Examine the reasons for changes in the educational attainment of males

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Examine the reasons for changes in the educational attainment of males and females in recent years (20 marks)

For the past recent years girls have significantly outperformed boys in educational attainment and this is due to a number of factors. The
GCSE results for 2000 and 2001 shows the degree to which the percentage of girls achieving grades A*-C exceeded that of boys. In
2002, 62.4% of female GCSE entrants achieved grades A*-C, compared with 53.4% of males. Research published in 2003 shows that the gap between girls and boys widens as they grow older. The most recent barrier which is being broken down is that of university entry. The most recent official figures for a gender breakdown in university admission are from 2001.
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However this theory was criticized by Mary Thornton and Pat Bricheno, claiming that there was no link between the number of male teachers in a school and the performance of its pupils in Key stage 2 tests.

However, B. G. Licht and C. S. Dweck found that boys are more often criticised by their teachers and therefore developed negative feelings towards schooling (Licht & Dweck, 1989). This view is supported by research carried out by the Sackville GCSE Sociology Group. In 1995, a
10% representative sample of pupils at the school were asked about their perceptions of the differences in the way that boys and girls were treated in the classroom (Sackville, 1995). Over 58% of boys thought they suffered from discrimination. This included the belief that teachers were more likely to criticise boys than girls

Licht & Dweck argued that as a result of this criticism, boys are more likely to blame their teachers when they fail. As girls tend to have better relationships with teachers, they are more likely to accept the blame for academic failure and are therefore willing to seek help with their academic problems.

Some sociologists argue that boys relationships with teachers is being affected by the increase in the number of women teachers in schools.
It is argued that some boys feel that women teachers give girls preferential treatment. This is supported by the research carried out by the Sackville GCSE Sociology Group. Of a 10% representative
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