Gender differences in education (Boys and achievement (Recently the…
Gender differences in education
Boys and achievement
Recently the gender gap in achievement has given rise to concern about boys falling behind.
Boys and literacy -
According to the DCSF (2007) the gender gap is mainly the result of boys poorer literacy and language skills. one reason for this may be that parents spend less time reading to their sons. And the other is that mothers read to their children which feminises it. Also boys leisure pursuits such as football do little to develop their language skills. unlike girls who have a bedroom culture.
Globalisation and the decline of traditional men's jobs -
Since the 1980s their has been a significant decline in men's jobs in the heavy industries such as iron an steel. this has been partly due to globalisation of the economy. because of he decline boys think that their is no point in trying if their are no jobs to get so don't qualifications.
Feminisation of education -
Tony Sewell is reported as claiming that boys fall behind because education has become feminised hat is schools do not nurture masculine traits such as competitiveness and leadership, instead, they celebrate qualities more closely associated with girls. Sewell also sees course work as a major cause of gender differences in achievement. he says that some coursework should be replaced by final exams.
Shortage of male primary school teachers -
The lack of male role models both at home and at school is said to be the cause of boys underachievement. because the culture of the primary school has become feminised as a result of being staffed by female teachers, who are unable to control boys behaviour.
At more male teachers needed -
A disciplinarian discourse the teacher's authority is made explicit and visible (shouts at child). A liberal discourse the teachers authority is implicit and invisible teacher talks to them like they are adults.
Laddish subculture -
Debbie Epstein (1998) examined the way masculinity is constructed within school. She found that working class boys were likely to be harassed called sissies. She says that boys are more bothered about been negatively labelled because it affects their masculinity.
The moral panic about boys -
Critics argue that policies that promote girls success are at a price of boys achievement. Jessica Ringrose (2013) argues that this moral panic has caused a major shift in educational policies. which is preoccupied with raising boys achievement. And this cause negative effects like narrowing equal opportunities policy down simply to failing boys. and they are ignoring working class and ethnic problems. and it ignores other problems faced by girls in school this includes sexual harassment, bullying etc.
Gender and subject choice
National curriculum options -
Where there is a choice in subject boys and girls choice differently.
AS and A levels -
Gender subject choice becomes more noticeable at 16 when students have more choice. This calls in question the effectiveness of GIST and WISE.
Vocational courses -
This prepare students for a certain career. and gender segregation is very noticeable here.
Explanations of gender differences in subject choice
Gender role socialisation -
is the process of learning the behaviour expected of males and females in society. Early socialisation shapes children from early ages boys and girls are dressed differently and given different toys. As a result boys and girls develop different tastes in reading boys read information and girls read stories.
Gender domains -
Gender domains are shaped by their early experiences and expectations of adults.it means the tasks and activities that boys and girls see as male or female territory.
Gendered subject image -
Science teacher are more likely to be men, the examples of teachers use or in textbooks, in a science class boys dominate the equipment, IT are machines which is part of boys domain, The way IT is taught is off putting.
Single-sex schooling -
Pupils who attend single sex schooling tend to hold less stereotyped subject image and make less traditional subject choices.
Gender identity and peer pressure -
Gender choice can be influenced by peer pressure. They may apply peer pressure to someone who they disapprove of their subject choice.
Gendered career opportunities -
An important reason for different subject choice is the fact that employment is highly gendered by male and female domains.
Pupils sexual and gender identities
Double standards -
exists when we apply one set of moral standards to one group but different set another group. Sue lees (1993) identifies a double standards of sexual morality in which boys boast about their own sexual exploits, but girls would be called a slag if she did this. Feminists see these as double standards as an example of a patriarchal ideology that justifies male power and devalues women.
Verbal abuse -
This is one of the ways in which dominant
gender and sexual identities are reinforced. Paecher see name calling as helping to shape gender identity and maintain male power.
The male gaze -
There is also a visual aspect to the way pupils control each others identities. Mac and Ghaill refers to this as the male gaze. the way in which male pupils and teacher rs look up and down at girls like they are sexual objects and making judgement on their appearance. which dominant heterosexual masculinity is reinforced and femininity devalued.
Teacher and discipline -
Research shows that teachers also play a part reinforcing dominant definitions of gender identity. sociology found that male teachers told boys off for behaving like girls and teased them when they gained lower marks in tests than girls. teacher tended to ignore boys verbal abuse of girls and even blamed girls for attracting it. Sue Askew and carol Ross (1988) show how male teachers behavior can subtly reinforce messages about gender.
Male peer groups -
Male peer groups also use verbal abuse to reinforce their definitions of masculinity. Mairtin Mac an Ghaill (1994) study of parbell school examines how peer groups reproduce a range of different class-based masculine gender identities.
Female peer groups:policing identity -
Working class girls gain symbolic capital from their female peer by performing a hyper-heterosexual feminine identity. they do this by constructing a glamorous or sexy look by using certain brands and styles. Girls are faced with a choice.
an idealised feminine identity
of showing loyalty to the female peer group, being non-competitive and getting along with everybody in the friendship culture.
A sexualised identity
that involved competing for boys in the dating culture.
Girls who want to be successful educationally may feel the need to conform to the schools notion of the ideal feminine pupil identity.