Boys' Underachievement in Education

An Exploration in Selected Commonwealth Countries

image of Boys' Underachievement in Education
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.



Varying Dimensions and Lessons Emerging from Selected Commonwealth Countries

This chapter attempts to broaden the existing understanding of boys' underachievement by looking at the situation in four Commonwealth countries – Australia, Jamaica, Lesotho and Samoa – in greater depth. The analysis is primarily based on the case studies of these countries found in Part II, but it also draws from the existing literature wherever relevant. For each of these four countries, it tries to identify the causes for the issues as they exist in that context and analyses an initiative undertaken to address the situation in order to determine (a) how far this has succeeded in the specific context, and (b) to what extent it has the potential for providing indications for policy or programmatic solutions.


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