Applying material from item A and your knowledge, evaluate the view that gender difference in levels achievement are the product of factors outside of school.
Some gender patterns in educational achievement suggest that in the past boys used to exceed girls in all subjects, but, in fairly recent times girls have exceeded boys and are achieving generally better grades and levels than boys in all subjects.
Some sociologists agree that gender differences in achievement are based on factors outside of school, and one of these factors is “the impact of feminism.” In item A, evidence shows that boys examination performance has fallen behind that of girls since the 1980’s. Therefore girls are exceedingly doing better as a result of the rise of feminism in the 1980’s. As feminism is a social movement that impacted lives of all, making men and women equal, the movement has changed the traditional stereotype of women’s role in society. As women used to be typically uneducated and working ...view middle of the document...
Item A states that there is “a rise in women’s paid work alongside the decline in traditional male jobs such as manufacturing.” This is additionally due to the rise of feminism but also a cause of the mines closing in the 1980’s by Margaret Thatcher and the tories. The rise of feminism meant that more women started to work, taking over jobs such as type writing and office work from men, as men already did labouring work they stayed at that until Thatcher closed the mines, therefore leaving a decline in men’s jobs and an increase in women’s.
On the other hand, some sociologists argue that gender differences in achievement are based on internal factors. One internal factor being GCSE coursework and vocational subjects introduced. Sociologists argue that the introduction of these ways of assessing pupils favoured girls and disadvantaged boys for their ways of achieving. Mitsos and Browne (1998) support this view. They conclude that girls are more successful in coursework because they are more conscientious and better organised than boys. Accordingly, girls spend more time on their work, are more careful with their presentation, are better at meeting deadlines and bring the correct equipment to their lessons. It is because of this that girls exceed boys in subjects. Gorard concludes that the gender gap in achievement is the “product of the changed system of assessment rather than any more general failing of the boys.”
In contrast, some sociologists suggest that gender differences are offset by other factors such as social class. Sociologists believe social class has an impact because of children going to different types of schools will overall in the long run effect their education because of their locality. For example, a middle class boy who goes to a private school may achieve higher than a working class girl who goes to a state school, because of working class not being able to afford private school or locality issues and not being able to reach schools of their preference.
To conclude, sociologists clearly suggest that gender differences in achievement are based on factors outside of school because these generally have the most impact.