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Flashcards in Gender Differences In Education Deck (45)
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What are the differences in achievement between boys and girls on starting education?

- 2013 teacher assessment of pupils at the end of yr 1 showed girls ahead of boys in all 7 areas of learning assessed.
- A DfE study (2013) found that in state primary schools, boys were 2 1/2 times more likely than girls to have statements of special educational needs.


What are the differences in achievement between boys and girls at key stages 1 to 3?

- Girls do consistently better than boys.
- Especially so in English, where the gender gap steadily widens with age.
- In science and maths the gap is much narrower, but girls still do better.


What are the differences in achievement between boys and girls at GCSE?

The gender gap states at around 10 percentage points (2013).


What are the gender differences in achievement between boys and girls at AS and A-level?

- Girls are more likely to sit, pass and get higher grades than boys, though the gap is much narrower than at GCSE.
- Ex: In 2013, 46.8% of girls gained A or B grades at A level, but only 42.2% of boys.
- Even in 'boys' subjects (e.g maths, physics), girls were more likely to get A-C.


What are the differences in achievement between boys and girls on vocational courses?

A larger proportion of girls achieve distinctions in every subject, including those such as engineering and construction where girls are a tiny minority of the students.


How has the external factor of the impact of feminism affected gender differences in achievement?

McRobbie's study of girls' magazines (1994):
- 1970s: They emphasised the importance of getting married and not being 'left on the shelf'.
- Nowadays: They contain images of assertive, independent women.

- The changes encouraged by feminism has raised women's expectations and self esteem.
- May also affect girls' self-image and ambitions with regards to the family and careers.
- This may explain improvements in their educational achievement.


How has the external factor of changes in the family affected gender differences in achievement?

- Increased number of female-headed lone-parent families may mean more women need to take on a breadwinner role.
- This creates a new adult role model for girls: the financially independent woman.
- To achieve this independence, women need well paid jobs and therefore good qualifications.


How has the external factor of changes in women's employment affected gender differences in achievement?

Important changes:
- Equal Pay Act (1970) and Sex Discrimination Act (1975).
- Since 1975, pay gap has halved from 30% to 15%.
- Proportion of women in employment has risen from 53% in 1971 to 67% in 2013.
- Breaking through 'glass ceiling': invisible barrier keeping women out of high-level professional + managerial jobs.

- These changes have encouraged girls to see their future in terms of paid work rather than as housewives.
- Greater career opportunities + better pay for women, + the role models successful career women offer, provide an incentive for girls to gain qualifications.


How has the external factor of girls' changing ambitions affected gender differences in achievement?

Sharpe interviewed a group of young girls in the 70s and 90s.
1970s: Women had low aspirations and believed that they should just find themselves a husband.
1990s: Women were career driven and had aspirations.


How has the internal factor of equal opportunities policies affected gender differences in achievement?

Policies such as GIST (Girls Into Science and Technology) and WISE (Women Into Science and Engineering) encourage girls and women to get into non-traditional areas.


How has the internal factor of positive role models in school affected gender differences in achievement?

Female teachers are more likely to be a particularly important role model as far as girls' educational achievement is concerned since, to become a teacher, the individual must undertake a lengthy and successful education herself.


How has the internal factor of GCSE and coursework affected gender differences in achievement?

Mitsos and Browne: Introduction of GCSEs was when the gap in gender achievement began to increase. They found girls were more successful and better suited to the GCSE and coursework system because they:
- Spend more time on their work
- Care about presentation of their work
- Are better at meeting deadlines
- Bring the right materials and equipment to lessons


How has the internal factor of teacher attention affected gender differences in achievement?

Francis found while boys get more attention from their teachers, they're disciplined more harshly and felt picked on by teachers, who tended to have lower expectations of them.


How has the internal factor of challenging stereotypes in the curriculum affected gender differences in achievement?

Weiner found that gender stereotypes have been challenged in learning materials. This has been done by removing sexist images from textbooks.


How has the internal factor of selection and league tables affected gender differences in achievement?

Slee argues that boys are less attractive to schools because they're more likely to suffer from behavioural issues and are four times more likely to be excluded.


How do liberal feminists see gender differences in educational achievement?

They believe that further progress will be made by continuing development of equal opportunity policies, encouraging positive role models and overcoming sexist attitudes and stereotypes.


State four ways in which radical feminists say school remains patriarchal.

- Sexual harassment of girls continues at school.
- Education still limits girls' subject choices and career options.
- Male teachers are more likely to become heads of secondary schools.
- Women are under-represented in many areas of the curriculum. For example, their contribution to history is largely ignored. Weiner describes the secondary school history curriculum as a 'woman-free zone.'


