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Describe how similar or different the boys and girls in your classroom are likely to be

Describe how similar or different the boys and girls in your classroom are likely to be, on the average, in each of the following areas:

  • Scholastic abilities
  • Physical and motor skills
  • Self-esteem
  • Explanations for success and failure
  • Expectations for themselves


Boys and girls have similar general intellectual ability (e.g., IZ scores). Girls are often slightly better at verbal (language-based) tasks; boy may be somewhat better at tasks involving visual-spatial skills. Researchers report mixed findings regarding males' vs. females' achievement in such areas as mathematics and science; any gender differences are usually quite small. In recent years, boys and girls have become increasingly more similar in their academic performance. Expect boys and girls to have similar aptitudes for all academic subject areas.


Before puberty, boys and girls have similar physiological capability, but boys tend to develop their physical and motor skills more than girls. After puberty, boys have the advantage in height and muscular strength. Assume that both genders have similar potential for developing physical and motor skills, especially during the elementary school years.


Boys are more likely to have self-confidence in their ability to control the world and solve problems; girls are more likely to see themselves as competent in interpersonal relationships. Boys and girls also tend to have greater self-esteem in areas consistent with society's stereotypes about what males and females should do. In general, boys tend to rate their own performance on tasks more positively than girls do, even when actual performance is the same for both genders. This means I would have to show students that they can be successful in counter-stereotypical subject areas. For example, I would show girls that they have just as much potential for learning mathematics and science as boys do. This writing from


Boys and girls interpret their successes and failures somewhat differently. Boys tend to attribute their successes to an enduring ability and their failures to a lack of effort. In contrast, girls attribute their successes to effort and their failures to a lack of ability. Boys' beliefs in greater natural ability make them more optimistic about their chances for future success. This means I would have to convince girls that their past and present successes indicate an ability to succeed and that they can avoid or overcome failure with sufficient effort.


Although girls are more likely to see themselves as college-bound, boys have higher long-term expectations for themselves, especially in stereotypical "masculine" areas. Career aspirations tend to be consistent with gender stereotypes; furthermore, girls (but not boys) tend to choose careers that will not interfere with their future roles as spouses and parents. This means I would have to expose students to successful male and female models in a a variety of roles and professions. Also, provide examples of people successfully juggling careers with marriage and parenthood.

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