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Alex edit ia caribbean studies Alex edit ia caribbean studies Document Transcript

  • AcknowledgementIt’s a great privilege to honor those who have aided in the completion of this study. Thanksto Ms. Bonique.Townsend, a teacher of Caribbean Studies, who guided me throughout thisresearch. Thanks also go out to the students of Jonathan Grant High School, who made thecoalition of data possible and the authorities of the school who enabled me to conduct myinvestigation.My family members are indeed honored, due to the fact that they have being a great sourceof help in gathering the necessary resources for this assessment. Finally I thank the Lord forgiving me strengthen and vigor, so that I could complete the research.3
  • Statement of the ProblemWhat are the social factors which contribute to female students outperforming male studentsacademically at Jonathan Grant High School in St. Catherine?4
  • Introduction and Purpose of the studyThe underperformance of males academically, has become a topical issue within theCaribbean at large. In Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, there has been a growing trendof female students outperforming males. This is evident even at the secondary level, at whichstudents are being prepared for the Caribbean Secondary Examinations. The CSEC passesover the years show a trendy decline in males’ performance both in the technical andvocational areas. Our males are equally important like the females. The greatest dilemma acountry can face is when one gender/sex believes there is no place in society for them. Theincreasing prominence of males’ underperformance is a big hindrance to society. Thisproblem has been affecting many schools within Jamaica. Jonathan Grant High School is onesuch institution that this plaguing plight has taken a toll on.The purpose of this study is to find out the factors which contribute to femalestudents outperforming male students academically at Jonathan Grant High School, inJamaica. In answering the problem statement, the researcher wishes to find out: which sexperforms better in most or all subject areas at Jonathan Grant High School, What are thefactors that causes this sex to outperform the other and some motivational measures that canbe used as instruments to improve this sex standard, academically.The main aim of this study is to broaden people’s knowledge about theunderperformance of male students nationally and regionally. In doing this, the researchershall highlight the underperformance of males academically at Jonathon Grant High School.The study also aim to bring to light, the factors contributing the underperformance, so toensure that male students who site this research can be motivated to do better in all subjectareas and try to overcome the obstacles to their performance.5
  • Definitions of Key TermsThese are some terms you will encounter during this study; Academically (adverb):Having to do with education and study, scholarly as opposed to technical orpractical knowledge. Education (noun):The process of training a person’s mind and abilities so that they can acquireknowledge and develop skills. Female (adjective):Having to do with the sex that can bear offspring or produce egg, in particularwomen and girl Male (adjective):To do with or belonging to the sex that reproduces by fertilizing egg cells producedby the female men or boys. Student (noun):A person who studies a subject, especially at a school, college or university. Underachieve (verb):To do less well than was expected, especially in school work.6
  • Literature ReviewNasser Mustapha (2009) commenting on the topic ‘Males Underachievement’ in school inhis book Sociology for Caribbean Students, concludes that boys rather than girls are at adisadvantage in Secondary schools. Mustapha’s (2009) conclusion is based on findingsrevealed in a demographic study conducted in Jamaica 1991. Data from the study revealedthat the illiteracy rate for males was 23% and 13.3% for females. The data also revealed thatthe enrollment ratio male to female at the tertiary levels was 2:9 males to females,Mustapha (2009). In a related studies carried out by the University of the West IndiesMona (2007), it was revealed that as many as 82% of the students who matriculated totertiary institutions in the academic year 2006-2007 were women. Additionally statisticssubmitted by four Teacher’s College in the island namely ; The Mico Teacher’s UniversityCollege, The Shorthood Teacher’s College, St. Joseph Teachers College and MoneagueTeacher’s, shows similar situation. Specifically, more males than females are enrolled intertiary education.Authur Hall ( 2007) a senior reporter at the Jamaican Gleaner Company reported that“the phenomenon of an excess of tertiary trained females is already sufficiently established,that, the results are being seen in today’s society as women are taking over many seniorpositions, once considered the providence of men and the trend is growing”. Hall (2007)believes that this will undoubtedly affect Jamaica’s development, as fewer men are beingcertified or obtaining higher education. Unfortunately data shared by Sociologist, HyacinthEvans, (Gender and Achievement in Secondary Education in Jamaica, 2006) concludesthat even after reviewing these findings Jamaican men were not alarmed or eager to take any7
