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ERIC Number: EJ810456
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0142-5692
Underperformance or "Getting It Right"? Constructions of Gender and Achievement in the Australian Inquiry into Boys' Education
Hodgetts, Katherine
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v29 n5 p465-477 Sep 2008
The underachievement of boys has been a focus of intense concern in Australia for over 15 years. Historical analyses suggest that male students' poor performance has traditionally been attributed to factors external to boys themselves (methods, teachers, texts), deflecting attention from the relationship between masculinity construction and successful engagement with school. This paper turns the focus back, addressing the ways in which gender itself was constructed within hearings held for the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into Boys' Education. Discursive analysis demonstrates that witnesses to the Inquiry drew upon a series of gender binaries in representing male and female students, and accounting for their relative attainment. These binaries worked to associate masculinity with "authentic" learning, such that the success of male students was naturalised even in the absence of achievement. Conversely, the association of femininity and "inauthentic learning" worked to undermine female students' demonstrated success. The role of these binaries in the reproduction of a paradoxical relationship between gender and achievement is discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia