Differences in the Educational Achievement of Different Social Groups

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Mathew Bleasdale-Clews
Using Material From Item A & Elsewhere, Assess The View That Factors & Processes Within The School Are The Main Cause Of Differences In The Educational Achievement Of Different Social Groups:

The cause of differences in the educational achievement of different social groups can be asssigned to various social areas.

One example is that of gender within school; the level of success in a child’s education can vary greatly depending on how a boy or girl is treated throughout their school life compared to the other. For example, in the 1960’s/70’s, sociologists were concerned with the apparent underachievement of girls. It wasn’t simply due to a lack of ambition; back then it was the norm for women to marry, and it was almost socially unacceptable for women to reach higher education, thus girls may have felt pressured in lower education to have less of a strive towards educational success than boys did. Far fewer girls studied maths, physics and chemistry as boys as these were considered ‘male’ orientated subjects, in which mostly male teachers were tutors for the subjects. If women did study such subjects they likely will have been ignored in the presence of so many male students. By the time boys were ready for university, girls were very likely to be considering family life, marriage and raising offspring. Even if they wished to attent university, grade boundaries were inflated to make it far more difficult for them to attain entry than boys. However, by the 1990’s this state of female underachievemnt had gradually faded, and the concern then shifted towards that of boys’ achievement. The impression largely being given was that boys were failing in masses and girls were a way ahead of them.

Statistics commonly showed that girls had been achieving more successful results in GCSE grades A*-C, although the same statistics also tended to display that the rate of increase towards those same levels of success was greater in boys,...
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