Assess the Strengths and limitations of once of the following methods for the study of gender and attainment Participant Observation
Participant observation is where a researcher will gain data from being in an open environment, wherever they are overt, meaning the participants being researched on know they are being researched, covert, meaning they do not know they are being researched and non-participating, where the researcher takes a step back and observes the situation rather than be involved. There is a clear gap between gender when it comes to attainment in school and exams, and there are many explanations for this gap forming. Most of these are very hard to be assessed within a school environment via participant observation, due to them being external factors outside of school life. One of these factors would be the changing attitudes of girls when thinking about attainment and further life, whereas before in the 1970’s and 80’s, woman at the time did not work and were expected to be stay at home wifes. Girls at the time believed this was the norm, and the studies of Sue Sharp, who asked secondary school girls what they wanted to be when they grew up, in the 70’s and then in the 2000’s. She found that in the 70’s, the girls would say such things as wanting to be “house-wifes” and “mothers”, whereas in the 2000’s she found much different responses with the girls wanted to go into the workplace. Proving that their attitudes had changed and that with this, their look at education and the benefits of doing well in school. However, this idea is very difficult to look at with participant observation, as it merely looks at what goes on in the classroom. You could say the only real way to try and see this idea is how well or hard-working the girls of the classes work in compassion to the boys. But apart from this, the theory is very hard to be assessed through participant observation, therefore showing that the method is a poor way of looking at the gender...
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