Assess the claim that gender differences in educational achievement are primarily the ‘result of changes in wider society’

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Assess the claim that gender differences in educational achievement are primarily the ‘result of changes in wider society’.

Gender differences in achievement can be explained best by changes that have occurred in factors outside of school, known as external factors. A DfES (2007) bar chart showed that throughout the years (1985 – 2007), there has been a higher percentage of females that achieved five or more A*-C grades at GCSE. The percentage has been constantly increasing at a faster rate than the male percentage. This proves that changes in wider society have affected both genders differently, but girl’s achievement has benefited from this more. The more rapid improvement in girl’s results can be explained best by one of the
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So today both men and women have the same working rights. This force of women is a good example of girls in education now wanting to work hard so they can get good, well paid jobs just like boys can. Girls have been encouraged to see their future in terms of having paid work, rather than just housewives with no part-time job on the side. However, there are obvious examples of men still having an authority over women. Most head teachers of schools today are male and the actual subject/year teachers tend to be female with less male teachers. An Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970 making it illegal to pay women less than men and in 1975 the Sex Discrimination Act was introduced in 1975, which outlaws sex discrimination in the world of work. Since 1975, the pay gap has decreased from 30% to only 17%, but there is still a gap. There has also been an increase in the percentage of women in employment from 47%, in 1959, to over 70% in 2007. Due to women being mothers, the growth of the service sector and flexible part-time jobs has opened up plenty of opportunities for women to work. Yet traditional men’s jobs have declined. Margaret Prosser says that “in the last 30 years since the Equal Pay Act there have been many changes in women’s economic participation and achievement… and accessing training and jobs which previous generations would not have considered open to women.” The fact that there have been

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