Girls in class ‘help boys improve’
Having more girls in the classroom could help boost boys’ results, a study has found.
It suggests that boys’ performance in reading is significantly better in schools where the majority of pupils were female.
The study, published by Taylor & Francis in the School Effectiveness and School Improvement journal, ana- lysed the reading scores of more than 200,000 15-yearolds in mixed-sex schools around the world who took part in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment tests.
Researchers found that schools with more than 60 per cent girls, a large proportion of students with highly educated parents and a large proportion of college-educated teachers had higher scoring students on the reading test.
“Boys particularly seemed to be positively affected by a high proportion of female students in a school,” the study says.
Characteristics more commonly associated with female pupils, such as higher concentration levels and motivation to perform well, may help to explain their positive influence in class, the researchers suggest. The study noted the proportion of highly educated teachers did not benefit boys more than girls.