Gender and Educational Achievement

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A month or so ago I posted a 2004 resource (Gender in Education 3 – 19: A Fresh Approach) in which a range of well-known UK Education writers looked at different aspects and dimensions of gendered education and I thought it might be useful to follow this up with a slightly-later Report by Skelton, Francis and Valkanova (2007) looking at the same general area in a slightly different way.

The main focus of “Breaking down the stereotypes: gender and achievement in schools” is the idea of developing “strategies to address inequalities in gender and education”, and while this section of the Report is interesting and thought-provoking, the parts that are most-likely to prove useful for teachers and students are those dealing with:

1. Explanations for differences in achievement, which involves brief overviews and criticisms of explanations based on:

  • ‘Natural’ differences
  • Different learning styles
  • Feminisation of schools
  • Assessment procedures
  • Pupils’ construction of gender.
  • The overviews / evaluation represent a good opportunity to refresh your teaching notes on these topics. Alternatively, they’re a fairly straightforward way for your students to make their own notes.

    2. Statistics on achievement relating to both age groups (early years, primary and secondary) and cultural groups (gender, class and ethnicity). Although these are obviously a little dated now you should find them useful for comparative purposes.

    More generally you’ll also find useful and helpful information on concepts like the “gender gap”, subject choice, laddishness, gender stereotypes and the like.

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