Introduction. Male Underachievement continues to be a major part of academics, not only in the Caribbean but worldwide. It has been heavily encouraged through negative stereotypes as well as media. For example in some television series, the protagonist is shown as being ‘too cool for school’ and in some cases has failing grades. The problem of male underachievement is becoming more prevalent within our society today, and can be seen as result due to a vichyssoise of problems such as peer pressure, negative portrayal by the media and lack of proper upbringing in homes.
This problem continues to be detrimental to our society, not only in terms of the short term but also in the long run. The best solution for the lack of performance in education is actually education itself. My problem statement is, “What are the social factors that contribute to male underachievement in____ ? ”The purpose of my research is simple; to ascertain and unearth the causal factors for male underachievement.
Some other useful questions are, 1) What are the results of male underachievement? 2) In what situations is it most likely to occur? ) What social factors may lead us to change this phenomenon? 4) What are the long term implications of this? I will undertake this task within my school community. My research shall also benefit future researchers of the same topic so that they may further their own work. Additionally it may seek to be beneficial to those who wish to combat these phenomena by steering them in the direction of remedies and methods of prevention. Finally I hope that my research may impact on factors that may lead their child to underachievement and what may be done to prevent this from occurring.
Definition of Key Terms Ascertain- attain knowledge of Vichyssoise- Mixture or combination. Literature Review. “There are also socio-psychological reasons for boys being outperformed by girls. Boys in certain circumstances will deliberately suppress their academic competence just to fit in with the macho culture of their peers. ” Theodore. It may be seen that teenaged boys are susceptible to many negative factors that would lead to underachievement in school. One of these major factors continues to be that of peer pressure as boys attempt to fit in with their peers. Teenage alcoholism is the excessive and progressive use of alcohol in adolescents and young adults between the age of 12 and 20. ” (Bailey J. 2000). It may be seen that teenagers are susceptible to serveral negative factors which would lead to consumption of alcohol. These include; the nature of family life, school life, peer pressure and advertisements by local media. He also saw that it is frowned upon in Jamaican societies to be smart, contrastingly if a boy could fight he is deemed as more attractive to women.
This is a challenging situation which has been occurring more and more in the Trinidad based schools. However also within Trinidad, one may see that underachievement is a phenomena more common in ‘non-prestige schools’. For instance in the year 2011, on receiving 33 National scholarships Naparima Boys College Principal stated, “For so many years we have heard that girls do better than boys. We are claiming this year that we have destroyed that myth of male under-achievement. Likewise in 2011 schools such as Presentation College San Fernando and Chaguanas have both attained the Presidents Medal. Observation of the scholarship list in Trinidad highlights that male prestige schools do well and attain scholarships, holding their own against the girl schools. From this we may infer then that the type of school a boy attends will greatly influence his life as he will be socialized into their culture. George J. (2011) notes that in Trinidad the lack of a father figure may result in poor grades and what we deem to be underachievement.
In an interview with the Newsday she stated with regard to children looking up to teachers as fathers, “They worked together and there was improvement, but in another schools where the principal was trying another strategy, the male teachers couldn’t care less. ” This shows how fundamental the role of a father is in a child’s life and how their presence or absence can make him into a man of the future. Therefore we can see that in Trinidad the marginalization of the father figure role is leading to not only an increase in male underachievement but also eventually an increase in other social problems such as crime.
Singh S. (2007) sees underachievement as occurring even at higher levels of education. For instance she has noted that “females have yet again outshone males with 65 percent of the first degrees and 63 percent of higher degrees being secured by females. ” This presents a worrying situation as it means that there would be less men who are educated and employable within the country, what this could lead to is an eventual labour vacuum, due to the inability to fill positions. This she argues is based mainly on cultural factors, which must be addressed.
If this is not done, the performance of males may continue to spiral downwards leading to disastrous results. Data Collection Sources This study enlisted the use of both primary and secondary sources of data. Primary sources refer to data that has been collected by the researcher themselves, while secondary sources refers to all data collected from through another person’s work. The population surveyed consisted of twenty (20) teenagers, who were chosen at random. This was done to eliminate any bias.
The purpose of this project is to discover the consumption patterns of teens in this country for the Caribbean region to get knowledge from. Primary data was collected through a questionnaire that contained 15 questions. These were of two types, open-ended and those that were close ended, they were constructed in order to gain the most relevant information. This method of research was utilized as it allowed me to obtain answers, quickly and cost effectively. Additionally, the use of secondary resources was also enlisted as they added depth to the study.
