Gender differences in achievement

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Gender differences in Education


External factors

The feminist movement has challenged the traditional stereotype of a women's role as a mother, Feminism has affected girls self image and ambitions, improving their educational achievement.

Changes in the family

Increases in divorxe rate, cohabitation,lone parent families and smaller families. These changes increase girls to take on a breadwinner role and in turn creates a new role model of a financially independent women. To achieve this women need well-paid jobs and so good qualifications.

Changes in women's employment

Equal pay acts and sex discrimination acts, reduction of the pay gap and weakening of the 'Glass ceiling' have all encouraged girls to see a future of paid work. Career opportunities, better pay and better role models act as an incentive for girls to gain qualifications.

Girls changing ambitions

Sharpe's interviews with girls in the 1970's and 1990's show the shift in the wyas girls see their future. Low inspirations and family priority has been replaced by high ambitions and futures of supporting themselves.

Internal factors

Equal opportunities policies

GIST encourages girls into non-traditional areas. National curriculum making both genders take mostly the same subjects.

Positive role models in schools

Increase in female teachers and heads acting as role models, showing women can achieve positions of importance.

GCSE and coursework

Girls spend longer on their work, take more care and are better at meeting deadlines meaning they succeed in coursework.

Gender role socialisation encourages girls to be tidy and patient, giving girls an advantage in today's assessments.

Teacher attention

Boys dominate in whole-group discussions. Teachers see boys as disruptive and so respond positively to girls. This may lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Challenging stereotypes in the curriculum

The removal of gender stereotypes in textbooks has removed


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