Girls tend to develop certain skills earlier than boys: for example, the ability to sit still and stay attentive. Our school day, more often than not, demands that students do just that — sit for long periods of time and listen attentively — or else suffer a lower grade or disciplinary action. Now, girls are outperforming boys at all levels of the educational ladder, from kindergarten to graduate school. Is school designed more for girls than boys?
Boys score as well as or better than girls on most standardized tests, yet they are far less likely to get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college. Why? A study coming out this week in The Journal of Human Resources gives an important answer. Teachers of classes as early as kindergarten factor good behavior into grades — and girls, as a rule, comport themselves far better than boys.
In elementary school, girls and boys perform equally well in math and science. But by the time they reach high school, when those subjects begin to seem more difficult to students of both sexes, the numbers diverge. Although the percentage of girls among all students taking high-school physics rose to 47 percent in 1997 from about 39 percent in 1987, that figure has remained constant into the new millennium. And the numbers become more alarming when you look at AP classes rather than general physics, and at the scores on AP exams rather than mere attendance in AP classes. The statistics tend to be a bit more encouraging in AP calculus, but they are far worse in computer science. Maybe boys care more about physics and computer science than girls do. But an equally plausible explanation is that boys are encouraged to tough out difficult courses in unpopular subjects, while girls, no matter how smart, receive fewer arguments from their parents, teachers or guidance counselors if they drop a physics class or shrug off an AP exam.
Although Americans take for granted that scientists are geeks, in other cultures a gift for math is often seen as demonstrating that a person is intuitive and creative. In 2008, the American Mathematical Society published data from a number of prestigious international competitions in an effort to track standout performers. The American competitors were almost always the children of immigrants, and very rarely female. For example, between 1959 and 2008, sent 21 girls to the International Mathematical Olympiad, while the U.S., from 1974, when it first entered the competition, to 2008, sent only 3; no woman even made the American team until 1998. According to the study’s authors, native-born American students of both sexes steer clear of math clubs and competitions because “only Asians and nerds” would voluntarily do math. “In other words, it is deemed uncool within the social context of U.S.A. middle and high schools to do mathematics for fun; doing so can lead to social ostracism. Consequently, gifted girls, even more so than boys, usually camouflage their mathematical talent to fit in well with their peers.”
With the rapid shifts in the education of women in the United States, and the underrepresentation of women in fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), an issue generating much controversy is whether women may benefit more from single-sex education or coeducation. The present study surveyed 548 U.S. high-school boys and girls from single-sex and coeducational high-schools from the Midwest. Half of the participants completed a mathematics test under stereotype threat (ST) condition and half under no threat condition. Although girls in single-sex schools had higher achievement motive and self-esteem than those in coeducational schools, they were not more likely to pursue STEM careers. Overall, students in single-sex schools outperformed students from coeducational schools on the math test. Girls’ math performance was significantly higher in the ST condition than in the no threat condition.
This article sheds light on a topic that many do not understand. First, it is not saying that all girls receive better grade but simply that studies have shown, on average, to perform better in school, hence gaining better grades. Second, the issue of poor children versus rich children may have a certain effect. A student from a rich background might do better in school due to a higher exposure to hard work and longer education background. Now I am not saying children from a poorer background do not have a full education but instead choose a different life path. Third, gender maybe important in the beginning years of school but as the years drag on both boys and girls excel the same. Depending on the subject of the class the girls might be lower particle than the boys, hence saying that girls do not always get better grades than boys. Concerning the percentiles might have something to do with the everlasting gender roles. It was always said that girls were to tend for the family and the boys were to go out and do the work. When it comes to the skills and behavioral percentiles it could possible show the nature of the female role.
The difference between girls and boys here is that the function in completely different ways. I do not believe for one second that girls are any smarter than boys. What I believe the reason is for girls to do better in school is because they are motivated by the desire to look good. A girls wants to look good in front of her peers; she wants to be thought of as smart, so she works harder for it. Boys, on the other hand, do not care if people think they are smart. A boy has no constant motivation to help him work harder in school. I feel that if we gave boys some other type of incentive for schooling that all or a majority of them would want then they would do fairly well.
School is designed for both genders, not just one. If someone is struggling in school, its not because of their gender, its because of their own self. Yes prehaps most girls have a better discipline than boys, but some girls don’t. School is designed for anyone of any gender, race, etc…etc. School is a place where both girls and boys can learn equally. Girls and boys have the same capability to achieve in school and get good grades, its just that some boys and girls dont try and dont care. It depends on the person, not the gender. Attentiveness can be achieved by both girls and boys not only girls. Its the person’s, not the gender’s, desicion. I know boys that struggle in school, but i also know girls that struggle as well. When a person is struggling in school its not because they’re a boy or girls, its because they might not understand a subject. They might be having troubles at home; family issues, personal issues etc…etc. Or they might just not care.
I think that it is impossible for a school to be designed for girls. The article mentions girls having better manners than boys. However, there are many girls that are not well behaved and many boys that are. Being well mannered isn’t inherently female, while not being well mannered isn’t inherently male. It is ridiculous to think that because one small group of boys are not well mannered and one small group of girls are like angels does not mean everyone is. While I believe that school is fair to all genders does not mean I think the school system is perfect. Here are a few ways it can be changed for the better.
For the majority of the times I think that girls scores are better than boys scores. I think that girls have the better attention span and do not get distracted as easy and that it is easier for a girl to stay focused because boys are distracted by every little thing.
I think that school is designed for both males and females. I have noticed boys who are struggling in school due to bad behavior. I see boys who are smart but are unengaged by school but not more than girls. I know a lot of girls who are failing their classes because they have bad behavior. I dont find girls out preforming boys such a big deal. Everyone is their own person and if it is their choice to do poorly then let them be. If teachers want their male students to do better or pay more attention, then they should dicipline them more. Make sure that these students pay attention and do what they are supposed to do. With better concentration boys can learn just as easily as girls. Some boy do not want to pay attention because either they are too lazy or they just want to fit in. If a teacher were to break these habbits boys can excell in their classes.