Gender & Education

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  • Created by: J.E.C.
  • Created on: 27-04-14 17:02

Why girls are doing better

Until 1980s - girls underperforming1990s onwards - girls outperform boys at every level

Why girls achievement has improved

> Job market - increased job opportunities for women/ working mothers = role models / futures offer options, financial independence, careers.

> Female expectations - look beyond housewive role. 1976 priorities = love, marriage, children, job, career. 1994 survey priorities = job, career...

> Feminism - emphasis on equal opportunities / teaching monitored for sex bias / girls into STEM subjects / explore sexism in PSHE & citizenship.

> Behaviour - girls work harder / more motivated / more effort & time on homework / better presentation/organisation meet deadlines / read 3x as much as boys

> Changes in organisation of education - national curriculum - girls cannot avoid 'hard' science / coursework involved - girls better

> Better socialisation for school - girls language experience. Boys - weak to ask for help - peer pressure.

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Facts & Figures

> Girls ahead by age 6 - reading & writing

> Av girl outperforms boy by 10%

> English - 64.4% of girls achieve a high grade - only 46.9% of boys achieve a high grade

> Boys more likely to be excluded from school

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Why boys are making slower progress

Changes in job marketMac an Ghaill - WC boys experiencing 'crisis' of masculinity. Socialised into seeing future as 'breadwinner'. Decline in manufacturing industry - unlikely to take up these roles. Service industry better suited to women. Women becoming breadwinners. Decline in masculine roles. Affect WC boy's ambition and motivation. No point in qualification - limited job market.

'Laddish' behaviour - antischool subsultures amongst WC boys in lower sets. > Hargreaves & Willis - fatalistic boys accept school failure - coping strategies to gain credability in the eyes of their peers. Increasingly amongst MC boys.

Social control differences - Mitsos & Browne - teachers not as critical with boys - lower expectations - expect lates, untidy rushed work & disruptive behaviour. Primary school focused on tidiness and neatness - boys not positively influenced - female environment.

Unrealistic attitudes - boys overconfident - surprised when they fail. Francis - boys no longer consider themselves more able than girls - but have unrealistic career aspirations - require less academic success.

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Case Studies

Mitsos & Browne - leisure habits - boys play football & computer games. Girls more likely to read or talk - gain linguistic skills - get ahead at school

Douglas - some families more prepared to spend money on son's further educatio than daughter's because believed their future depended more on work than their daughters did.

Dale Spender - recorded classes - tried dividing time equally but found she only spent 38% of her time with girls.

John Abraham - in maths textbooks women tended to be shopping for food or buying washing machines, whereas males running businesses or investing.

Fiona Norman - early socialisation - girls dolls and toys reinforce stereotypes of females as carers - attach less value to education. Boys - actual games > more assertive in the classroom.

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Case Studies

Lawrie & Brown - girls in single sex school more confident in their maths ability - twice as likely to study A level maths.

Gay Randall - during practical work girls averaged 3min45s of individual teacher attention compared to 45s for boys.

Phoenix & Pattman - boys sought ways to get qualifications whilst avoiding labels 'geek' and 'boffin'. 

Murphy & Elwood - children arrive in school with gendered interests. Boys more likely to play with construction toys etc. Reinforced in school. Boys do better in science and factual/analytical subjects.

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