  • corrective actions to address the situation. Evans (2006) explained that that the men sheinteracted with during the course of her study revealed that they are more capable of handlingany Jamaican woman, despite their levels of qualification.Professor Mark Figueroa in an article published on the topic ‘males socialization’(2004) states, that ‘Our society has employed a form of socialization that is tying the heiferand releasing the bull.’ This coincides with Sociologist Professor Barry Chevannes (2002)publication on the topic What you sow is what you reap. Chevannes (2002) conclusion wasbased on the fact that he observed, in the Jamaican culture that at home boys are expected tomisbehave, while girls are expected to conform to a rigid code. In addition, ProfessorChevannes (2002) further added that, if a boy misbehaves it is essentially expected, but if agirl does so it is a serious matter.Professor Odette Parry of the University of Edinberg, (2003) in her article ‘schoolingis fooling, why do boys underachieve’, also made reference to the perception of males, instating that “this account suggests that an important casual factor to male educationalunderachievement in schools is the ‘ hard’, macho masculine attitudes and behavior whichrun contrary to academic ethos of school. Professor Chavannes (2002) , Professor Figueroaand Professor Odette Parry, believe that the society is the cause of males. However otherauthors disagree with Chevannes’ et al conclusion.Parry and Evans (1999) in Nasser Mustapha’s text, namely Sociology for CaribbeanStudents, noted that male’s underachievement is not from a Sociological point of view but abiological a sex differences. They articulated that the academic of males and females in termsof sex role theory, meaning the roles and statuses individuals adopt are due to their sex orbiological make up, which means that academic achievement then, has to do with biology or8
  • genetic issues. The Scholar Errol Miller (1991), in Nasser Mustapha’s text, namelySociology for Caribbean Students, supported the points of the sociologists but was also inagreement with their opponents. He went further and wrote that in Jamaica earlysocialization of boys put many of them at a severe disadvantage in schools; he also stated thatthey were not encouraged to identify educational achievement with masculinity. This goes inagreement with the conclusions drawn by Professor Barry Chavannes (2002) and MarkFigueroa (2004).While other writers believe that the cause of males’ underperformance is because ofsocial and biological reasons, Winston Adams, executive chairman and president of theUniversity College of the Caribbean (UCC) clearly disagreed with this point when he wasquoted in a speech done at the institution, saying “there is a view among Jamaican men thateducation is an investment which takes too long to produce a return. Anecdotal evidence,based on what is heard from many of our Jamaican men in some communities; suggest thatthis is a plausible explanation for the under-representation of men in the classrooms at thesecondary and tertiary level”.In an article published in the gleaner Wednesday October 3, 2007 entitled‘underachievers’ the writer Petulia Clarke stated “it is good that the females are excelling butwe need our males to reach that standard because the children are the future both the malesand the females.” However the growing number of male’s under- performance that we sufferfrom each year is an omen that needs attention. As Caribbean societies move aggressively inhoping to achieve development from all angles, it must be realized that this cannot be done ifthere is inequity as it relates to education among sex. Notably, it should not only be an9
  • individual effort to correct this phenomenon, but a communal effort, as measures should beinstitutionalized to correct the dilemma.The obviousness of this plight draws the attention of many, including the researcher. Butwhile Mustapha (2009) can point to statistics as evidence, the ordinary man can just look onthe streets to prove his claims. On the streets of the Caribbean, most of the children seen aremales; most of the inmates in the cell are males. The researcher lamented that the societyfails to look at our boys as important as the girls.We have seen, heard and read that males have no faith that the education system can affirmtheir manhood. Therefore they deem the pursuit of a good education as simply girly. What iseven more startling is that the train educators within the education system endorse this kindof behavior. Even though one may wish to differ with Professor Barry Chevannes and theother writers, the truth is that these researches were conducted in the Caribbean and is by nomeans fallacy or libel of the male character. As a nation and a people, we need to act nowand prevent the endangerment of the male species.10
