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Why Boys Are More at Risk of Falling Behind During Remote School

FROM JULIE JARGON, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Remote school has exposed a number of inequities in education, from rural residents who don’t have high-speed internet service to low-income families who don’t have laptops. Boys could be another student group that falls behind during virtual learning, according to some researchers.


Studies conducted before the coronavirus pandemic reveal an academic achievement gap between boys and girls, with girls ahead. Now, some pediatric researchers say they expect the disparities to only increase.


A 2018 meta-analysis of more than 200 mostly U.S. studies of teacher-assigned grades found that girls had significantly higher grades in elementary school through college than boys, including higher grades in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math. The findings showed that while males are overrepresented in STEM careers it isn’t because they are outperforming females in those subject areas.


“I expect that remote learning will widen the existing achievement gap between boys and girls, assuming that remote learning demands greater conscientiousness than classroom learning,” said Rose O’Dea, a postdoctoral researcher in the Inter-Disciplinary Ecology and Evolution Lab at the University of New South Wales who led the analysis.


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