Using material from Item A and elsewhere, asses the view that gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes in the education system. (20 marks)
From the early 1990’s, girls have started to outperform boys at most levels of the education system, for example in GCSE related in subjects or A-levels. As Madsen Pirie of the New Right Adam Smith Institute states that the modular courses and continuous education today favour the systematic approach of girls, compared to the previous old O level exam which favoured more towards boys. These stated changes are known to be the main major causes which changes gender differences in the educational system. However, as well as these internal factors, there are also external factors following this result, such as the impact on feminism and changes in the job industry which may have influenced girls into working harder resulting in more succession educationally wise. A starting point of why gender differences in achievement are largely the result of changes in the education system is the way pupils are assessed. It may be argued that girls are more favoured than boys. Gorard (2005) found that the gender gap in achievement was fairly constant from 1975 until 1988-9, when it increased sharply. This was when GCSE along with coursework was introduced on the syllabus .Mitos and Brown (1998) supports the view that GCSEs had favoured girls as they had tend to be more successful in coursework, as they were deemed to be more careful with their work and pay a lot of attention and time towards it, and avoided the failure to meet deadlines. Also, along with the GCSE were oral exams, and it has also been said that girls generally have better developed language skills than boys, therefore this being an advantage to girls. Elwood (2005) argues that although coursework has some influence, it is unlikely to be the only cause of the gender gap. She said that exams itself have a greater influence in the final grade,...
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