  • Data Collection SourcesThe method of data collection was quantitative in nature; this was in the form of bothprimary and secondary sourcing. Primary sourcing means that the research was conducted onthe ground, to get the relevant information needed. In other words, the information wasobtained first hand with the use of questionnaires. A questionnaire is a number of presetquestions that can contain open-ended, fixed choice or a combination of both types ofquestions. These questions seek to get information about a particular situation or problem.Questionnaire was chosen due to its numerous advantages. It is usually easy to administer; itcan be used to reach a large number of people, even if they are geographically dispersed andit is usually cheap to produce a large number of questionnaires.The questionnaire encompasses ten questions. These were distributed on Monday23rdof January 2012 during school hours at the Jonathan Grant High School.Jonathan Grant High School is a two shift educational institution located in Spanish Town St.Catherine. To obtain the necessary information a letter was written to the school informingthem about the purpose of the study and asking for their full participation and co-operation.The population of the school consists of two thousand (2000) students, therefore a samplesize of 10% was deemed necessary to ensure the accuracy of data (10% = 200). Therespondents were chosen on a stratified random base. This was done to get a mixture of thedifferent grades, which is grade seven to eleven (7-11).The questionnaires were not collected on the same day; however they were obtainedfully completed on two separate voyages, by the researcher. A thorough analysis was doneby the researcher on the questionnaires to determine the opinions of the respondents and to11
  • find out their views, and also to find out if the questions were answered based on theinstructions given.Secondary sources were used in the form of books, newspaper articles and journals,to capture the different writers’ perspective on the research topic. In terms of Article,Professor Barry Chevannes (2002) in his publication “What you sow is what you reap”, wasa good source of help, since it aid in substantiating the claims of the researcher about maleunderperformance in school and the contributing factors to the dilemma. Other Arthurs andwriters include Nasser Mustapha, when he was quoted from his text, Sociology for CaribbeanStudents, giving detailed statistics of male to female ratio and the females prominence intertiary institutions across the island. Professor Mark Figueroa was also a help, like theothers, he helped in concreting the points put forth by the researcher.In gathering the data, the researcher encountered several problems. Firstly, it wasdifficult to leave school during the researcher’s school hour to issue out questionnaires.Secondly, due to the fact that Jonathon Grant is a two shift school, it was difficult to getrespondents from the two shifts at the same time that the researcher went there. As a result hehad to wait there until one shift was dismissed and the other was commencing, in order toensure that respondents were chosen from the two shifts. Young people are normally said tobe irresponsible, this was evident when the researcher tried to retrieve the questionnaires.Many of the respondents did not take the questionnaire with them, on the day they were told.As a result the researcher had to go back there another day to collect all the questionnaires.In terms of secondary sourcing, the only difficult, was its was very hard to gatherinformation from the different writers about the relevant topic and to compile the informationso that it could flow. Apart from that, the secondary sourcing was ok.12
  • Presentation of DataQuestion 1To which sex do you belong?Figure 1.The donut-chart above shows the sex of the respondents.50% of the respondents are males while 50% are females.13
  • Question 3Which Grade do you belong?.Figure 2 ( what type of diagram is this?) showing the respondents grade.40% of the respondents are currently in fifth form which suggests it is their final year atschool. 8% of the respondents are in first form which signifies their first year at theinstitution. 23% and 16% respectively are from fourth and third form, while 12% are insecond form.14
  • Question 4Which sex performs better in the different subject areas at your school?Figure 3 a pie-chart sex performs better in the different subject areas at your school.According to the respondents, females perform better than males in all subject areas at theinstitution. This is obvious as 72% agree to this while 28% believe males’ performance isbetter.15
  • Question 6What are the social factors which account for female studentsoutperforming the male students academically at Jonathan Grant HighSchool?Figure 4 a bar-chart displays social factors according to respondents that cause males’underperformance.The bar-chart above displays social factors according to respondents, which contribute tofemale students outperforming male students. Base on the responses, 15% stated it is dueto musical distraction, 13% believe males are less focus than females, 22% stated malestend to have a gang preference rather than going to school, another 10% believe educatorsmotivate females more than males, while a maximum of 40% strongly believe that malesprefer to work than to go to school.16
  • Question 7What are the major effects when female students outperform male students?Category RespondentsviewsMore female students than males students graduate 10%More female students than males students from my school are enrolledin tertiary institutions 20%Male students become demotivated 22%Competition between the male students and female students 18%Females dominate the working world and are more qualified than males 30%Figure.5 is a table displaying the major effects when female students outperform malestudents.According to the respondents from the Jonathan Grant High School, 10% believe that morefemale students than male students graduate, 20% believe that more females are enrolled intertiary institutions, 22% stated that males become demotivated, 18% stated that competitiondevelops between both sex, while a maximum of 30% believe that females dominate theworking world and are more qualified than males, as a result.17
