Breaking News
September 22, 2018 - Brigham Genomic Medicine program unravels 30 medical mysteries
September 22, 2018 - New system harnesses power of bubbles to destroy dangerous biofilms
September 22, 2018 - Inflammation plays crucial role in preventing heart attacks and strokes, study reveals
September 22, 2018 - Calorie dense, nutrient deficient meals common across the world
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop technology to study behavior of implants without animal testing
September 22, 2018 - First gut bacteria in newborns may have lasting effect on ability to ward off chronic diseases
September 22, 2018 - Detection of BFD virus in parrots in 8 new countries raises concerns for threatened species
September 22, 2018 - Insulin treatment shows great potential against chronic bowel inflammation
September 22, 2018 - ‘Liking Gap’ Might Stand in Way of New Friendships
September 22, 2018 - Simple factors that can avoid harmful side effects in type 2 diabetes
September 22, 2018 - ALSAM Foundation invests additional $2 million for drug discovery and development projects
September 22, 2018 - Study findings may advance discussion of how to effectively curb human-wildlife conflict
September 22, 2018 - Dopamine neurons may involve in conditions ranging from Parkinson’s disease to schizophrenia
September 22, 2018 - Protein C and Protein S Tests: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
September 22, 2018 - Obesity and diabetes—two reasons why we should be worried about the plastics that surround us
September 22, 2018 - Concern over fussy eating prompts parents to use non-responsive feeding practices
September 22, 2018 - Novel mathematical approach uncovers existence of unsuspected biological cycles
September 22, 2018 - Cancer Research UK invests £14 million to transform London into cancer biotherapeutics hub
September 22, 2018 - Scientists predict how well the body will fight lung cancer by analyzing immune cell shapes
September 22, 2018 - New outbreak of rare eye disease identified in contact lens wearers
September 22, 2018 - Iterum Initiates SURE 2 and SURE 3 Phase 3 Clinical Trials of IV and Oral Sulopenem in Complicated Urinary Tract and Complicated Intra-abdominal Infections
September 22, 2018 - Research finds divide in dental health accessibility between city and regional areas
September 22, 2018 - Premature babies show better brain development when fed breast milk, finds study
September 22, 2018 - Novel system uses AI to detect abnormalities in fetal hearts
September 22, 2018 - UNC scientists reveal new approach to prevent obesity and diabetes
September 22, 2018 - CWRU receives NIH grant to learn how non-coding genes contribute to spread of colorectal cancer
September 22, 2018 - Scientists better understand influenza virus and how it spreads
September 22, 2018 - Scientists to focus on length of time when a person is alive and healthy
September 22, 2018 - Study shows positive financial impacts of Medicaid expansion for low-income Michigan residents
September 22, 2018 - Innovative approach for developing vaccine against most prevalent human malaria parasite
September 22, 2018 - Survey estimates caregiving costs for family members
September 22, 2018 - Inhibiting NF-kB improves heart function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
September 22, 2018 - Introducing new EMR system may affect several aspects of clinic workflow
September 22, 2018 - Study finds why some human genes are more popular with biomedical researchers
September 22, 2018 - Finding epigenetic signature appears to predict inflammation risk in serious type of IBD
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop light-based technique to measure very weak magnetic fields
September 22, 2018 - UAB researchers study dysfunction of the immune system associated with NSAID carprofen
September 22, 2018 - QIAGEN and DiaSorin launch automated, CE-marked workflow for high-throughput TB screening
September 22, 2018 - EFS checklist provides user-friendly tool for evaluating feeding skills in preterm infants
September 22, 2018 - Family history in blacks, Latinos associated with higher risk of AFib
September 22, 2018 - Researchers identify new genetic disorder in a human patient
September 22, 2018 - Cardiac MR With Contrast Feasible in Developing World
September 22, 2018 - Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people
September 21, 2018 - Children with asthma found to be disadvantaged in education and future occupation
September 21, 2018 - Interaction of chemical slurry and ancient shale in fracking wastewater causes radioactivity
September 21, 2018 - Scientists use mice to study transmission of Lyme disease bacteria by infected ticks
September 21, 2018 - Researchers find that sample size is key factor determining accuracy of study results
September 21, 2018 - Study shows how the drive to eat overpowers the brain’s signal to stop
September 21, 2018 - 30 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes
September 21, 2018 - Thousands of breast cancer gene variants engineered and analyzed
September 21, 2018 - The current fellowship interview process is cumbersome — Stanford researchers have a better idea
September 21, 2018 - Progenitor cells for human bone and cartilage have been identified
September 21, 2018 - Study reveals new therapeutic target for pediatric tumor-associated intractable epilepsy
September 21, 2018 - SLU’s College professor receives NIH grant to develop I-TEST project
September 21, 2018 - DermTech completes enrollment in clinical study to assess DNA damage and reversal
September 21, 2018 - Grieving patients treated with talk therapy have lower risk of suicide and psychiatric illness
September 21, 2018 - NIH and FDA call for eliminating involvement of RAC in human gene therapy experiments
September 21, 2018 - New system uses algorithm to convert 2D videos into 3D printed ‘motion sculptures’
September 21, 2018 - Sea squirt model reveals key molecules in dopaminergic neuron differentiation
September 21, 2018 - Effective management of neonatal abstinence syndrome requires coordinated ‘cascade of care’
September 21, 2018 - Refugees seek care for wounds of war
September 21, 2018 - Under the sea, in an octopus’ garden on ecstacy
September 21, 2018 - Eating foods with low nutritional quality ratings linked to cancer risk in large European cohort
September 21, 2018 - Giving kids honest information about water consumption may help them make healthy choices
September 21, 2018 - Horwitz Prize Awarded for Work on Hormones
September 21, 2018 - CHMP issues positive opinion supporting use of Trelegy Ellipta in broader group of COPD patients
September 21, 2018 - Scientists discover new molecules that work together to remove unwanted DNA
September 21, 2018 - Dr. Fenella France to deliver 2019 Plenary Lecture
September 21, 2018 - New research finds that MHC-II molecules have more influence on tumors than MHC-I
September 21, 2018 - Researchers study effects of cardiac cycle in simple learning task
September 21, 2018 - FDA takes new steps to address opioid crisis by approving Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy
September 21, 2018 - Positive Barhemsys Phase 3 Treatment Data Published in Anesthesia & Analgesia
September 21, 2018 - Celiac Disease Screening: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
September 21, 2018 - Autism linked to egg cells’ difficulty creating large proteins
September 21, 2018 - Tweaking nuclear pores could provide new avenue to battle against cancer
September 21, 2018 - Experts warn health care providers to slow down in allowing smart pill in patient care settings
September 21, 2018 - MoreGrasp reports breakthrough development of grasp neuroprosthetics activated by thought control
September 21, 2018 - Study reveals new way to target HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer
September 21, 2018 - CHMP grants positive opinion for VENCLYXTO plus rituximab for treating relapsed/refractory CLL
September 21, 2018 - Study offers solid link between visceral organs and brain’s reward, motivation system
More boys begin school a year late than girls, study finds

