By Nigel Kettley
Refined monograph focussing on attainment on the finish of secondary/high college schooling (and the interface with tertiary education). Combines re-analysis of secondary literature (including legitimate facts, institutional histories, interview information) and research of qualitative and quantitative basic study utilizing descriptive and inferential records, value-added research and down to earth conception. the consequences express the siginificance and weak spot of either the mid-twentieth century vintage analyses of social clas and the late-twentieth century feminist ways. exhibits how a joint attention of social matters, particularly of gender and social stratification, produce a robust version for explaining attainment with vital implications for coverage on (a) boys' underachievement and (b) participation in better schooling.
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Additional resources for Educational Attainment and Society (Continuum Studies in Education)
Despite the apparent sophistication of this approach to the gender gap, it is deficient in a number of respects. Firstly, the assertion that the gender gap was closing simplifies patterns of attainment both historically and contemporaneously. Importantly, it must be recalled that some girls have always outperformed some boys at school (Douglas 1964: 70). Similarly, it must be remembered that the extent of the contemporary gender gap is schoolspecific. In most schools the gender gap may favour girls, in others it may favour boys, and in some schools there may be no gap at all.
3 Research strategy Now I do not like to do empirical work if I can possibly avoid i t . . Much of it, in fact, is a formal exercise for beginning students, and sometimes a useful pursuit for those who are not able to handle the more difficult substantive problems of social science . . The purpose of empirical enquiry is to settle disagreements and doubts about facts, and thus to make arguments more fruitful by basing all sides more substantively. Facts discipline reason; but reason is the advanced guard in any field of learning.
This transformation of colleges into financially independent bodies, as a result of the Further and Higher Education Act for Reconceptualizing the Study of Attainment England and Wales (1992), has generated analyses of the impact of change on sectoral management, gender relations in colleges and the market image of colleges (Theodossin 1992; Prichard and Deem 1999). Unsurprisingly, this research has paid little attention to students' attainment. Several recent studies of colleges have, however, identified the social conditions of learning as their central concern (Bloomer 1997; Harkin et al 2001).