Gender difference in achievement (Internal factors (Equal opportunities…
Gender difference in achievement
The impact of feminism -
it is a social movement that strives for equal rights for women. they change the tradition stereotypes of women's role in society of the women's role of the housewife and mother, this is giving girls more motivation because they can now get good jobs after school. also there are now role models in the media.
Changes in the family -
these have been major changes in the family since the 1970's. an increase in the divorce rate. an increase in cohabitation and a decrease in the number of first marriages. an increase in the number of lone-parent families. smaller families. these changes affect girls attitudes towards education in a number of female headed lone parent families may mean more women need to become breadwinners.
changes in women's employment -
Mitsos & Browne. Equal pay act (1970). discrimination laws. proportions of women's employment increased and opportunities increased. research shows that girls have become very ambitious and are wanting these jobs like doctors after school and not just to become house wives.
Girls changing ambitions -
because of changes in the family and employment, girls ambitions are being supported. instead of seeking husbands first they now seek careers first. they want to be independent and be capable to take care of themselves. This means that girls are now getting better at education success.
Equal opportunities policies -
Because of feminists policy makers are much more aware of gender issues and teachers are more sensitive to the need to avoid stereotyping. The same opportunities is now part of the main stream thinking. they also took out gender inequality from the national curriculum. they introduced GIST and WISE helping women get into the male dominated work areas. Weiner says that teachers are now challenging stereotypes for example picture in textbooks.
Positive role models -
there has been an increase in the proportion of female teachers and heads. these women in senior positions are role models for young girls. this shows girls that women can get good jobs and inspires them to do well and get education success.
GCSE and coursework -
some sociologists at the change in the way children are assessed favours girls and disadvantages boys. Eirene Mitsos and Ken Browne say girls spend more time on their work. take more care with the way it is presented. are better at meeting deadlines, meaning they are far better at coursework compared to boys. and they bring the right equipment and meeting deadlines. Along with GCSE girls benefit because they have better language skills because of bedroom culture.
Teachers attention -
some sociologists found that boys receive more attention because they attract it. and they get treated more harshly and picked on by teachers and had lower expectations for boys. Swann (1998) found that boys dominate in whole class activities and girls do better in pair or group work, this explains why teachers react more positively to girls because they see them as more cooperative, leads to self-fulfilling prophecy.
challenging stereotypes in the curriculum -
some argue the removal of gender stereotypes from textbooks, reading schemes and other learning material in recent years has removed a barrier to girls. this creates a new image for girls and what they can do because of teachers challenging these stereotypes in textbooks and other resources.
Selection and league tables -
Marketisations polices have created a more competitive climate in which schools see girls as desirable because they achieve better then boys on average so it will improve their position on the league table, so they are more likely to want girls instead of boys giving them an advantage in the education system.
Liberal feminists -
They celebrate the progress made so far in improving achievement. they believe further progress will be made by the continuing development of equal opportunities policies.
Radical feminists -
take the more critical view. they see girls achieving more but still see that society is patriarchal. for example sexual harassment, there is still limits on girls subject choice, and women are under-represented in many areas of the curriculum.
identity, class and girls achievement
Hyper- heterosexual feminine identities -
Many girls invested considerable time, effort and money in constructing desirable and glamorous hyper-hetrosexual and feminine identities many got this money through part time jobs meaning they were not fully focused on school. but this identity causes conflict with schools. teachers see them as caring more about appearance then education.
While having a boyfriend brought symbolic capital it got in the way of schoolwork and lowered their aspirations. and girls stopped wanting to go to universities and stopped wanting to study masculine subjects like science, instead they choice subject more to do with the family and caring like health and social care, or they left school early to start a family instead of getting the educational success.
Working-class girls dilemma -
Either gaining symbolic capital from their peers by conforming to a hyper-heterosexual feminine identity. or gaining educational capital by rejecting working class identity and conforming to the schools middle-class notions of respectable ideal female pupil. this put a lot of stress on girls and caused a lot to underachieve.
Being loud -
some girls adopted loud feminine identities that often led them to be outspoken, independent and assertive like questioning teachers authority. teachers then interpreted their behaviour as aggressive rather than assertive, they then labelled them badly and self fulfilling prophecy took place.
Symbolic capital -
This is the sense of worth we are able to get from those around us. Archer uses this to explain how working class girls underachieve. This is because there is conflict between working class feminine identities and the values of school. Archer Identifies several strategies that W/C girls followed for creating this ‘valued sense of self, these are Being loud, Boyfriends, and hyper - heterosexual feminine identities.
Successful working class girls -
For the W/C girls who do achieve they are still disadvantage by their class and gender in further education. Evan’s found girls wanted to achieve to get good jobs not for themselves but for their families, their caring attitudes meant they would choose to stay at home rather than move to universities. The ‘fear of debt’ also encouraged girls to live at home, which then limited them in the universities they applied for. Another reason to stay at home was for W/C girls to maintain the W/C habitus.