Gender Differences in education

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External factors in girls achievement

  • The influence of feminism
    • Feminists have had an impact on the changes on law to fight for womens rights and oppportunities.
    • Feminists have affected the girls self-image and aspirations. And so they are motivated to do well in education. 
  • Girls changing perception and ambitions
    • Sharpe compared two studies of working class girls from 1970's and 1990's. 
      • In the 1970's girls priorities were love and family life first. They saw their future in terms of domestic role, not paid work.
      • In the 1990's priorities have switched to education and career being more important to them. 
    • Francis found that girls now have more career aspirations and so needed educational success.
  • Changes in the family
    • Increase in divorce rates, more lone parent families, more cohabitation and less marriages, smaller families and more woman are single.
    • This means that women have more need and opportunity to be economically independant and so give them more motivation to do well in education. 
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External factors in girls achievement 2

  • Changes in womens employment
    • There are now more jobs available for women this is because of the changes in the law.
      • 1970 Equal Pay Act 
      • 1975 Sex Discrimination Act 
    • Girls now have more initiative and see their future asa paid work and so they do well in education instead of look at their future as domestic work. 
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Internal factors and girls achievement

  • Equal opportunities
    • Feminists have wide spread in education and it is now seen as a norm that girls and boys are equally capable. 
    • There are policiess aimed at girls to encourage them into subjects like science and technology. GIST and WISE programmes.
    • These policies make education meritocratic where everyone has an eual chance to succeed. 
  • Role models
    • There are now more female teachers which provide a positive, pro-school role models for girls.
    • Female techers 'feminise' the enviroment of school and encourage girls to see school as a part of a 'gender domain'. And so they percieve education as success as a desirable feminine characteristic. 
  • Coursework
    • Mitos and Brown suggest that girls do better at coursework than boys as they are more organised. Girls mature quicker and so they concentrate better.
    • As a result coursework boosted girls exam results more than boys'
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Internal factors and girls achievement 2

  • Stereotypes in learning materials
    • Females were both under- represented and potrayed as subordinate to males in domestic roles. 
      • Since 1980' sexist images of women have changed and replaced with positive images. This inpacted on the girls perception of what they can do and rose their aspiratons.
    • Teacher attention
      • French and French claim that girls and boys got similar kinds of attention fromm teachers but the boys got more because of their unsuitable behaviour 
      • Francis said that although boys got more attention they were disciplined more harshly and had lower expectations from them.
      • Swann claims that boys are better at class discussions as girls work better in group work as they can cooperate and listen better. 
    • Selection and league tables
      • Marketisation policies such as publication of league tables have lead to competition between schools and created an incentive of recruiting more able students.
        • Girls are more successful than boys so are attractive to the schools.
        • Boys are more likley too be misbehaved and will bring bad reputation to the school.
        • This is why girls are more likely to get a place at successful schools. 
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Boys underachievement 2

  • 'Laddish' subcultures
    • It is said that boys are pressured to demonstrate their macuulinity and be anti-school. 
    • Francis found that boys were more concerned about being labelled by peers than girls.
    • Epstein found that pro-school working-class boys are more likley to be labelled as 'gay' and to be harrased. 
  • Policies to raise boys achievement
    • The policies use boys leisure interests and famous role models and aim to improve their literacy skills and motivate them. Example: Playing for success.
  • Gender and subject choice
    • National Curriculum - Subjects are compulsory but where there is a choice boys choose subjects like resistant materials and girls choose food technology.
    • Post 16 education - Boys choose physics and maths and girls choose sociology and english.
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Gender differences in subject choice

  • In families from early ages of children they are dressed differently (boys blue and girls pink), boys were rewarded for being active and girls for being passive
  • At school boys were taight to have initiative and girls of being uiet, helpful and tidy. 
  • Gender domains - activities seen as either female or male.
  • Gendered subject images - subject are seen as female or male
  • Peer pressure - girls or boys being pressured not to do a subject because of their friends. 
  • Gender careers - careers that are seen to be for women or men. 
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Gender identity and schooling

  • Feminists argure that experiances at school act as a form of control to peproduce patriarchy - male domination. This is done by :
      • Verbal abuse : name calling of girls and putting them down.
      • Lees says that girls are being called 'slags' by boys if they appear sexually available as there is no equivelent of the word to boys.
      • The male gaze- male teachers seeing girl students as sexual objects.
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