The Underachievement of Boys from the Education Forum

Lesson Objectives
1. Identify sociological explanations for the underachievement of boys
2. Investigate primary research material on the underachievement of boys and prepare a report

1.After reading page 57 of your AS Revision books, complete the exercise and print it out.
Then have two run throughs of the Shootout Quiz

2. Examine the research that has been done on the underachievement of boys and prepare a 500 word (minimum) report on this research - you may work in pairs if you wish.

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Girls get better results than boys in SATs tests and most GCSE subjects. They are also more likely to their A levels and go on to University.
A number of sociological explanations have been put forward to try and explain the phenomenon of underachieving boys.

1.The rise of female has led some observations to claim that boys are suffering from a crisis of identity which has had a detrimental effect on their achievement in schools, for instance Mac an Ghaill identifies a "crisis of "

2. Boys have been seen to react against female emanicipation by adopting a "" culture which does not value education or educational achievement.

3. Economic changes have seen a reduction in traditionally "male" jobs in heavy and a rise in jobs in the service sector more "suited" to girls, which has added to the "crisis of masculinity"

4. Mitsos and Browne identified the "" of the teaching profession (especially in primary schools), which leaves boys with no positive role models in schools and perhaps contributes to a boy's which see learning as "sissy"

5. Paul Willis suggests that working class boys drop out of trying at school because they see very little real value in working so hard for so little. This he claims is a calculated which reflects the class position of working class boys and the very limited opportunities working class boys even with actually have. Boys therefore construct anti-school subcultures which are closely linked the the subcultures of the factories they will inevitably work in.

It is important to remember however to think beyond gender in understanding the full picture, class and are also factors. For instance middle class boys do better in education than class girls, Afro Caribbean boys do worst of all. The situation is not a straightforward one!

Extension Work