• 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. 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.

  2. why do boys underachive in education compared to girls

    difficult to digest, this is linked to the female role being an expressive one as described by Parson's. Furthermore it says that the exam is to focussed on coursework, research conducted in the article suggests that more girls prefer coursework compared to boys.

  1. Which has the greatest impact on educational attainment – gender, social class or ethnicity?

    can accumulate, creating cultural barriers that prevent certain children, particularly the poor and some ethnic minorities, from benefiting fully from education, sociologists refer to this as cultural deprivation. The Plowden report (12) (a government enquiry carried out in 1967) concluded that cultural deprivation was the main reason for educational failure of the poor and immigrant children.

  2. "Internal factors within the educational system are the primary reason for the improvement in ...

    Girls ambitions change everyday but in 1994, Sue Sharpe compared results from two interviews with girls one from 1970 and 1990 and the findings were that there was a major shift in the ambitions girls' had. In 1970 it was thought that if girls' had ambitions, they were considered unattractive.

  1. Class differences in educational attainment.

    Both of these give the child less chance of succeeding in education because they don?t get the help and support they need from their parents. Also what they see in their parents is what will become their norms and values, therefore they will choose not to learn in school because

  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