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Gender differences Essay

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It could be said that to some extent the view that processes within schools may lead to gender differences in educational achievement is true. The theory of Interactionist looks at the individual rather than society; therefore it is a bottom up theory.

Interactionist argue that the processes within the schools such as the hidden curriculum may lead students in gender differences in educational achievement, as what happens inside the school which is unwritten is what influences the individual in educational achievement, not the formal curriculum or what is written rule such as the subjects which is being studied influences the student to achieve. The sociologist Goffman explains that everyone in society is “presenting the self in everyday life”.

What he means is that everyone is a puppet of society and not in control of what they say or do, but in fact they are attached in strings and act for example in play, such as a female may play the role of a mother at home but play the role of a student at school. Some argue that the structure and settings of schools, generally creates gender differences in educational achievement, for example the socialisation aspect is that the students are socialised into tolerable forms of behaviour ‘pupils are given drill in how to move about the school, sit in desk, raise hands…

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the puritan of hard work, sober living and good manners is continuously urged upon them. ‘ This socialisation naturally created gender differences as males are seen or expected to behave in classrooms in the manner of ‘masculine’ while females are seen or expected to behave in ‘feminine’ behaviour or otherwise it could be considered odd, and therefore the students who do behave odd are looked at differently or called ‘deviant’.

The sociologist Postman and Weingartner, studied that the hidden curriculum consisted of discovering that; knowledge is beyond the power of students and is in case none of their business; secondly recall is the highest form of intellectual achievement and therefore the collection of ‘facts’ is the goal of education; the voice of authority is to be trusted more than independent judgement; feelings are irrelevant in education; passive acceptance is a more desirable response to ideas than active criticism.

This study proves that the individual does not play in an important role but rather how to ‘survive’ the school and just pass the exams was important and therefore not keen on which gender is learning or how but on how they should just ‘pass the time’ in school and move on as education is not about the self but on facts and memorising, and not understanding. As a result it could be said that the study of classroom interaction is the idea that the ‘reality’ of the classroom is a negotiated reality. For students and teachers, the hidden curriculum consists of learning how to survive in the classroom.

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