Boys' Underachievement in Education

An Exploration in Selected Commonwealth Countries

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Gender disparity in education has usually been experienced as disadvantaging girls. Now a new phenomenon of boys’ underachievement – both in terms of participation and performance – is appearing in a number of countries.

This book reviews the research on boys’ underachievement and presents the arguments that have been put forward to understand its causes. The authors also present new studies from Australia, Jamaica, Lesotho and Samoa; and they use both the research and the evidence from the case studies to explore the causes and policy implications of this trend – the first time a truly cross-regional approach has been applied to the issue.

This book will interest all education policy-makers and analysts concerned to ensure gender equality in school education.




The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 States bound by a set of shared values and principles. One of those principles is that every child in the Commonwealth, girl or boy, has the right to a quality education. It will take some time for this right to be realised, however, since the majority of the 115 million children globally not in school live in Commonwealth countries.


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