Girls’ Learning: Investigating the classroom practices that promote girls’ learning

Learning outcomes and gender equality are two important issues that have recently risen up the agenda in international education development. In most cases they have been treated as two distinct, unrelated problems: one around acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy, the other around girls’ access to education. This paper looks at the intersection between the two. Using mostly Northern studies to highlight the impact of factors which impede achievement, it investigates whether girls have equal chances to learn and progress as boys once enrolled in school.

This report finds a gender gap in national exam results in favour of boys, across many developing countries, and seeks to analyse how school-based factors might impact differently on girls’ learning and attainment and ultimately lead to those observable gaps between girls and boys. It is important to identify such factors, as these gaps in learning achievement are evident at critical points: national examinations are often used to select which students progress to the next level of education.

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