Gender In Education AS Sociology

Gender In Education AS Sociology AQA- Education

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  • Created by: Pheebie
  • Created on: 11-02-12 17:20

DfES (2007)

  • 62% of girls could concentrate for 10mins compared to 49% of boys.
  • 56% of girls could correctly write and spell their names compared to 42% of boys.
  • 70% of children with special needs are boys.
  • At GCSE girls do 10% better than boys.
  • At As/ A level the gap closes 95.8% of girls pass compared to 94% of boys.


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Impact of Feminism

McRobbie (1994)

Girls magazines e.g. Jackie in the 1970s show girls should not be left on the shelf.

In the 1990s magazines showed how to be young, independent women which girls should aspire to be. 

This shows how change in social media could effect girls education as they aspire for more. 


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Women's Employment

  • 1970 Equal pay act 
  • 1975 Sex discrimination act.

Prosser (2006)

There are more women than ever before- this encourages girls to aspire and work hard and get better jobs. 


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Changing in Girls Ambitions

Sharpe (1994)

In 1974 girls interviewed said: Intelligence was unattractive, and they would give priority to love, husbands and marriage. 

In 1990 girls interviewed said: Careers and being able to support themselves were a priority.

Francis (2001)

Most girls aspire for good jobs, and for this they need good qualifications.


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Positive Female Role Models

There are more female teachers now in schools compared to 1992.

This has meant there are more positive female role models for girls within schools.

There are now more female head teacher than male in Primary schools  and more female secondary teachers than male secondary teachers.


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Equal Opportunities Policies

  • GIST (Girls into science and technology)
  • WISE (women into science and engineering)
  • The national curriculum (1998)

Kelly (1987)

Making science compulsory helps equalise opportunities.

Boaler (1998)

Barriers have been removed, a more meritocratic system has been put in place. Girls generally work harder than boys. 


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GCSE Coursework

Gorard (2005)

Gender gap in achievement was constant until 1989 when it sharply increased. This is a product of the system- not boys failing.

Mitsos and Brown (1998)

Girls are more successful at coursework because:- They spend more time on work, presentation, are better at meeting deadlines and bring right materials and equipment to lessons. Girls also do better because they mature quicker than  boys and do better in oral exams bacause their language skills develop sooner. 

Elwood (2005)

Although Coursework has some influence it's unlikely to be the main cause of the gender gap, as it's so large at GCSE.

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Selection and league Tables

Jackson (1998)

Introduction of league tables places a higher value upon academic achievement. Higher achieving girls are therefore better than lower achieving boys. So girls are more likely to be recruited by better schools where they're more likely to succeed. 

Roger Slee (1998)

Boys are less likely to be attractive to schools because they're more likely to have behavioural issues.


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Teacher Attention (1)

Dale Spencer (1983)

Teachers spend more time interacting with boys than verticals

Jane and Peter French (1993)

Amount of time teachers spend with girls and boys academically is similar. Boys only attract more attention because they receive more reprimands. 

Becky Francis (2001)

Whilst boys got more attention, they were more harshly reprimanded more harshly and teachers have lower expectations of them.

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Teacher Attention (2)

Swann and Graddol (1994)

Boys are more boisterous and tend to attract more teachers attention so they get more opportunity to speak. Girls interaction with teachers tended to be more positive because it focused more on school rather than behaviour. 

Swann (1998)

Boys generally dominate whole-class discussions whereas girls cooperated better in paired work or small groups. 

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Challenging Stereotypes

Weiner (1995)

Sexist images were removed from learning materials. This has helped raise girls achievements by presenting them with more images of what girls can do. In the 1970's- 80's text books portrayed women as amazed and frightened of Science and Maths. They presented these subjects as more male inventive than female. 


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Feminist Views of Education

Liberal Feminist View of Education

  • Celebrate current progress.
  • Further progress will be made.
  • Policies will be made encouraging more positive role models, overcoming sexist attitudes and stereotypes. 

Radical Feminist View of education

  • School is still a man's world.
  • Sexual harassment still continues.
  • Education still limits subject and career choice.
  • Males are more likely to become head teachers.
  • Women are still under represented in the curriculum. 
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Boys and Literacy

DCSF (2007)

  • Gender gap is mainly due to poor literacy and language skills.
  • Parents spend more time reading to girls than boys.
  • Boys prefer leisure activities such as sport whilst girls have a "bedroom culture" where they improve their communication and language skills. 


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Globalisation and Decline of Mens Jobs

Mitsos and Browne

Decline in male job opportunities has led to a "job identity crisis for men."  As they're seen to have little prospect of having a "proper" job and give up on getting qualifications. 

Many say this would not have an impact on getting good qualifications though.


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Feminisation of Education

  • 1.5million female-headed lone parent families in UK.

DfES (2007)

  • Men only make up 16% of primary school teachers.

YouGov (2007) Poll

  • 39% of 8-11year old boys have no lessons with male teachers.
  • 42% of pupils said male teachers make them work harder.

Tony Sewell (2006)

  • Schools do not nurture masculine traits instead they nurture qualities associated with girls. He sees coursework as a major cause of gender differences. 
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'Laddish' Subcultures

Debbie Epstien (1998)

Working class boys are more likely to be bullied for being 'swots.'

Francis (2001)

Boys are more concerned than girls about being labelled by their peers. 


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Gender, Class and Ethnicity

Tracey McVeigh (2001)

Similarities in boys and girls achievements are far greater than differences. 

DfES (2007)

  • Class gap in achievement is far greater than gender (3x more at GCSE)
  • Girls and boys from the same class background generally tend to achieve the same results.
  • The gender gap between black Caribbean pupils is greater than any other ethnic groups.

Connorly (2006)

'Interaction effect'

  • Gender, class and ethnicity all effect achievement.
  • Class difference has the biggest effect. 
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