  • Question 8How do you think the male students at Jonathan Grant high school can improvetheir level of performance academically?Figure.6 shows how male students can improve their level of academic performance.According to the respondents 40% stated that taking extra classes and studying more/hardercan help to improve males’ academic standards, 15% stated that they should pay moreattention while a maximum of 45% believe that if they attend classes regularly theirperformance can be improved.18
  • Question 9What measures can be used to motivate male students at Jonathan Grant high school toperform better?Figure 7. Measures that can be used to motivate male students.Based on the research, 15% of the respondents believe that educators should motivate malestudents more to learn, 20% believe that regular counseling sessions should take place, 25%are of the view that males should be encouraged to work harder and 40% stated that theimplementation of a more male friendly teaching approach should be encouraged.19
  • Interpretation of FindingsThe hypothesis was proven that the female students outperform male students at the JonathanGrant high school in the parish of St. Catherine. This conclusion is supported by the research,in which 72% of the respondents answered yes. It can be argued that the remaining 28% ofthe respondents who stated no was due to the fact that that they were male students and feltoffended and even angered by the question and its reality. It was not surprising that majorityof the respondents who answered yes, were mostly females and believed that theirperformance is better due to their understanding of lessons taught, their devotion andapplication of selves academically.It was discovered that there are many social factors which account for female studentsoutperforming male students academically. The main ones are rather evident and obvious.These include: musical distraction, as stated by 15% of the respondents. Musical distractioncauses males to lose focus on their school work, thus not performing well academically. As aresult many musical artists nowadays, try to motivate males to stay in school and improvetheir academic performance. One such artist is Daniel Mc Gregor who sang a hit single“youth tek in your education, nuh put nuh woman pony uh head.” This is to show that malesare distracted by music, henceforth the same music is used as an instrument ofencouragement since much attention is placed on it male by students.Other social factor includes gang preference, which 22% of the respondentsconcurred that male students prefer to join gangs rather than to attend school or classes. In20
  • doing this it is easier for them to fit into these social groups rather than to adhere to the rulesand regulations of the schools. This is not strange, as the sex that is mostly involved incriminal activities is the male sex. Hence, the respondents believed that male rather to engagein these activities than to go to school. Nevertheless a next 10% believe educators motivatefemale students more and this influence males’ underperformance. Due to the fact that therespondents are in school, they are competent to give information on the issue. In fact theyare the ones in the school system and know who the educators motivate more. This may be asresult of teachers vigilance when a boy interrupt the class than when a girl does so. When agirl does so, she may motivated “saying you are a young lady”, which means that is not thenorm. But for a male or boy, the teacher may just bring him to the office, at that point theywill have no tolerance due to the perception they have of males. 13% are still of the view thatmales are less focus, while 40% stated that males prefer to work than to go to school. In this,they fail to realize the importance of education, but enjoy the get rich quick idea and wantfast cash. In wanting fast cash males prefer to work rather than to stay in school and work ata later period.Social plights normal have disturbing effects on a community, country or even a region;male’s underperformance is no exception at Jonathan Grant High School. As stated, 10% ofthe respondents stated that the main effect of this phenomenon is that more female studentsthan males graduate, 20% stated that more female students are enrolled in tertiaryinstitutions. This effect is not latent as recent statistics have made this assertion, therefore theresearcher unbiasedly concur with it. Notably, in Universities across the Caribbean, femalestudents have established their dominance spreading themselves all over and performing far21
