Boys Underachievement Gap Analysis

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There is currently much discussion and debate about the great concerns within the attainment gap between girls and boys in schools over the past two decades (Ofsted 2015), specifically in relation to the ‘underachievement’ of boys compared to girls in regards to their performance in writing throughout key stages in schools. As previously boys’ academic underachievement was the focus of concern during the early 20th century (Weaver-Hightower 2009). In which the writing achievement gap within genders had increased in the following years for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 SATS, which revealed girls’ writing scores had exceeded boys’ scores by 12-14 points (Klein 2006). These discussions indicate the concerning factors in relation to boys’ academic performance…show more content…
Girls are likely to show confidence and enjoyment in their writing abilities, which may increase their attainment in schools. Girls also tend to build stronger relationships with teachers, gain class nobilities and progress towards higher education (Duckworth & Seligman 2006). These are shown to be influential factors towards outperforming in schools. Conversely, boys’ academic ‘underachieving’ may be due to misbehaviour in schools, as evidence implies boys are one and-a-half times more likely than girls to experience grade retention, teaching assistance services, exclusion and school dropouts (Entwisle et al 2007). It is also suggested boys are less motivated to learn and have difficulties focusing and paying attention in school, some even may become overly optimistic about their academic ability which results in lack of effort (Long et al 2011). However not all boys are underachievers, research suggests boys outperform girls in Maths at Key Stage 2, and continue to outnumber girls at higher level maths. However research argues there is a large gender gap favouring girls in English DfES (2007). Nevertheless, not all girls are achievers, some girls may not be conforming to the hard-working, careful and motivated stereotypes they familiarise themselves with. Although there is a large…show more content…
Learning to read and write are very important achievements within a child’s education, and many pupils’ have the capability to coordinate this literacy development very easily. However not all pupils’ have the same skill to learn to write with simplicity (DfES 2007). Various pupils with specific learning disabilities experience difficulties with reading, hand writing, spelling and rereading their writing compared with most of their classroom peers (Graham & Harris 2005). Pupils with learning disabilities may also encounter difficulties within generating ideas, organising and planning, which may cause problems in forming language and literacy development during their time at school (Troia 2006). However, there is no certain explanation that majority of pupil’s with learning disabilities will struggle with their capability of handwriting performance; research suggests poor handwriting may even be related to extrinsic factors such as environmental or biomechanical components (Fedar et al 2007). In relation to gender differences in the development of reading disability, it has been established reading disability was more frequent in boys than girls (Rutter 2004). Although, multiple studies supported this statement, the size of the difference varied across studies. Therefore it is difficult to generalise these results as the reliability of these
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