The perception of engineering departments and physics laboratories as masculine environments is regularly cited as one of the possible reasons for the lack of female advancement in these fields. If STEM fields are sexist for their gender disparity, what can be said about the myriad of other fields where male students are grossly underrepresented?
Laudable as these efforts to achieve gender parity in STEM are, the treatment of male predominance in these fields as prima facie evidence of discrimination has uncomfortable implications which do not appear to have been considered by their advocates. After all, if STEM fields are sexist for their gender disparity, what can be said about the myriad of other fields where male students are grossly underrepresented?
What of the 60 to 40 female to male ratio across third level institutions as a whole? According to a draft report from the HEA, courses in the humanities, law, social sciences, languages, medicine and health sciences are all largely female-dominated both here at Trinity and across the country. Now that the pendulum has swung far in the other direction — about two-thirds of undergraduates in almost all of these fields are now female — there does not appear to be a commensurate level of concern about gender balance. But the disparity at third-level is actually the end product of an education system in which boys simply are not thriving.
Almost 10 per cent more males than females leave school without completing the Leaving Certificate. Girls also obtain higher points in the Leaving Certificate on average and outperform boys in almost all subjects with the exception of mathematics and a few other STEM subjects. The lack of engagement of boys in the education system has been attributed to many factors. Dr Leonard Sax, a psychology researcher, also specifically highlights the need for schools to promote reading among boys in Boys Adrift, his best-selling book on the issues faced by boys in the American education system.
Sax also highlights other factors holding boys back in primary education, including changes in teaching practices and a lack of male role models in schools.
Gender Inequality in the British Education System
About three-quarters of teachers in Ireland are female, with the gender imbalance being most stark at the primary education level, where around 85 per cent of teachers are women according to statistics. These communities tend to be historically disadvantaged and oppressed. More times than not, individuals belonging to these marginalized groups are also denied access to the schools with abundant resources.
Inequality leads to major differences in the educational success or efficiency of these individuals and ultimately suppresses social and economic mobility. See Statistic sections for more information. Generally, grades, GPA scores, test scores, dropout rates, college entrance statistics, and college completion rates are used to measure educational success.
These are measures of an individual's academic performance ability. When determining what should be measured in terms of the educational success of an individual, many scholars and academics suggest that GPAs, test scores, and other measures of performance ability are not the only useful tools in determining efficacy. Scholars argue that academic achievement is only the direct result of attaining learning objectives and acquiring desired skills and competencies.
To accurately measure educational efficacy, it is imperative to separate academic achievement because it captures only a student's performance ability and not necessarily their learning or ability to effectively use what they have learned. Much of educational inequality is attributed to economic disparities that often falls along racial lines and much modern conversation about educational equity conflates the two, showing how they are inseparable from residential location and, more recently, language.
Throughout the world, there have been continuous attempts to reform education at all levels. Although difficult, education is vital to society's movement forward. It promotes " citizenship , identity, equality of opportunity and social inclusion, social cohesion as well as economic growth and employment" and for these reasons, equality is widely promoted.
Unequal educational outcomes are attributed to several variables, including family of origin, gender, and social class. Achievement, earnings, health status, and political participation also contribute to educational inequality within the United States and other countries. In Harvard's "Civil Rights Project", Lee and Orfield identify family background as the most influential factor in student achievement.
This often leads to them receiving more at-home help, have more books in their home, attend more libraries, and engage in more intellectually intensive conversations. Poor students are behind in verbal memory, vocabulary, math and reading achievement, and have more behavior problems.
Also, family background influences cultural knowledge and perceptions. Middle class knowledge of norms and customs allows students with this background to better navigate the school system. These connections may help students gain access to the right schools, activities, etc. This ceiling muffles academic inspirations and muffles growth. The recent and drastic increase of Latino immigrants has created another major factor in educational inequality. As more and more students come from families where English is not spoken at home, they often struggle with overcoming a language barrier in addition to simply learning subjects.
