Loud but Rarely Better Than

Article excerpt


BOYS dominate the school classrooms they share with girls and contribute more to discussions, according to a new research report.

They are keen to volunteer for practical demonstrations in science and computing - but none of this seems to do them much good in the long run.

For while girls dislike being dominated in the classroom, they frequently end up on top academically, according to the study for the Scottish Council for Research in Education.

Christine Howe, who prepared the report, said yesterday: `If classroom interaction does directly affect academic achievement, it ought to be the girls who are suffering, since they are the ones who seemingly take the minor roles in conversations.

`But recent surveys show few differences in the academic performance of boys and girls - and where differences exist, they usually show girls to be outperforming boys.'

But Miss Howe believes girls feel discomfort at being `pushed out of the centre of the action.' She said: `Girls find ways of coping so that their school work does not suffer, but they do not appear to enjoy their roles in the classroom to the same extent as boys or to engage so fully in it. …