Why Do Male Students Perform Worse Academically than Female Students in Elementary School on Average?
It has been observed that in view of differences in the educational successes and experiences between male and female students in elementary school, their educational outcomes are also different. Ironically, while girls generally perform better than boys academically, they face gender inequalities after completing their education. Developing policies that address these inequalities and differences can foster desirable academic performance devoid of gender-based differences. Due to the integral role that education plays in social, economic and political development, it is imperative that the factors that lead to these differences are identified and addressed (OECD, 2009; Leka, 2015). The differences in gender-based learning experiences, successes and outcomes result from the tendency of boys to capitulate to peer pressure that casts good academic performers in a bad light. Unlike girls, they perceive poor performance in class as a way of gaining respect among their peers.
In a study aimed at investigating how peer pressure negatively affects the performance of boys compared to girls in elementary school, the independent variable will be peer pressure. The researcher will control or manipulate peer pressure during the study to test how it affects the dependent variable, that is, academic performance. The study will observe the academic performance of both boys and girls in elementary school and identify how peer pressure influences their educational experiences, successes and outcomes.
The samples for the survey will be drawn from the students aged between 12 and 14 years of randomly selected elementary schools. It will involve 50 participants with the proportions equally divided among the two genders. The survey will also sample 50 elementary educators and 50 parents or guardians. All the participants will be randomly selected to ensure that the survey results are valid and appropriate to be used for generalization. However, the survey will focus only on participants who will be accessible using the available resources, time and authorization from the school authorities, parents or guardians. To avoid ethical conflicts, the parents or guardians of the students and the rest of the participants will be given consent forms to sign after the nature and purpose of the survey being explained to them.
Conducting Survey Research
The survey will be conducted through filling of survey questionnaires, which will be sent via mail to the participants. The primary questions in the questionnaire will include:
- In your opinion, why do you think girls perform better than boys in elementary school?
- Do you believe peer pressure influences the performance of boys and girls in elementary school?
Surveys are relatively convenient and cheap to conduct. They leave no room for any subjective thinking in the research. Hence, they provide unbiased and precise data though only within the narrow confines of the variables measured, ignoring the influence of other abstract variables due to their inflexible designs. Besides, some questions might be inappropriate for the participants.
The behavior of student participants in the classroom will be observed for a week with a view to identify their learning attitudes. This method of data collection is flexible and allows the development of a good rapport with the participants. Consequently, the researcher gains a deeper insight into the issue while producing rich, qualitative and valid data. However, it is time consuming and inconvenient for a large sample size, besides being susceptible to researcher bias and ethical issues.
Leka, I. (2015). The impact of peer relations in the academic process among adolescents. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences 6(1.S1): 127-132.
OECD. (2009). Equally prepared for life?: How 15-year-old boys and girls perform in school. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development: Program for International Student Assessment. Paris.