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Does the school system benefit girls more than boys? Show more Show less

Girls outperform boys across all subjects, in all age groups, and across all racial groups. They secure more university places and suffer fewer disciplinary problems. By contrast, boys are overrepresented in programs for students with special educational needs and account for around 93% of suspensions and disciplinary actions. Is the modern school system designed to benefit girls more than boys?
Any system will always disproportionately benefit one demographic. There will always be one group that does better. It may as well be girls.
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Someone has to benefit

Any educational model will always benefit one demographic more than another.

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Context

All students learn differently. Everybody has their own learning methods and preferences. A school system, with its set learning methods, will always disproportionately benefit one demographic. It may as well be girls.

The Argument

It is impossible to devise a school system that is perfect for anyone. We have to accept that there will always be a group that benefits more from the education system than another group. We can take steps to even the playing field by teaching boys and girls in different ways and assessing them differently, but what happens to anomalies? Will a girl that tests better and is worse at group work be forced to complete the female curriculum, knowing full well that she would excel faster in a male one? If we let her switch to a male one, where do we stop? Do we make individual curriculums for each student based on their preferred learning methods and assessment strengths? Trying to build an education system that caters to everyone is an impossible task unless you want to tailor each students’ individual curriculum to suit their strengths, which is just not practical.

Counter arguments

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do better. Even if one group will always benefit more from the school system, we still have to constantly evaluate its performance and explore ways to close the gap and boost the underperforming demographics. This is the only way to improve the education system and reduce wider inequalities in our society. It also isn’t true that a system always has to favour one demographic. An education system where girls are given more collaborative projects to complete with their peers, while boys do more individual exercises and tests. Setting each gender up for academic success through the teaching and assessment methods is achievable. We do not have to resign ourselves to having an education system that lifts one demographic while simultaneously hindering another.

Premises

[P1] Everyone has their own unique learning styles. [P2] Building a system that teaches every student differently is not practical. [P3] Therefore, any school system will always favour a specific group of learners.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] It would be well within a system's capabilities to educate boys and girls differently. [Rejecting P3] It might always slightly benefit one group of learners, but it is the system's responsibility to be constantly assessing and adapting to promote gender equality and equitable development.

References

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Proponents

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 24 Sep 2019 at 14:31 UTC