More boys begin school a year late than girls, study finds

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

More boys than girls begin school a year late and more girls than boys begin a year early. But researchers are not certain whether maturity is the explanation.

Researchers Sara Cools, Pål Schøne and Marte Strøm have studied the differences between boys and girls with regard to pupils who either defer or expedite school start in their article ‘Forskyvninger i skolestart: Hvilken rolle spiller kjønn og sosial bakgrunn?’ (‘Displacement in school start: The role of gender and social background’).

“Gender is the most important factor when it comes to deferred school start. Twice as many boys as girls start school a year late,” says Sara Cools.

Useful survey

The background for the study is the so-called maturity hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, girls mature intellectually earlier than boys do, in accordance with girls entering puberty earlier than boys. This uneven maturation process also results in a gender difference in school performance.

“We have initiated a larger project in which we are taking a closer look at gender differences in school performance, and the present survey is also a preparation for this larger study,” says Cools.

The data selection is gathered from Norwegian Education Base (NUDB) and consists of all children who completed lower secondary school between the years 1995 and 2008.

“This study of early and late school start does not tell us anything new or revolutionary, and neither can it confirm or refute the maturity hypothesis,” says Cools.
“But we believe it is important to map out which factors are decisive for deviations from the norm.”

The study shows that deferred school start is most common among boys, whereas expedited school start occurs mostly among girls.

“In total, most children start school at the regular time, in autumn the same year as they turn six, or seven for the children who started school before Reform 97,” Cools explains.  

“But approximately eight per cent of the girls who are born in January start school one year early, whereas approximately nine per cent of the boys born in December start a year late.”

One day’s age difference, such as being born on December 31 and January 1, normally involves starting school a year apart. This demonstrates how accidental it is whether you become the oldest or the youngest child in your class.

“The fact that more girls than boys have their school start expedited may also reflect the common assumption that girls are generally more mature,” says Cools.

An advantage to be the oldest

“What consequences does it have to be either the youngest or the oldest in the class?”
“Being the oldest is positive short-term. On average, those born in the very beginning of the year get better grades than those born just before Christmas,” says Cools.

