The discussion here will bring out the sociological reasons to show why girls in recent years have performed better than boys in typical school curriculum. Many studies and surveys on school performance have showed a correlation between gender and achievement.
A study by Hubbard (2005) has been based on a survey involving 30 successful African American high school students. The gender based experiences and results defy traditional patterns of educational underachievement associated with a minority group and challenge the notion that minority students show a resistance to schooling. However the study indicated gender based variations in strategies and college aspirations as well as methods of gaining success suggesting variations on the basis of ethnicity and gender especially in the context of diverse American population. Peer interactions, school practices and community experiences are crucial in shaping educational outcomes of individuals although gender forms the central factor in determining achievement. Hubbard (2005) suggests that intertwining of school, family and community cultures construct attitudes dependent on gender and beliefs. Despite the sharing of common racial or class identity, gender variations ca mediate and change perceptions and behavior and this is reflected in social situation inside and outside school.
In a related study Demie (2001) suggested that raising levels of achievement among students would be vital element of any school improvement focus. The extent and reasons of underachievement have been examined here and the statistical trends and patterns of performance are also analyzed to show whether gender ad ethnic factors play a role in academic achievement. The differences in attainment according to Demie are largely related to gender and ethnicity and could have implications for school improvement and general level of performance of students as well. However as Demie argues, there could be no simple explanation for ethnic or gender differences in educational achievement as ethnic heritage would not presuppose any kind of underachievement or higher achievements in any field. Studies have indicated that certain ethnic minority groups like the Asians, Indians and Chinese have levels of achievement above the white population whereas the Caribbean, Portuguese and Africans would be underachievers and achievement is considered as largely dependent on language skills, levels of English and gender differences as well. Better English speakers or people with advanced levels of knowledge in English would naturally perform better and Demie's study (2001) indicated that no matter what the origin of pupils is, girls always tend to perform better and at higher levels than boys in key stages and programs. However apart from gender there may be other factors that seem to have an influence on performance and could be understood by focusing on contextual analysis and analysis of factors that affect educational achievement.
The teachers' perceptions on how gender identity seems to impact achievement have been studied by several researchers and Jones and Myhill (2004) carried out a similar study to understand the impact of gender on achievement. They