  • better. In addition to that, 22% of the respondents also stated that males becomedemotivated, while another 18% stated competition normal develop between both sex. Buteven though respondents have varying opinions as it relates to the effects of this dilemma,30% are still of the view that female dominant the working world and are more qualified thanmales. Though debatable, this point is still up for more criticisms.It was a strong opinion among the respondents (figure 6) that this problem can be solved bythe male students themselves taking extra classes and studying more/harder, this wasindicated by 40% of the sample size, 15% of the respondents also believe that if males payattention in class this problem can be extricated. However most of the respondents, that is45%, stated that they should attend their classes regularly. In doing this they will becomemore familiar to the content taught and will be better able to retain information.Understandably, males have an important role to play in order to alleviate this problem, butone should note that some measures need to be institutionalized if solutions should work. Asshown in figure 7, 15% of the respondents believe that educators should motivate malesmore, 20% believe regular counseling sessions should take place and 40% stated thatteachers should implement a more male friendly teaching approach to teaching. One of thereasons for majority believing that there should be a more male friendly teaching approach, isdue to the fact that the teachers are mostly females and tend to teach the lessons in a way thatfemale would better understand rather than males. This is so because the examples usedwould be of a female nature making it subtle for males to understand.22
  • Discussion of FindingsThis survey revealed three major findings. Firstly, the gender which performs thebest at Jonathan Grant High School in the parish of St. Catherine is the females and not themales. According to Petuila Clarke, in The Gleaner dated October 3 2007, she stated, “it isgood that the females are excelling but we need our males to reach that standard……….”This data clearly indicates that the females are the ones who perform the best and the malesare surely underperforming, which was also confirmed by the findings (questionnaire)which 70% of the respondents agreed toThe main social factors which account for male students’ underperformance atJonathan Grant High School are that males prefer to work rather than to go to school, othersinclude musical distraction, males are less focus, educators motivate females more and gangpreference. This is in agreement with Winston Adams executive chairman and presidentof the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) when he was quoted saying “there is aview among Jamaican men that education is an investment which takes too long to produce areturn” which Adams suggest is the explanation for the under-representation of males in theclassrooms at the tertiary level. But how far is this finding from Professor Odette argument,which she mentioned that the casual factor to male underachievement in schools is the hard,macho, masculine attitudes and behavior which runs contrary to the academic ethos of school23
  • and to work is one of those macho attitudes. Males tend to have a get rich quick idea andwould use any means to get by it.It was confirmed in the findings by 20% of respondents that one of the major effects offemale students outperforming male students at the Jonathan Grant High school was thatmore female than male students are enrolled in tertiary institutions, as the male students arenot qualified enough after five (5) years for higher education. This point is supported in theliterature review with the 2007 statistical data from the University of the West Indies(UWI). Which revealed that as many as 82% of the students who matriculated to tertiaryinstitutions in the academic year 2006-2007 were women.Nonetheless, it was clearly proven in the findings that many persons (40% of therespondents) believe that this problem of males underperforming at Jonathan Grant can besolved by the putting measures in place to motivate male students such as implementing amore male friendly teaching approach which male students would be better able to relate toand/or understand the lessons taught. As a result they should ignore the societal expectations,as described by Professor Barry Chavannes, who stated that at home boys are expected tomisbehave while girls are expected to conform to a rigid code.24
  • ConclusionIn the ending of this study it can be concluded that the gender which performs the bestacademically at Jonathan Grant High School is the female. This was claimed by 70% of therespondents and that the male students at Jonathan Grant High School are indeedunderachieving academically.It was also proven by the findings that some of the main social factors which account forfemale students outperforming male students at Jonathan Grant High School are: gangpreference, working rather than to attend school, males are less focus, educators motivatefemale more and musical distractions. One cause of this is due to some of Jamaica’s populardancehall artistes portraying an image of quick money/ quick rich idea, and not using theeducational route of getting it. And also, the fact that the male students don’t have to followany rules and regulation they tend to have this gang preference rather than to attend school asthey see it easier to follow.And finally, the major effects of female students outperforming male student at JonathanGrant High School is that more female students than male students graduating from JonathanGrant and enrolled in tertiary institutions which lead to an increase in illiteracy rate among25
