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
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences