Key stages 1-3
Transcript Key stages 1-3
Learning and Gender
Week 1 – The gender gap in achievement
• To ask ourselves ‘what is education for?’
• To discover whether there is a gap in
achievement between males and females
• To assess/analyse the reasons for a gender gap in
• This assignment is ‘Graded’
• The grade descriptors used are:1. Understanding of the Subject
4. Use of information
5. Communication and Presentation
What is the purpose of education in society?
• Education is the engine of our economy, it is the foundation of
our culture, and it’s an essential preparation for adult life.
• We all have a responsibility to educate the next generation of
informed citizens, introducing them to the best that has been
thought and said, and instilling in them a love of knowledge
and culture for their own sake. But education is also about the
practical business of ensuring that young people receive the
preparation they need to secure a good job and a fulfilling
career, and have the resilience and moral character to
overcome challenges and succeed.
(Schools Minister Nick Gibb in his speech to the Education Reform Summit, July
• Learning for its own sake…or betterment
• To help people get jobs and be able to provide economically
• Transmit range of knowledge & values about who we are &
where we fit in society
Timed writing exercise
I. Yes, my gender has affected my educational experiences.
No, my gender has not affected my educational experiences.
II. Explain why
Write a short essay – you have 20 minutes.
What does education by gender look like?
• What are your perceptions of how men and women
compare in their educational lives?
• What are the stereotypes? Educated guesses?
Gender and achievement – 1960s, 70s and
• It was only in 1948 that Cambridge University accepted full
membership of women into most of its colleges.
• In the 1960s and 70s sociologists of education focused on the underachievement of females within the education system, asking:
1. Why were they not more ambitious?
2. Why did fewer girls than boys take high status subjects like Maths,
Physics and Chemistry?
3. Why were they less likely to go to university?
Traditional explanations for female underachievement
• Sue Sharp (1976) argued that females had different
aspirations – ‘love, marriage, husbands and children’ were
the main priorities.
• Feminist Angela McRobbie (1978) argued that females in the
70s were influenced by magazines that highlighted romance
• G Griffin (1995) argued some females leave school early to
get out of the ‘housewife’ role they occupy within the family.
They studied subjects that would prepare them for their
futures roles as housewives and mothers. Examples?...
• R Deem (1990) focused on the school curriculum during the
late 1970s and early 1980s and how teachers encouraged
girls to take/not take certain subjects e.g Home Economics
• Teachers also gave boys and girls different kinds of attention
– girls would be praised for their appearance, good
behaviour and neatness of work – but these qualities are
valued less highly that what is seen as individuality or
creativity in boys.
• What does it mean that school subjects are ‘gendered’?
Gender and achievement – 1990s onwards
• Since the 1990s the concern has shifted to underachieving
boys and girls have begun to out-perform boys at virtually all
levels of the education system.
• In 2013 the proportion of girls achieving 5 GCSEs at grade C
and above was 72% compared with 64% for boys (JCQ, 2013)
• This gender gap is around 8-9% generally but about 6% at
the highest grades.
Gender gap in achievement
• On starting school – at the end of Year 1, girls are ahead of
boys in all 7 areas of learning.
• They are also better than boys at concentrating
• DfE (2013) found boys were 2.5 x more likely to have
statements of special educational needs.
• Key stages 1-3 girls do better than boys, especially in English
where the gap widens. In Science and Maths the gap is much
narrower but girls still do better.
At AS and A level
• Girls are more likely to sit, pass and get higher grades than
boys, although the gap is much narrower than at GCSE.
• Even in ‘boys’ subjects like Maths and Physics girls are more
likely to get grades A-C.
• On vocational courses, results are similar, even in subjects
like engineering and construction where girls are a tiny
• Women are now the majority of undergraduates in British
Universities, comprising 55% of the total. In 2000 women
achieved more first class honours than men for the first time.