Furthermore, research reveals summer months as crucial time for the educational development of children. Students from disadvantaged families experience greater losses in skills during summer vacation. Throughout the world, educational achievement varies by gender. The exact relationship differs across cultural and national contexts. Obstacles preventing females' ability to receive a quality education include traditional attitudes towards gender roles , poverty, geographical isolation , gender-based violence , and early marriage and pregnancy.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, girls are outnumbered two to one. Socialized gender roles affect females' access to education. For example, in Nigeria , children are socialized into their specific gender role as soon as their parents know their gender. Men are the preferred gender and are encouraged to engage in computer and scientific learning while the women learn domestic skills. These gender roles are deep rooted within the state, however, with the increase of westernized education within Nigeria, there has been a recent increase in women having the ability to receive an equal education.
There is still much to be changed, though. Nigeria still needs policies that encourage educational attainment for men and women based on merit, rather than gender. Attacks include kidnappings, bombings, torture, rape and murder. In Somalia , girls have been abducted. In Colombia , the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Libya students were reported to have been raped and harassed.
With marginal variables between most countries, women have a lower employment rate, are unemployed longer, are paid less and have less secure jobs. First for being young, in the difficult phase of transition between training and working life, in an age group that has, on an average, twice the jobless rate or older workers and are at the mercy of employers who exploit them under the pretext of enabling them to acquire professional experience. Secondly they are discriminated against for being women and are more likely to be offered low paying or low status jobs.
In early grades, boys and girls perform equally in mathematics and science , but boys score higher on advanced mathematics assessments such as the SAT college entrance examination. Belenky and colleagues conducted research which found that there was an inconsistency between the kind of knowledge appealing to women and the kind of knowledge being taught in most educational institutions.
In 51 countries, girls are enrolled at higher rates than boys. Particularly in Latin America , the difference is attributed to prominence of gangs and violence attracting male youth.
The gangs pull the males in, distracting them from school and causing them to drop out. In some countries, female high school and graduation rates are higher than for males. Dropout rates for males has also increased over the years in all racial groups, especially in African Americans.
They have exceeded the number of high school and college dropout rates than any other racial ethnicity for the past 30 years. A majority of the research found that males were primarily the most "left behind" in education because of higher graduation dropout rates, lower test scores, and failing grades.
They found that as males get older, primarily from ages 9 to 17, they are less likely to be labeled "proficient" in reading and mathematics than girls were. In general, males arrive in kindergarten much less ready and prepared for schooling than females. This creates a gap that continually increases over time into middle and high school. Nationally, there are boys in 9th grade for every girls, and among African American males, there are boys for every girls.
States have discovered that 9th grade has become one of the biggest drop out years. Females were more likely to go to college and receive bachelor's degrees than males were. From to about , women were the less fortunate and had lower reported numbers of bachelor's degrees. However, since , males have been at a larger disadvantage and the gap between males and females keeps increasing.
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Boys are more likely to be disciplined than girls, and are also more likely to be classified as learning disabled. In , one in five African American males received an out of school suspension. In Asia, males are expected to be the main financial contributor of the family. So many of them go to work right after they become adults physically, which means at the age around 15 to This is the age they should obtain high school education. Males get worse grades than females do regardless of year or country examined in most subjects. Women are more likely to have earned a bachelor's degree than men by the age of In the U.
The gender gap in graduation rates is particularly large for minority students. During the early 18th century in most states African-American students and Mexican American students were barred from attending schools with White Students. This was due to the post effects of the court case Plessy v. Ferguson where it was decided that educational facilities were allowed to segregate white students from students of color as long as the educational facilities were considered equal.
Educational facilities did not follow the federal mandate, in a studies through taken from to of Southern States per pupil expenditures s dollars on instruction varied from Whites to Blacks. On average White students received 17—70 percent more educational expenditures than their Black counterparts.
- Fewer differences between boys and girls at school!
- Gender sensitivity.
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Westminster in followed by Brown v. Board of Education in The decision of Brown v.
Promoting gender equality in schools – GEA – Gender and Education Association
Board of Education would lead to the desegregation of schools by federal law, but the years of lower education, segregation of household salaries between whites and people of color, and racial wealth gaps would leave people of color at a disadvantage to seek proper equal education for generations to come.
Differences of academic skills in children of different race starts at an early age, according to National Assessment of Educational Progress there is a remaining gap showing Black and Latino children being able to demonstrate cognitive proficiency compared to their White counterparts. In the data 89 percent of White children presented the ability to understand written and spoken words while only 79 and 78 percent of Black and Latino children were able to comprehend written and spoken words the trend would continue into ages 4—6.