15-year-old boys are more likely than girls of the same age to be low achievers” said a recent OECD report*. This is yet more evidence of a long term, worldwide trend of some boys falling behind at school. University of Luxembourg researchers have identified two possible major causes and a potential solution in a new study published recently in the journal “Masculinities and Social Change”*. This work was conducted by gleaning evidence directly from children rather than the traditional source of seeking the opinions of teachers or parents.
“We saw a strong tendency for failing boys to be alienated from school; feeling distant and thinking it is not useful,” noted Andreas Hadjar a Professor in the Sociology of Education who led the research.
“There was also a clear link with under-performance and boys having traditional opinions about their gender role, that is, that men should lead women,” he added. Boys with these traits tended to be more disruptive in class and hence underperformed, scoring about 8 per cent less in their year mark than the average male pupil.
As many girls as boys expressed their alienation from school, but these attitudes were shown to have a more negative effect on boys. Also, having traditional views of male/female roles tended to affect boys and girls equally, but the study showed these opinions are more prevalent amongst boys than girls.
Other factors such as peer-group attitudes and socio-economic background also hinder school performance as they influence school alienation and gender role orientations and, thus, educational performance.
Questionnaires, group discussions and video observation of lessons were used to analyse the behaviour of 872 children, mostly aged 13-14 years, going to school in Berne, Switzerland. This data was compared to examination and class work results. Thus the researchers could analyse what the children said and their behaviour in class, observations which allowed for statistical analysis.
There might be a solution to this failing-boys syndrome. By observing behaviour in class, the researchers saw that underachieving boys responded best to authoritative teaching styles that feature a structured and caring but controlling approach. This is not to be confused with overly strict, authoritarian methods.
This work shows that inappropriate teaching styles can cause and reinforce feelings of estrangement from school. “Teachers with an authoritative teaching style are clearly interested in their students, guiding them and being available if problems arise,” noted Prof Hadjar. “This research demonstrates that that teachers need to be flexible in the way they deal with different personalities.”
** Hadjar, Andreas; Backes, Susanne; Gysin, Stefanie: School Alienation, Patriarchal Gender-Role Orientations and the Lower Educational Success of Boys. A Mixed-method Study. Masculinities and Social Change. Feb. 2015
http://orbilu.uni.lu/handle/10993/20145 - Link to the scientific publication
http://www.uni.lu - homepage of the University of Luxembourg
http://bit.ly/1JJuehT - Link and contact to Prof. Andreas Hadjar
Britta Schlüter | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy