• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Using information from Item A and elsewhere assess the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes in the education system (20 marks). Since the early 1990?s, girls have begun to outperform boys at most levels of the education system. According to Pirie in Item A, the modular courses and continuous assessment found in education today has been seen to favour the systematic approach of girls, compared to the old O level exam which typically favoured boys. These changes within the education system are seen as the main result of gender differences in education, nevertheless, external factors such as the impact of feminism and changes in the job market may also have influenced the increase in girl?s attainment. Firstly, it may be argued that the way pupils are assessed has favoured girls and disadvantaged boys. Gorard found that the gender gap in achievement was stable from 1975 up until 1988 when it increased rapidly. ...read more.


This may result in boys feeling picked on in school which may result in gender and ethnic differences in attainment. On the other hand, many sociologists have expressed the importance of external factors in influencing gender differences in attainment. Feminism is a social movement that strives for equality in society for men and women. It has questioned the typical role of males and females in society and challenges the role of women being the housewife. The feminist movement has had a great influence in improving girls? self-esteem and aspirations. Sue Sharpe?s? study supports this view, her study of girls in the 1970?s and 1990?s shows the impact that the feminist movement has had a girls aspirations. In the 1970?s girls priorities in life were love, marriage and husbands, when she conducted this study again in the 1990?s she found that there was a big shift in priorities, these girls were now more concerned with gaining a career and being able to look after themselves. ...read more.


In conclusion, Item A may suggest that gender differences in education are a result of changing factors within the education system, although it may also be seen that both internal and external factors influence educational attainment of both girls and boys. Girls may be improving at a faster rate than boys but the performance of both sexes has improved considerably in recent years. In addition, boys may now be seen to be lagging behind girls but boys today are achieving more than they did in the past. Furthermore, McVeigh argues that the similarities in girls? and boys? achievement are far greater than the differences, especially when compared with class and ethnic patterns in achievement. Girls and boys of the same social class tend to achieve fairly similar results, whereas a boy from the middle class will tend to achieve higher than a girl from a working class background. Although gender does have an influence on educational attainment we must not exclude the impact that class and ethnicity has on educational attainment. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. The education system is meritocratic

    will live in this is further support that sifting and sorting can't take place because jobs can exist one moment and not the next which means that the meritocratic system can't put the brightest at the top as the top is continuously changing.

  2. Explain the influence of social class and gender on educational achievement

    They therefore see the lack of maintenance grants for 16-18 year olds as a major obstacle to working class educational achievement. Material deprivation is further explored by Douglas (1964) in 'The Home and the School' where the educational careers of 5,362 British children born in the first week of March was traced.

  1. Assess the reasons for gender differences in Educational Achievement

    A lot of the time, males are seemed to be allowed to dominate in the classroom.

  2. Changes in the social structure of education and its impact on class and gender ...

    Cultural deprivation, a simple lack of the 'right attitude' to do well, a belief stemming from primary socialisation with parents who don't think it's important to do well at school. When in the school' 'teacher labelling' of working class children as unintelligent can take place.

  1. why do boys underachive in education compared to girls

    Various interviews with teachers also suggest that boys find it difficult to complete coursework either of a decent standard or they find it difficult to finish it on time. My second concept is matriarchy, this is when the ideas and beliefs of women are overpowering those of men.

  2. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    where she found that there were teachers who didn't think that racism was a problem and did nothing to help. It is unclear if this is because they hadn't had the training (which was the reason my respondent gave for teachers in Norfolk), or they just believed that it wasn't an issue.

  1. Outline and assess the view that the role of the education system is to ...

    They don not realise that they may be being held back by streaming and teacher labelling based partly on their social background. Examinations are designed to fail a proportion of candidates and governments are reluctant to create enough good jobs.

  2. Assess the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes ...

    Gorard found that the gender gap in achievement was steady from 1975 until 1988 when it increased swiftly. This was when GCSE and coursework was introduced into the education system. Gorard believed that the gender gap in achievement is a ?product of the changed system of assessment rather than any more general failing of boys?.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work