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Gender differences in education

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Gender differences in education
Gender differences in education
• This PowerPoint is to review and revise issues in gender and
education. Specifically it will look at girls in education and some of
the reasons why they have improved.
• In recent years there have been some significant changes in the
area of gender and education.
• Both females and males have improved in terms of the qualifications
they achieve in education. However girls have now overtaken boys.
• How do we know this?
• Official statistics!!
• By looking at national statistics on education you can see the
differences between male and female achievement.
• Use the hyperlink below to explore these statistics (you will need the
education section and you can search using key words like gender).
How do we know girls are outperforming boys?
Starting school
• Baseline assessments are given to children (Government and
qualifications and curriculum authority, 1999). They found girls score
higher in all tests.
Key stage 1 to 3
• Girls do consistently better than boys, especially in English but even
in �male’ subjects like maths and science
The gap has widened between girls and boys to over 10%
AS and A2
Girls are more likely tom pass their exams and get higher grades, even
in so called �boys subjects’.
Reasons for girls achievement
There are many reasons for gender
differences in education. We will now look
at reasons for girls improvement. This can
be divided up into external factors and
internal factors.
External factors:
factors outside the education system, such
as home and family background and wider
Internal factors:
Factors within schools and the education
system, such as the effect of school
Factors affecting gender differences
The impact of feminism
Changes in the family
Changes in women’s
Girls changing attitudes
and ambitions
1. Equal opportunities
2. Positive role models in
3. GCSE and coursework
4. Challenging stereotypes
in the curriculum
5. Teachers attention and
classroom interaction
External factors
Impact of feminism
Changes in the family
пѓ� Feminism is a social movement, it
strives for equal rights between men
and women.
пѓ� It has fought for changes in how
women are seen in society and the
media. It has fought against
patriarchy (male dominance).
� It has raised women’s expectations
and their self esteem.
пѓ� This has lead to girls realising that
there isn’t only the housewife role
available to them. Feminism has
affected girl’s own self-image,
showing them choices that weren’t
there before.
пѓ� In turn, females have begun to strive
for success in all areas of society,
including education.
There has been big changes in
the family since the 1970’s.
These changes have effected
girls attitudes to education in a
number of ways.
Increase in lone parent (mainly
female headed). So more
women are taking on the
breadwinner role, thus creating a
new role model for girls where
qualifications are needed to get
a good job.
Increase in divorce means girls
may have to support themselves
financially, this will encourage
girls to get their own
qualifications to make a living.
External factors continued…
Changes in women’s employment
пѓ� In the last few decades there have
been a number of important
changes in women’s employment
� 1970 Equal Pay Act – illegal to
pay women less than men for the
same job
пѓ� More women are now in
employment (part-time and often
in the service sector)
пѓ� Some women are now breaking
through the �glass ceiling’ (invisible
barrier that keeps them from
reaching the top)
пѓ� All these changes encourage
females to do well in education, as
they now see there are many job
opportunities for them
Girls changing attitudes and
Changes in family and
employment have lead to changes
in girls attitudes and priorities
Sue Sharpe interviewed girls in
the 1970s on their priorities. She
found that their priorities were
marriage and children.
She redid her study in 1994 and
discovered that girls priorities had
Their priorities were now jobs and
careers with marriage and children
being less of a priority.
This obviously has an influence on
their attitudes to education
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