  • our males, lacked of employments ( i.e. males in the workforce) and an increase in criminalactivities among males. But nonetheless, person still believe that if there were measures putin place such as the implementation of a more male friendly teaching curriculum, it willencourage the males to perform better academically and would avoid the effects listed above.LimitationsIn conducting this research, the researcher encounters some major challenges. Firstly, theinformation that was collected by the researcher was limited as there were not enoughsources to collect relevant and sufficient information. Furthermore, the respondents mostlythe male students felt offended by the questions in the questionnaire and were reluctant toanswer them, therefore not giving the researcher sufficient time to analyze the data. On theother hand, the assignment was still successfully completed.26
  • RecommendationBased on the information gathered by the researcher, it can be clearly seen that male studentsare underachieving academically at the Jonathan Grant High School. As a people we need tocome to an agreement to battle this problem which can increase over time.The researcher strongly recommends that greater emphasis should be placed on programmesthat develop life skill education such as decision making skills, problem solving skills,conflict resolution skills and civic responsibility.The researcher also recommend that the government and educators or whoever have thepower to do this should try to and make the academic curriculum male friendly or develop anew program to be more male friendly in a way that male students are as eager to learn asfemale students. Also the program must be able to grasp the attention of the male studentsand keep it. And to potential researcher it is recommended that when doing this study, youshould avoid using unreliable and useless research techniques in collecting adequateinformation on the study.To reduce the underperformance at Jonathan Grant High School, the researcher willimplement a boys club. This club will aid in motivating males. With this club, male positiverole models will come in and speak to males in club meetings and encourage them of ways toget over the any problem which they encounter. The researcher will also have male musical27
  • artistes coming in the school to create songs about the importance of school. The club willalso engage in game playing so that males may feel a sense of belonging among their peers,to prevent them from seeking external belonging, that is gangs and other deviant companies.28
  • QuestionnaireDear Respondents,This study is being carried out to determine the factors which account for femalestudents outperforming male students academically at Jonathan Grant High School. TheInformation gathered will be used to complete an assignment for a Caribbean studies InternalAssessment. All your information will be kept confidential.Instructions: please place a tick in the box [√] where necessary or write where instructed.1. To which sex do you belong?Male [ ]Female [ ]2. To which age group do you belong?13-16 years [ ]17-18 years [ ]18 years and over [ ]3. Which form do you belong?First [ ]Second [ ]Third [ ]Fourth [ ]29
  • Fifth [ ]4. Which sex performs better in the different subject areas at your school?Male [ ]Female [ ]5. Why do you think that the female students outperform the male students?Male students are lazy [ ]Females are more ambitious than male students [ ]Females concentrate better than male students [ ]Females learn faster than male students [ ]Other [ ]6. What are the social factors which account for female students outperforming the malestudents academically at Jonathan Grant High School?Musical distraction [ ]Males are less focus than female students [ ]Males prefer to join gangs than attend school [ ]Educators motivate males less than female students [ ]Males prefer to work than go to school [ ]7. What are the major effects when female students outperform male students?More female students than males students graduate [ ]More female students than males students from my school are enrolled intertiary institutions [ ]Male students become demotivated [ ]Competition between the male students and female students [ ]Females dominate the working world and are more qualified than males [ ]30
  • 8. How do you think the male students at Jonathan Grant high school can improve theirlevel of performance academically?Pay more attention in their classes [ ]Attend their classes regularly [ ]Take extra classes and studying more/ harder [ ]9. What measures can be used to motivate male students at Jonathan Grant high schoolto perform better?Encouragement to male students to work hard [ ]Regular counseling sessions for male students [ ]Implement more male friendly approach to teaching [ ]Educators should motivate male students more to learn. [ ]10. Do you believe that government intervention will help to alleviate this impendingproblem? If yes briefly state what can they do.__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________31
  • BIBLIOGRAPHYHaralambos Michael and Holborn Martin (2000), Sociology Themes and Perspectives theFifth Edition, Published by Collins Educationa.Mustapha Nasser(2007), Sociology For Caribbean Students, Published by Ian Publisher.Hyacinth Evans (2005), Gender and Achievement in Secondary Education in Jamaica,Published by Brain Publisher.Petulia Clarke ( 2007), “Underachievers”, the Daily Gleaner, October.Barry Chevannes (2002), “What you sow is what you reap”, article Publication.32