Pupils’ achievements at school are often shaped by the way that they ‘act out’ specific gender roles, according to a new study which warns against over-generalising the gender gap in education.The study, by researchers at the University of Cambridge, suggests that young people’s attainment is linked to their ideas about what it means to be male or female. Those who defy traditional gender stereotypes appear to do better in the classroom. The research appeared in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.Annual GCSE results in the UK, in common with many western countries, typically show that boys lag behind girls academically, but the research argues that this broad pattern masks a more nuanced picture. In particular, the researchers warn that a large sub-group of girls, who conform fairly rigidly to some traditional ‘feminine’ norms, could be academically at-risk. They point out that these girls are often ‘invisible’ in broad surveys of attainment by gender that showgirls performing well as a group.The researchers examined the English and Maths results of almost 600 GCSE candidates at four schools in England. On average, the girls did significantly better in English, while boys were slightly better at Maths. Girls outperformed boys overall.But the study then… Read full this story
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