Londonâ€“â€“Boys at school respond to firm discipline and well-structured lessons, but become disruptive when subjected to weak teaching, English educationists said in an official report Friday that shed light on the phenomenon of superior performance by girls
The report by the statutory schooling watchdog in England and Wales, Ofsted, found boys performed well when the â€œfourth Râ€ - respect for their teachers - was present.
For years educationists have been puzzled by the way girls are outstripping boys in exam results.
Some pointed to an anti-school â€œlad cultureâ€ in British comprehensives as the main cause, while others blamed modern teaching methods with their focus on project work rather than exams.
Girls were better suited to the careful preparation needed for success in projects, while boys excelled at the short burst of energy required at exams, the second group said.
Ofsted said boys did less well than girls in virtually every subject throughout their school lives because they were less tolerant of bad teaching.
â€œInspectors found evidence that the quality of teaching was a stronger factor for boys than for girls,â€ the report said.
â€œWhile girls often manage to learn despite lacklustre teaching the matter may be more critical for boys.
â€œThere is some evidence that boys are more likely than girls to become disruptive or to give up when faced with a teacher they do not respect,â€ it added.
Among the incentives boys responded to were enthusiastic teaching, structured lessons, fun and competition in the classroom, the setting of short-term targets and generous praise.
Schools minister David Miliband said:
â€œWe have to crack the lad culture that stops too many young boys doing well at school.
â€œThe culture tells boys that it is fine to play around and not work hard. But this harms their chances of doing well, getting their exams and fulfiling their potential.â€
Lack of respect hinders boysâ€™ performance