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To try and find out why girls are outperforming boys in GCSEexaminations?

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Aim: To try and find out why girls are outperforming boys in GCSE examinations? Hypothesis: I think that girls are only outperforming boys in certain subjects and this could be put down to organization, maturity, motivation, and attitudes. Introduction: The question I am going to research on is 'why are girls out performing boys in GCSE examinations?' I think by researching into this question it will not only give me an insight on the educational abilities in the U.K but I was interested in conducting this piece of research as there has been a great deal on the news about girls outperforming boys and I was keen to find out the reasons for myself. There are many ways that a sociologist can gain information these include; questionnaires, structured interviews and unstructured interviews and participant observation. Once they have decided which methods to use they decide on whom they are going to question. They do this by firstly identifying the population they are going to study (In my case it will be students). It may be too expensive to interview the whole population so they select a sample of people. A sampling frame is then required examples are: doctors list, school register etc. It is vital that the sample represents the whole population, there are quite a few ways of sampling techniques used by sociologists in order to find a sample: they are in two categories: random sampling and non-random sampling. Random sampling=simple, stratified and cluster. Non-random sampling=systematic, snowball and quota. I have chosen to carry out questionnaires and interviews. I have chosen to do questionnaires (closed questions) as I would say they are the easiest to conduct, are cheap, efficient, quick, provide quantitative data and from what I know have a very high response rate. Some sociologists may not agree with me as they may say that in some questionnaires people may lie, if the interviewer is not present some questions may be misunderstood and also we do not know whether or not the right person has completed the questionnaire if it is individually done or if it is a group effort. ...read more.


Teacher interviews; The teacher interviews that I carried out were I would say a success as it gave me a range of different opinions from different teachers. Overall I found out that in subjects such as English and art girls and boys both are doing equally well but in other subjects such as physical education boys were achieving better results then girls. On the other hand in French and sociology girls had a tendency to do better. Last years results were fairly pleasing for all teachers and from this I would say that girls and boys both got fairly good results! Nearly all teachers felt that both school and external factors were very important. By external factors I mean parental interest and things like extra tuition etc. By school factors I mean peer pressure and learning attitudes. Teachers also said that they felt that the recent trends of girls out-performing boys was extremely recent as in the past they to have noticed that boys were out-performing girls. My teacher interviews were a success and I felt that the teachers were very helpful and co-operative. Classroom observations: I carried out a number of classroom observations, the students in the class didn't know that I was observing them so they acted normal and I think this was a benefit to me as if they had known they may have acted differently. In nearly everyone class that I observed the seating arrangement was similar. The students were allowed to sit where they wanted in nearly all cases the boys were at the back of the class the girls in the middle and at the front sat those who were eager to learn. There was only one class, which had a seating arrangement I would say that all teachers should have a seating arrangement as it allows people to learn and avoid the distraction of their peers. By this I mean that if there is no seating plan people are allowed to sit where they wish to and by sitting next to their friends they didn't study, as it would make them look un-cool. ...read more.


As I have mentioned before I think I have done well whilst carrying out this research I carried out questionnaire and interviews, I also collected some secondary data linked with my research. The research methods I used I think were appropriate as it enabled me to get the information I needed. But I think if I had used unstructured interviews it might have given me a more in depth view of what the teachers thought. I think I took the easy option and went with the structured interviews, as I felt worried about not being able to carry out an unstructured interview successfully. I thought that I would not be able to communicate with the teachers properly and that there would be long pauses in the conversation. Looking back I think if I had carried out a pilot study for the unstructured interview I would have known for sure whether or not I could carry it out successfully. This may have encouraged me to do unstructured interviews that would have given me a more in depth view on what the teachers thought! My findings mostly confirm secondary data and this I think proves that I have done well in this research as I have found out or reached a similar conclusion to those more advanced and with those who have carried out this survey before! If I was to do this research all over again I think firstly I would give my self a longer period of time, as I felt that if I did have more time, then I would have been able to interview and give questionnaires to a lot more people which would have given me a wider range of results. Secondly I would I think also research into the A-level results as it may show more patterns and links to my research. Overall I think I have worked well in this investigation into why girls are outperforming boys in GCSE examinations. I think I have analysed my work well and that I have come to a suitable conclusion! 1 ...read more.

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