educational attainment and gender

  • Created by: lxigh
  • Created on: 27-03-19 10:19


- Connell - gender is a social construct, the biological differences between men and women are overstated

- Wilkinson (1994) - genderquake - massive shifts that were taking place due to traditional gender patterns

- studies are concerned with boys' under attainment and the idea of masculinity as a barrier to success

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theoretical explanations

- functionalism - linked to social roles, what happens in education reflects society

- marxism - gender inequality isn't seen as important

- interactionism - traditional gender patterns tend to be reproduced through formal/hidden curriculums

- feminism - patriarchy extends into schools from wider society - girls systematically lost out in education - male under achievement is now seen as a problem, rather than the inequalities continuing after education

- new right - seek policies to overturn the failure of boys

- postmoderism - see gender as a choice - forced identity is an unpleasant and aggressive form of social control

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genetic theories

- some educationists believe girls and boys learn differently - if genetics were the cause of differences, then patterns and trends would be static

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gender socialisaion

- Sharpe (1976) - differences at school reflect the creation of gender identity

- masculine and feminine subjects

- national curriculum aimed to break down some of these gendered assumptions

- Clarricoates - m/c girls mroe likely to opt for male dominated subjects, but w/c girls have a more traditional view of careers

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school organisation

- changes to government policy and examinations favour girls - the teaching profession has become increasingly dominated by women - this offers boys fewer male role models 

- as success in education becomes associated with femininity, concerned males 'need' to reject educational success to assert their masculinity

- while there has been help to get girls into masculine subjects and to do better, there has been less done to encourage boys to challenge stereotypes - there is not a 'boys into childcare' equivilant of GIST/WISE

- the introduction of coursework in the 1980s/90s benefitted girls' learning styles more than boys', linked to the idea that girls are more willing to sit down and listen, whilest boys prefer active learning

- boys behaviour is seen as more challenging 

- boys are 3x more likely to be excluded than girls

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hegemonic masculinity

- Willis (1977) and others - some boys are likely to form anti school subcultures - linked to a form of masculinity linked to male work in traditional industry - work that requires few qualifications

- Francis (2000) - males feel threatened and so distance themselves from femininity as girls move into traditional male areas - led them to reject the strategies that lead to educational success - can be seen as self - defeating as employment patterns have changed - poor schools achievement has long term consequences are demanded by most employers

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- increased opportunities at work and economic independence means girls no longer have the expectation od finding a husband who can support them

- Sharpe (1970s) - girls focussed on finding a husband, (1990s) they focussed on finding a career

- more jobs are demanding communication skills and the ability to get on with people

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the new right

- single mothers means boys don't have a male role model - they look at the media - males are portrayed to have achieved their success without doing well in school

- boys make little effort = poor achievement = poor employability

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