These took the form of statistics and other related information from several online sources. The information was deemed to be reliable and valid in nature, and as such contributed positively to the study. Presentation of Data Figure 1. 1 This shows the grades students obtained in school. Three students, attained A’s and two B’s. The average grade attained was C. Five students got grade D’s. Figure 1. 2 shows how many hours’ students got on average per night. Two students slept for four hours, nine for five hours, four for six hours and five for eight hours.
Figure 1. 3 This chart highlights how often students consumed alcohol. 65% of respondents claimed they did so on a regular basis, with the remaining 35% claiming they did so rarely or never at all. Figure 1. 4 This figure shows how many hours students spent studying on average per night. Five students spent one hour studying. Ten spent two hours studying, while three and two claimed they studied for three and four hours respectively. Interpretation of Data Most students underachieved academically. We see this through the results obtained in figure 1. . We see that only three students claimed to get A’s. Most students however, attained a ‘C’ grading. We can therefore see that there is much underperformance by students. We also see that five students attained grade ‘D’s. We can see from the data collected that many students do not sleep for the required amount of six hours. Two students slept for only four hours per night which could lead them to be too tired to perform satisfactorily in school. Nine other students slept for five hours and as such may have also been fatigued in their efforts.
Only nine students slept for the recommended amount of time per night. The data indicated that most students engaged in the consumption of alcohol on a regular basis. Only 35% of respondents claimed to this rarely or not at all. The effect of alcohol consumption on the brain can be seen as detrimental to academic performance, as students will have impaired levels of concentration. Lastly we see that the majority of students spent little time studying per night. Fifteen students spent less than three hours studying per night.
This can be seen as a direct result for the underachievement of students in their examinations. It was seen that only two students saw it necessary to put in the effort to study for four hours a night. Discussion of Findings Research done by Bailey (2000) shows that the progressive use of alcohol in young adults has been increasing. The research done showed that 65% of students interviewed claimed to be regular drinkers. Drinking also seemed to have a positive correlation with lack of educational success as students may come to see academia as being ‘uncool’.
It was seen that students who attended ‘prestige’ schools tended to do not only better in their studies but also seemed to put in more hours of work. This is resultant of socialization into the culture of the school. Students who however attended government based schools seemed to lack this drive and determination taking school work less seriously. This can explain why schools such as Naparima Boys seem to continuously achieve success. The marginalization of the role of the male in education has been a heavy factor in determining academic success.
It was found that students who had male role models, either teacher or father did better in terms of academics. Those who did not however, tended to not value education and opt for other ways of gaining acceptance. Such students typically turned to engaging in sport or breaking of school rules. This research done therefore supports the claims of George (2011). It may also be seen that students who put more work into their studies generally yielded far greater results than those who did not. Many students, were found to spend their time unproductively watching television and playing video games.
However, those who utilized their time studying in a proactive manner were the ones who attained grade A’s and success. Also one should see that those students who slept for too many hours or too little hours on a night were less likely to succeed. It is therefore important to note that one must get enough rest in order to be functional and do well. Conclusion The purpose was to determine what factors can influence male underachievement and what affects it may have on a person’s wellbeing. Based on the data collected, the majority of respondents were found to be underperforming.
Most of the respondents claimed that they simply did not see the value in studying and as such opted for other activities. Many of these claimed that they could attain success via less conventional methods and education was an unnecessary thing. It is my opinion that most people know that education is valuable and useful in today’s society, however not enough is being done to stress this importance to the male youth. A lack of proper education of these may result in labour gaps within the future as business’ may not be able to hire the correct amount of workers needed to run efficiently.
Therefore we can see that the choices made by our youth today may render them jobless in the future. We must therefore educate males in our society and get them to better appreciate the value of education. Limitations The sample size used (20) was quite small and thus the information that was obtained may show results that can vary from others. Also some of the open ended questions were left unanswered due to time constraints and thus findings were compromised. Notably some questionnaires were returned late by respondents, however al were completed. Recommendations A suggestion that can be implemented is that the Ministry of Education can set up lectures in order to stress the significance of education for males. -Schools should host more career guidance seminars in order to educate young males on what jobs they can potentially obtain from continuing their academic studies. -Laws should be enforced by law enforcement to prevent under aged boys from purchasing alcohol. Bibliography http://www. trinidadexpress. com/commentaries/100319939. html http://www. guardian. co. tt/lifestyle/2011/10/17/naps-boys-debunk-male-underachievement-myth http://www. newsday. co. tt/news/0,67348. html
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