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Boys in school and society

Boys in school and society
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The paper focuses on students’ achievement and attitudes to school, as well as behaviours, how those aspects of learning are related for boys and girls, and the influences that shape different outcomes for boys and girls. Consideration is also given to the broader social development of boys and how schools contribute to that development. Each of these perspectives is important to understanding the development of boys through schooling and the difference in educational outcomes for boys and girls. Research from the ACER program, and a range of other research in Australia and overseas, has highlighted important differences in educational outcomes for girls and boys. At primary level boys (on average) have significantly lower levels of achievement in literacy than their female counterparts. In mathematics there appears to be no significant difference in the achievement of boys and girls at either primary school or early secondary school. In fact, on the basis of international studies in which ACER has participated, Australia appears to be one of the few countries in which the difference between boys and girls in mathematics achievement is negligible. In most countries, the achievement of boys in mathematics is higher than that of girls. At secondary school level boys are more likely than girls to leave school before completing Year 12, and average scores on end-of-school assessments are lower for boys than for girls. In the final years of secondary school, differences between girls and boys in subject choice still appear to follow patterns established over past years.
Australian Council for Educational Research; January 2002
35 pages; ISBN 9780864314338
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