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Using Material from Item B and Elsewhere Assess the Strengths and Limitations of Questionnaires for the Study of Teacher's Attitudes

  • Date Submitted: 04/05/2013 04:23 PM
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Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the claim that gender differences in educational achievement are primarily the ‘result of changes in wider society’     (20 marks) (Item A, lines 6 – 7).
Traditionally, in education, females have underachieved, and males have excelled. But in recent years, the females have surpassed the males 11+ level, GCSE level, and A Level. Some reasons put forward for this were Biology, Culture, and Discrimination in school.
Some people would say that biologically, females were less able than males. Although, this ideology is generally rejected today, throughout the 20th century, it was accepted by doctors, and even educationalists. This belief led to women being actively discriminated against in the education system. This was based on the idea, that academic education could be harmful to them. It was believed that it could lead to a break down, as the amount of information the female brain could handle was limited. This idea was contradicted, when females started to do better than males in the 11+, but even then, the number of passes allocated between the genders was equalised, based on the theory that males matured later than females, and this gave the females an unfair advantage. Until recent years, the acceptance of these biological theories lead to a gender differentiated curriculum.
The next possible idea is Culture. These explanations suggest that the stereotyped gender roles are promoted by the culture of society. Sue Sharpe carried out research in the 1970s, which supported this view. She interviewed working class children, and found that the vast majority of them valued marriage and a family, more than they valued a career. They also indicated that in front of their male counterparts, the females did not want to be seen as intelligent, as they believed that this was an unattractive quality in a female. Douglas also found that in working class homes, where resources were scarce, working class parents prioritised the...

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