The purpose of the article is to relate the discussion about boys in education to the general issue of why some students lose out in secondary education programmes. The political ambition of the past two decades has been that no adolescents should lose out in the secondary education system. Many resources have been invested in achieving the goal that 95% of a youth group should complete a secondary education, but with a limited effect. At the same time, boys have come to make up an increasing proportion of the group of young people without a secondary education. This article discusses some central explanations for why more boys than girls lose out in the education system, based on three different theoretical approaches: theories of social reproduction, theories concerning the boys’ anti-school culture and theories of institutional differentiation/polarisation. The article's empirical basis is a qualitative interview study with over 100 pupils attending vocational schools, half of whom were interviewed for a second time after 6 months.
Main Research Area:
Vocational Education and Training – Emerging Issues?, 2013