Boys are more likely to perform well in schools with a higher proportion of girls, shedding new light on why girls continue to outperform boys in many educational subjects.
A new study, published today in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, investigated how the school environment influenced boys’ and girls’ educational performance in secondary schools.
Studying the reading test scores of more than 200,000 15-year-olds from over 8,000 mixed-sex schools around the world, researchers discovered that boys’ performance was significantly better in schools where more than 60% of the pupils were girls.
The implication is that the higher the number of girls in the school, the more productive the learning environment. Since boys have previously been shown to be strongly influenced by the school learning environment, they are therefore more likely to benefit from having higher numbers of girls in their school.
The authors suggested that characteristics more commonly associated with girls’ academic behaviour, such as higher levels of concentration and motivation to perform well, may help to explain their positive influence.
With reading an essential skill which can influence performance in other subject areas, the findings reveal the importance of gender equality in schools.
Lead author Dr Margriet van Hek, from Utrecht University, commented: “Boys’ poorer reading performance really is a widespread, but unfortunately also understudied, problem. Our study shows that the issue is reinforced when boys attend schools with a predominantly male student population.
“Yet schools can help improve this situation by ensuring a balanced gender distribution in their student population.”
The results suggest that single-sex schools and vocational education, where subjects are often heavily weighted towards a particular gender, may not be beneficial to boys’ learning. Policymakers should, therefore, consider introducing measures which encourage more equal gender distribution in schools.
However, the authors call for further research to establish how far the school-level discrepancies are replicated within the classroom, and whether the differences are present in other subject areas.
- Read the full article online: http://www.
tandfonline. com/ doi/ full/ 10. 1080/ 09243453. 2017. 1382540
more recommended stories
Cross-regional study of Russian teachers’ attitudes towards cultural diversity
The paper came out in Journal.
Asking questions, testing improves student learning of new material
Jason Chan makes a point to.
Doing school differently
The Australian not-school movement that’s helping.
Strategic classroom intervention can make big difference for autism students
Special training for teachers may mean.
Individual education programmes not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students.
Behaviour in high school predicts income and occupational success later in life
Students who show interest in school.
Students’ early test scores don’t predict academic growth over time
By: Carrie Spector – Stanford University For.
Study finds reading information aloud to yourself improves memory
You are more likely to remember.
Children praised for being smart are more likely to cheat, new studies find
Children who are praised for being smart,.
Ethnic diversity in schools may be good for students’ grades, study suggests
Early adolescents’ grades were higher when.