Some twenty years ago, the performance of girls and boys in class was compared. Boys (36) ______ better in exams, so various (37) ______ were introduced to improve the performance of girls, including having (38) ______ sex girl-only classes. Now, the situation is (39) ______ , with girls consistently out-performing boys.
So, what has gone wrong with boys, and what can be done about it? John Dunsford, leader of the association of head teachers of (40) ______ schools, says that that the academic (41) ______ of boys is a problem which has its (42) ______ in society rather than the classroom. Girls, more than boys, see education as a passport to a good job. On the other hand, according to Penny Lewis, a head teacher, young men lack (43) ______ , which they hide with a show of bravado. They're uncertain about their place in society. Some boys grow up in families where there is no male role model to follow.
Moreover, boys may learn in a different way to girls, (44) _________________________________________________ . And education is not seen as "cool" .
As one contributor to a BBC website put it, "Girls achieve more at school (45) ________________________________________________________________ ."
This is not just a problem in Britain. In a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and UNESCO, girls out-performed boys at reading at the age of 15 in all 45 countries. The UK ranks ninth out of the 45 countries for reading (46) __________________________________________________________ . Interestingly, the study suggested that British children read for pleasure more often than those in other countries.