However, she emphasises that this effect gradually fades out.

“Most studies do not find any significant long-term effect of being the oldest in the class. By long-term we mean that it no longer has any significance when the children are grown up, for instance when it comes to education and income.”

Being the youngest in the class also has consequences.

“Several studies show that those born in December, and particularly boys, are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. A Danish study shows that these children also have bigger chances of being caught for criminal offences.”

Cools and her colleagues have also looked at what significance parents’ education may have for early or late school start.

“In general, parents with higher education are more likely to change the time of their children’s school start. In particular, they are more likely to let their children start a year early,” says Cools.

“These children also seem to perform better. We don’t think this is because they start school a year before, but rather that those children who start school earlier would do well in any case.”
More boys than girls born in December have their school start deferred.

“It seems that we are more prone to draw the conclusion that boys who are born late in the year are not mature enough for regular school start,” she says.

Thinks girls mature earlier

According to Ingeborg Folløy Solli, economist and associate professor at the University of Stavanger Business School, there are many indications that girls mature earlier than boys.
“But we can’t be sure,” she admits.

Solli is part of the Agder Project (Agderprosjektet), where one of the aims is to develop and test a pre-school program that will contribute to giving children an improved and more equal learning foundation when they start school.

“We know that the oldest pupils perform better than the youngest. We also know that girls perform better than boys. The question is whether it also has to do with maturity, if girls mature earlier than boys? We don’t know this for sure, but there are many indications of this.”
According to her, it might be a positive thing to defer school start for the more school-immature children.

“Research shows that being the oldest in the class is an advantage. Thus for immature pupils, deferring school start may help the children perform on the same level as the rest of the class,” says   Solli.

“In Norway we already have a certain flexibility and the opportunity to start a year early or a year late for particularly mature or immature children. But the question remains whether there should be even more flexibility if the parents believe there are reasonable grounds for that.”

Cools’ survey showed that mature girls who started school a year early did not perform poorer than the class average.

“This confirms that these children were particularly mature and that the flexibility within the system is used in accordance with the intention,” says Solli.

“This is different in the U.S., for instance, where particularly resourceful parents often let their children start school a year late regardless of their level of maturity, in order to take advantage of the positive effect of being the oldest child in the class.”

Girls better than boys in Norwegian – and maths?

Solli emphasises that here in Norway the gender difference in school performance is biggest within the subject Norwegian as primary language.

“The girls perform much better than the boys in Norwegian. The gender differences are definitely biggest in this subject, and the differences increase throughout the entire primary and lower secondary school,” she says.

Solli refers to figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) showing that of those children who finished lower secondary school in the spring of 2017, the girls had an average mark of 4,2, whereas the boys had an average mark of 3,5.

In maths, however, the boys perform better than the girls. At least they did for a long time.

“The strange thing is that although the boys are on average better than the girls throughout the entire primary and lower secondary school, the figures show that even within this subject, the girls nevertheless end up with better average marks and examination marks,” says  Solli.
She has no explanation to why this is the case, however.

“Perhaps the exam is formulated very differently from the national tests.”

National tests versus exam

Marit Dorothea Bjørnstad, senior adviser at the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, emphasises that you cannot compare the results of the national tests and the exams, primarily because they measure different things.

“National tests measure skills, not subjects. The results aid teachers, head masters, municipalities and authorities in their work to ensure facilitated and high quality teaching to all students.”

The exam, on the other hand, is a final assessment of one subject.
“On the exam, the candidate is required to demonstrate that they have learned what they are supposed to according to the subject curriculum. The examination mark shows the individual pupils’ level of knowledge as expressed on the day of the exam,” she explains.
“National maths tests measure skills related to numeracy and algebra, measurements and geometry, statistics and probability. The exam will also test skills related to other areas within the subject.”

Weak students defer school start

Both the girls and the boys who start school a year late perform poorer than the class average when they finish tenth grade. The differences are bigger among the girls than the boys. According to Sara Cools, this may indicate that parents find it harder to defer school start for girls than for boys.

“These differences nevertheless seem to show that there were good reasons to defer school start for these children. Those who are displaced are generally the weaker students, and if we are to believe research on the effects of deferred school start, they would probably have performed less well if they had begun school at the regular time.”

She believes the reason why parents let their children begin school early or wait a year is that they fear the mature children might get bored or that the immature children might not be able to keep up with the teaching and the other pupils.

Source:

http://kjonnsforskning.no/en/2018/02/twice-many-boys-girls-start-school-late

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles