Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Class gender mix affects results
Steven Proud from Bristol University has analyzed the peer effects considering gender. The study is based on the analysis of national and exam results of every state school in England between 2002 and 2004. There were two remarkable results. The first result was that it would be more beneficial for boys to be taught English in a homogenous group, all boys. For maths and science gender mixed classes are preferable. Overall, boys would benefit if they are to be taught maths and science in a more female group. Girls would do best in a same sex group, all girls.
Proud mentions three reasons that could have affected the boys results. The first reason is that the boys are being “crowded out”, being left out. The second reason is that boys and girls have different learning styles. If there are more girls in a group than boys, the teacher will adjust his teaching to the teaching style of the majority. The third reason is that boys tend to be more disruptive in lessons.
Nowadays,English schools have a statutory “gender equality duty” to deal with the relative underachievement of boys and girls.
It is remarkable how many things are researched. Although, the results show that girls benefit from a same sex group while learning maths and science, the chance is slim to non that this will be done at schools. Steven Proud also mentions a few reasons that could be an influence on the test results and these are pretty predictable and not very surprising. It is funny though that even with these test results, the statutory “gender equality duty” remains in classes to deal with relative underachievement, while the research has shown that separation would have a positive effect on results.