Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Full metadata record
DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorBorg, Mark G.-
dc.identifier.citationBorg, M. G. (1994). Sex differences in scholastic attainment from year 3 to form IV : a study of trends. Education, 5(2), 22-29.en_GB
dc.description.abstractThe role of pupil sex as one of the major determinants of scholastic performance is amply demonstrated in the international literature. Studies of primary school children carried out in the UK and the USA generally indicate that whatever sex differences exist in scholastic performance these tend to emerge clearly and consistently after age 11 (cf. Badger, 1985; Fairweather, 1976; Shackleton & Fletcher, 1984; Shuard, 1982). Studies by Ross & Simpson (1971), Thompson (1975) and Wilson (1972), for instance, show that in verbal abilities like reading and spelling no clear cut boy-girl differences appear before this age. Studies by Kellmer Pringle, Butler & Davie (1966) and Pidgeon (1960) similarly suggest that this is also the case for arithmetic skills and mathematical ability. In a comprehensive review of the literature on sex differences, Maccoby & Jacklin ( 197 4) conclude that up to age 11 boys and girls are very similar in verbal and mathematical abilities. At age 11, however, their abilities begin to diverge with girls becoming superior in verbal abilities and boys in mathematical abilities. Borg & Falzon (1995) propose a plausible explanation for the little or no consistency in the occurrence and direction of sex differences. They argue that this may lie in the nature of the items making up the assessment instrument. Indeed, in a report on mathematical performance at age 11, the Assessment of Performance Unit (1980) found that when the examination paper is analysed in its component parts rather than as a whole paper girls perform significantly better than boys in certain areas such as computation while boys perform better in other areas like the spatial (e.g. length , area, volume and capacity). Borg & Falzon ( 1995) postulate that this may also well be the case in language subjects so that it is quite possible, for instance, to find girls performing better in one specific language area and boys in another. Hence, differ- ences and directions may well be the product of the weighting of the various abilities assessed by the instrument. Although these UK and USA findings on sex differences may be important and interesting and may have serious implications for educational policies and practices it is here argued that they are not, or should be, directly transferable to the local situation. Cultural differences as well as differences in parental practices, educational philosophies and classroom practices warrant that sex differences in performance in school subjects should be studied in the local context. A small number of Maltese studies have begun to address this need. Falzon & Sammut (1976), for instance, found that amongst Maltese Form I and Il pupils in comprehensive schools girls consistently score higher in Maltese, English, and Maths, with the greatest differences occurring ip the two languages. Moreover, Ventura (1992) reports that whereas in Forms I and II girls outperform boys in Integrated Science, in Forms Ill and IV there are no sex differences in performance in Biology and Chemistry; in Physics, however, the boys perform better.en_GB
dc.publisherUniversity of Malta. Faculty of Educationen_GB
dc.subjectSex differences in education -- Maltaen_GB
dc.subjectGirls -- Education -- Maltaen_GB
dc.subjectBoys -- Education -- Maltaen_GB
dc.subjectMathematical ability -- Sex differencesen_GB
dc.titleSex differences in scholastic attainment from year 3 to form IV : a study of trendsen_GB
dc.rights.holderThe copyright of this work belongs to the author(s)/publisher. The rights of this work are as defined by the appropriate Copyright Legislation or as modified by any successive legislation. Users may access this work and can make use of the information contained in accordance with the Copyright Legislation provided that the author must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the prior permission of the copyright holder.en_GB
Appears in Collections:Education, vol. 5, no. 2
Education, vol. 5, no. 2
Scholarly Works - FacEduES

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Education5(2)A3.pdf549.3 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.