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
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences
18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences