys, boys were more likely to distrupt lessons & develop anti-school subcultures

- there were less jobs in manual work

- boys over-estimated their ability

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WARRINGTON & YOUNGER (1999)

- instead of the success of girls being a cause of celebration it is viewed as a problem.

- Concern is expressed that males are failing so schools are now trying to tackle the issue of the underachivement of boys

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REASON 1 - CHANGES IN JOB MARKET

Manual Jobs:

- decline in manufacturing and increase in automation of production - reducation in both unskille and semi-skilled jobs

- affected working class families

- in 2002, the highest unemployment rate of 10% was for men in unskilled/semi-skilled occupations; these are jobs not usually needing educatoional qualifications (social trends 2003)

- these manual, 'macho' jobs fitted the traditional working class masculine identities. The collapse of this job sectr has left male identities uncertain, threatened and confused (Jackson 1998)

- service sector jobs tend to be sek jobs and don't really match up to the idea od traditional working class masculine identities

- Mahoney (1998) thinks not; people in these traditional 'macho' jobs now need higher levels of sesnitivity and social skills

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REASON 2 - CHANGES IN MALE ROLES

- It's argued that boys who grow up in these families lack the role models of father, husband and breadwinner. Single parentfamilies are founf in the lower working class and Jackon (1998) suggests growing up in these families can threaten working class traditional identities

- Mac an Ghaill (1994) - talked about there being a crisi of masculinity - the idea that clear rules for men in society no longer exist as a result of decline in male dominated manual work or changes in society's culture, 

- Motivation of working class boys who se little likelyhood of occuational success. the decline/disapprearnce of some data, which in the past is defined being masculine such as being a breadwinner or doing a manual job - is sometimes described as part of a crisis in masculinity

- Willis (1997) - working class boys developed anti-school subcultures to help them deal with the prospect of boring, working class jobs

- Frosh, Phoenix & Pattman (2002) carried out group interviews with 11-14 year olf boys in London schools & found few boys managed to be both achademic AND popular. Boys identifying with achademic values of the school were subject to homophobic bullying and labelled as 'gay'

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FRANCIS & SKELETON (2005)

- concern over this issue has been exaggreated 'moral panic' - a sudden and illogicak outburst about a supposed decline in society that does not reflect reality, however, there is evidence that certain boys arr underachiveing. Working class boys still tend to do very poorly in the eductaion system

- there has been a widening of the gender gap - the differences in performance between males and females

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FRANCIS (2000)

Suggests both gender face problems in educationm but there are a number of problems specific to boys:

- in the 1970's boys tended to think they were more able than girls, changing behaviour attitudes and publicitity about male underachivement have led to boys losung their confidence

- the stereotype of the ideal pupil tends to fit girls better than boys. Girls may see nire organised and more soncientious than boys.

- if bys are labelled as a problam it can lead to SFP

- boys more keen on being popular in their peer group

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