Define 'symbolic capital' and explain how it affects the educational achievement of working-class girls.

- Symbolic capital refers to the status, recognition and sense of worth that we are able to obtain from others.
- This affects the achievement of w/c girls as they gain symbolic capital from their peers, which created conflict with the school.
- This also prevented them from gaining educational capital (qualifications) and economic capital (m/c careers).


Briefly explain how hyper-heterosexual feminine identities negatively affects working-class girls education.

- Many girls have invested time, effort and money into constructing 'desirable' + 'glamorous' hyper-heterosexual identities.
- Girls' performance of this identity brought status from their female group + avoided them being ridiculed or called a tramp from wearing the wrong brand.
- However, this brought them into conflict with the school.
- Ex: punishment for having the wrong appearance.


Briefly explain how boyfriends negatively affect working-class girls education.

While having a boyfriend brought symbolic capital, it got in the way of schoolwork and lowered girls' aspirations. This included losing interest in going to university, in studying 'masculine' subjects or in gaining a professional career.


Briefly explain how being 'loud' negatively affects working-class girls education.

- Some w/c girls adopted 'loud' feminine identities that often led to them being outspoken, independent and assertive, for example questioning a teachers authority.
- This failed to conform to the school's stereotype of the ideal female identity as passive and submissive.
- Brought conflict with the teachers who interpreted their behaviour as aggressive not assertive.


What is the working-class girls' dilemma and how did some of them cope with it?

- Gaining symbolic capital from their peers by conforming to a hyper-heterosexual feminine identity.
- Or gaining educational capital by rejecting the w/c identity and conforming to the schools m/c notions of the respectable, ideal female pupil.


Explain why working-class girls who are successful are more likely to choose a university nearer home. How might this affect their future careers?

- Because of wanting to help their families.
- They had a fear of debt and the cost of living on a university campus was too high.
- Archer: a preference for a local university is a key feature of the w/c habitus.


Summarise the possible effects of boys and literacy on boys' achievement.

DCSF: Gender gap is mainly the result of boys' poorer literacy and language skills.
- A reason for this might be that parents spend less time reading to their sons.
- Another may be that it's mothers who do most of the reading to young children, making it a 'feminine' activity.
- In addition, boys' leisure pursuits, such as football, do little to develop their language and communication skills.


Summarise the possible effects of globalisation and the decline of traditional men's jobs on boys' achievement.

- Significant decline in heavy industries such as mining and shipbuilding since 1980s.
- Partly the result of the globalisation of the economy, which has led to much of its manufacturing industry being relocated to developing countries to take advantage of cheap labour.
- Mitsos and Browne: claim this has led to an 'identity crisis for men'. Many boys now believe that they have little prospect of getting a 'proper' job.


Summarise the possible effects of the feminisation of education on boys' achievement.

- Schools don't nurture masculine traits (e.g competitiveness and leadership).
- Instead: celebrate 'feminine' qualities, such as methodical working and attentiveness in class.
- Argues: 'We have challenged the 1950s patriarchy and rightly said that it's not a mans world. But we have thrown the boy out with the bath water.'


Summarise the possible affects of shortage of male primary school teachers on boys' achievement.

- Lack of role models both at home and school is said to be a cause of boys underachievement.
- Ex: large numbers of boys are being brought up in the 1.5 million female-headed lone-parent families (UK).
- 14% of primary school teachers are male and according to Yougov, 39% of 8-11 y/o boys have no lessons whatsoever with a male teacher.
- Most boys said the presence of a male teacher made them behave better.
- 42% said it made them work harder.


Explain the difference between a disciplinarian and a liberal discourse.

- Disciplinarian discourse: The teachers authority is made explicit and visible, for example, through shouting, an 'exasperated' tone of voice or sarcasm.

- Liberal discourse: The teacher's authority is implicit and invisible. This child-centred discourse involves 'pseudo-adultification'.


Why does Read conclude that more male teachers are not needed to improve boys' achievement?

The fact that female teachers were just as likely as males to use a 'masculine' discourse to control pupils' behaviour disproves the claim that only male teachers can provide the stricter classroom culture in which boys are said to thrive.


Why might working-class boys form 'laddish' subcultures?

Epstein examined the way masculinity is constructed within school. She found that w/c boys are more likely to be harassed, labelled as sissies and subjected to homophobic verbal abuse if they appeared to be 'swots'.