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Assess the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes in the education system

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10th April 2012 Assess the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes in the education system There is a lot of compelling evidence to support the view that changes in the education system has resulted in differences in educational achievement between males and females. There is no denying that the statistics show girls are outperforming boys at every level in education, but the question is whether this is largely related to changes in the assessment process and the way each of the genders is educated or whether there are other factors causing the differences. One change that occurred in the education system was the move from the tripartite schooling system to the comprehensive system which involved replacing the 11+ exams with the GCSEs. The 11+ exams consisted of very academic style exams, with no coursework element, while the GCSE?s when first brought into use relied rather heavily on coursework. ...read more.


While boys seem to prefer the final revise just before the end of year exams, but since these have been changed to modular exams throughout the year; this disadvantages boys. A further possibility in explaining the differences in educational achievement in regard to educational system changes could be the phasing out of more practical subjects that have historically been advantageous for boys, the majority of whom are kinaesthetic learners and do better with this type of examination. In the past where subjects such as woodwork or design technology consisted of largely practical assessments (making or designing things); they now consist more of exams which probably do not suit boy as much as the practical, kinaesthetic way of learning and being assessed. This can be said for many other traditional subjects, such as the sciences, which used to contain more actual experimentation that students would be graded on, but has now become more exam based. ...read more.


In conclusion, it is fair to say that there are many competing theories on the reasons behind the differences between the genders, mostly between those that believe the difference is natural, and those that believe that the conditions in the education system have changed to cause this result. It would however be an unlikely coincidence that as soon as changes in the education system happen; soon after girls starts doing better than boys. Then again, this could just be a natural change and could see fluctuation in years to come. This debate could last for as long as the ?problem? persists, but if successes change again and boys start outperforming girls again, the argument is likely to switch to answering why boys are now outperforming girls. But at this moment, we can only reference to the figures showing that there is a difference in gender achievement, as there is no concrete way of finding out whether there are un-natural factors that could be to blame. Everyone will always have a theory, whether they are correct or not is another matter. ...read more.

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