Boys' Underachievement in Education

An Exploration in Selected Commonwealth Countries

image of Boys' Underachievement in Education
Gender disparity in education has usually been experienced as disadvantaging girls. Now a new phenomenon of boys’ underachievement – both in terms of participation and performance – is appearing in a number of countries.

This book reviews the research on boys’ underachievement and presents the arguments that have been put forward to understand its causes. The authors also present new studies from Australia, Jamaica, Lesotho and Samoa; and they use both the research and the evidence from the case studies to explore the causes and policy implications of this trend – the first time a truly cross-regional approach has been applied to the issue.

This book will interest all education policy-makers and analysts concerned to ensure gender equality in school education.



What the Existing Literature Says

It is important to note firstly that when speaking of boys' underachievement, much of the literature does so in a comparative context relative to girls' achievement in terms of indicators such as examination results, transitions to secondary school, repetition and adult literacy. This definition of underachievement has presented its own problems within the overall debate. Gorard, Salisbury and Rees (1999) challenge the methodologies used to produce calculations on achievement gaps in the United Kingdom between girls and boys.


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