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It is my hypothesis that the recent improvement of girls in educational attainment has been caused by changing attitudes and aspirations in females.

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Hypothesis/Aim It is my hypothesis that the recent improvement of girls in educational attainment has been caused by changing attitudes and aspirations in females. In the late 1980s, girls were raising concern over their attainment, and achieving significantly lower grades than boys, whereas in the mid 1990s, they began to drastically improve, and have since become better than boys in the classroom and in examinations. This is a well-known fact about society, and is also quite noticeable in many of my classes. Being a boy, I am keen to find out why this is taking place, and hope to prove my hypothesis correct. Contexts And Concepts My first context is `Just Like A Girl' by Sue Sharpe. This study was taken out in 1991. Her study attempts to replicate her research of 1972, in which she surveyed 249 mainly working-class girls from the fourth forms of four schools in the London Borough of Ealing. Sharpe concluded that the difference in educational attainment in girls between '72 and `91 may be reflected by changing attitudes among females. She found that girls no longer attach primary importance to marriage and having children, and instead `almost unanimously endorsed the importance of having a job or career and, in this respect, emphasised being able to support themselves.' ...read more.


Main Research Methods and Reasons I shall go about my research by carrying out semi-structured interviews, with a mixture of open and closed questions. This will mean I will conduct the survey face to face. Some questions will allow the respondents to answer in their own words (open questions), and some questions will ask the respondent to choose from a pre-compiled list of possible answers. By conducting the survey face-to-face, this will avoid the problem of non-response and allow me to explain anything not understood. All the respondents will be asked the same set questions. This will be useful to my study, as the data collected from the research will be easy to document and present. Due to the fact that I am using both open and closed questions, the research will be both qualitative and quantitative. This method has practical advantages, as it will not be very costly to carry out, and I have very good access to my target audience. My target population will consist of girls in higher education. This relates to my hypothesis as I am attempting to study girls, and girls that are in higher education are more mature and will be able to give me a better response. ...read more.


It is quite normal for people to lie/twist the truth in surveys, and if this does occur, it will mean that my results will be inaccurate. There is always this problem of validity, and it is one that is unavoidable. There may also be a problem with the closed questions in the interviews. It is obvious that complex social reality cannot be entirely accurate within tick-box answers, as there is far more to it than a statement. Despite the fact that closed question answers would be easy to document and display, they don't really cater for the complexity of `real-life'. Some questions may be difficult for some respondents to answer, and some respondents may not wish to answer certain questions. Of course, I cannot force participants to answer questions, and so this will leave me with blanks, and the final documentation of the data collected from the study could possibly be inaccurate and difficult to present. It is not possible for me to know the relevant answers from the outset. Two peoples answers to the same question could be entirely different, which would mean that I would have trouble documenting the data at the end. This is an unavoidable problem for me, as I cannot influence respondents answers, due to the fact that this would create an entirely biased study. ...read more.

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