LOOK WHO'S ACHIEVING NOW!
Boys vs Girls
In the beginning...
What ignited this catalyst of change?
According to Bilton, T. Bonnett, K. Jones, P. Lawson, T. Skinner, D. Stanworth, M. Webster, A. (2002) the expectations of girls ability in education were lower than with boys and it was generally expected that boys would perform better and achieve higher grades. It wasn't until after 1970 that feminists began to highlight the fact that there was gender bias in education (pp 276). The concern was that girls performed well during the primary years of school and even out performed boys but then during secondary education everything changed, there was evidence of girls grades diminishing and boys grades growing. This was also highlighted by the number of boys who continued in the education system compared to girls (Browne, K. 2015).
http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/aug/21/gcse-results-2014-biggest-gap-11-boys-and-girls-a-c-pass-rate (Arnett, G. 2014) [Online] (Accessed 13/03/16). Click this link for an interesting article discussing educational differences in gender from 1989-2014.
Expectations can Change!
With the rise of feminism women no longer expect to leave school uneducated and end up staying at home to bring up a family. The rise in equal opportunities has empowered women to want to do well at school and to become high achievers (Macionis, J. J. 2011) (pp 302).
There are still divisions in subject choices and it is general noted through research that girls are still choosing and performing better in certain subjects. These tend to be humanities, arts and language and there is evidence that women make up less than 50% of Mathematical sciences, physical science and business/administrative studies (Leathwood, C. and Read, B. 2008). Although in English language at O level and GCSE level women have been maintaining consistently higher grades since the 1950's (Femee, J. 2007). There is an interesting book which shows and discusses these differences in subject choices in more detail and suggests reason for these differences, just follow the link:- https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lOxEBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA54&dq=gender+difference+in+education+uk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi6-_zC8bDLAhWLWhQKHVXeAdQQ6AEILzAC#v=onepage&q=gender%20difference%20in%20education%20uk&f=false.
What happens next?
It is evident that the theories regarding gender division are varied and many point towards social construction as a major contibutor to gender differences within the education system. It would also seem that as women are gaining credibility and acknowledgement men are losing clear definition of their identity. The road to equality and inclusion of both sexes within education is clearly building but it is also equally clear that there is a long way to go before the word 'equal' can be used with true meaning.