In the earlier part of the 20th century, it was common that boys significantly outperformed girls in schools. Be it in Brunei or in other countries, the number of male students as compared to female students was astronomical. However, it was only after the realisation of the importance of education and academic qualification apart from arising civilisation that the number of the latter students appeared to substantially rise. During the progression, fine academic results still seemed to be in the favour of boys whilst girls gave the impression that they were not able to catch up to their opposite gender’s accomplishment.
However, at the end of that century, female students displayed a considerable improvement. They even surpassed the other sex in the academic world. This is evident by the sudden hike of good academic results of female students as the results of male students plunge. There are four potential reasons that contribute to this occurrence; (1) the difference in maturity pace between girls and boys, (2) the difference in behaviour between the two genders and the lessening use of typical punishment used to discipline students in the old days, (3) the emphasis on equal opportunities and (4) the difference between males’ and females’ brain performance.
The pace of physical and mental maturity of female students differs from that of males. In other words, girls mature much faster than boys and the former are not burdened with the boys’ testicular hormones (Goodhart, 1996). Goodhart (1996) then argues that “these are of less than no help to school work, but they are important for success, especially later on in life, when it is not brains the ladies lack, but balls. ” Grant (1992) suggests that some boys who are considered average performers were bright, but they are immature students whose performance could develop and improve with maturity.
Moreover, teachers expected cognitive maturity and ‘readiness for school’ from female students and this notion is capable of giving girls the force to study diligently (Grant, 1992). The second potential reason is the fact that teenage girls are known to behave better at school, and work more meticulously. During the age of puberty, boys are normally unruly and defiant, the girls being much more teachable. Beforehand, the threat of the “sebat” or cane, which was also infamously used in Brunei, unreservedly used with little protest, was useful in checking boys’ indolence and fairly mischief.
Goodhart (1996) says that that method is no longer present, and in this day and age the worst threat is that you can be either momentarily suspended or permanently expelled from school. It is said that there are over 60,000 suspensions from State schools in Britain each year, virtually all of them boys. Goodhart argues that this is educationally unsatisfactory, and many of those involved are probably only too glad to get out of school anyway. The third reason is the increasing moral, confidence and expectations of women by the women’s movement and feminism.
The challenge of the long established stereotype that the female belongs in the home while the male is the breadwinner has pilot women to be more determined about what they can accomplish from the world. Mitsos & Brown (1998) suggests that the discovery of female’s underachievement previously has developed emphasis on equal opportunities in schools, colleges and the workplace. Regardless of this, it is still apparent that males generally have higher paid jobs and hold majority of important positions in society.
As a result, females try their best to acquire the best academic result they could achieve in order to fight their way to succeed in society. The fourth potential reason why girls are doing better than boys in Brunei schools is the difference between males’ and females’ brain performance. Camarata and Woodcock (2006) discovers that females have a significant advantage over males on timed tests and tasks. A study was done and the result found that there are only a small number of differences in overall intelligence between both genders. However, females perform well in a timed situation over males.
Camarata says that “it is very important for teachers to understand this difference in males and females when it comes to assigning work and structuring tests. ” For males, challenging materials that requires no strict time limits are something they are good at. However, the study also found that males constantly outperformed females in some oral skills like classifying objects, understanding antonyms and synonyms and interpreting anologies, debunking the popular idea that girls develop all communication skills earlier than boys. The researchers found no significant verall intelligence differences between males and females in any age groups.
To conclude, all the reasons mentioned and explained is adequate to construe that females will continue to dominate or outstrip males in the academic world. Society in general seems to have openly accepted this fact that appears irreversible. However, realisation on the sudden sinking of males in education might take place and this might allow the process to reverse thus matching up the number of victor females in Brunei schools even though at present, we can see that it is less likely achievable.