The Gender Gap in Education

2663 Words Mar 16th, 2013 11 Pages
Discuss the concept of ‘the gender gap’ and its adequacy in representing gendered differences in school level attainment.

The gender gap is “the discrepancy in opportunities, status, attitudes, etc., between men and women” (Oxford dictionary, 2012) which still exists in the ever equalizing world in which we live in today. The gender gap appears in several areas in society such as in politics, employment and education although gender inequalities have the biggest impact on education policies (Marsh, 2009). Though in the anti-sexist or girl centered approach has the education of the boys been neglected.
It can be seen that these sexist scars are the attitudes from the past where men would make the money to support the family and women
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Fathers will push their sons to be more ‘laddish’ and to focus on sports and outdoor activities and mothers to inspire arts and crafts and reading. Indeed from these activities a different mindset evolves which is then taken into the classroom and takes effect in further education as“a depressing 40 per cent of boys will begin secondary school unable to write fluently and correctly, compared with 25 per cent of girls” (Robinson, 2009) .
The 1988 Education Reform Act helped to create a broad national curriculum which balanced the subject choices of boys and girls in order to progress in making education more equal. As languages had been a preferred subject choice for girls and science for boys now both genders had to participate in both and had equal opportunities for success and access. English, maths and science were all made compulsory until 16 years of age, the time of GCSEs. This way it was expected boys would have matured and would have a more equal representation in their results as well as broadening the subject knowledge to boys and girls.
The fact that girls perform better than boys is statistically proven. In 2006 at GCSE level “exam results for both sexes had continued to improve, yet boys' success rates had only this year reached that of girls in 1999” (Smithers, 2006). According to Miller (n.d) the educational gender gap in Britain in bigger than any other developed country especially

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