What Matters Most : Evidence-Based Findings of Key Factors Affecting the Educational Experiences and Outcomes for Girls and Boys Throughout Their Primary and Secondary Schooling

Publication Date



Invited supplementary submission to House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training: Inquiry Into the Education of Boys (MIMEO).
See also: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/edt/eofb/index.htm


Much of the prevailing public interest and media 'hype' surrounding gender issues in education - especially differences in boys' and girls' experiences and outcomes of schooling - amount to little more than anecdotal rhetoric and opinion. In this expanded, supplementary submission to the Inquiry Into the Education of Boys, key findings are presented highlighting 'real' effects from recent and emerging evidence-based research on teacher and school effectiveness. For example, whereas on average, boys' literacy skills, general academic achievements, attitudes, behaviours and experiences of schooling are notably poorer than those of girls - despite their socioeconomic and sociocultural backgrounds - these differential gender effects pale into relative insignificance compared with class/teacher effects. That is, the quality of teaching and learning provision with major emphases on literacy and related verbal reasoning and written communication skills are by far the most salient influences on students' cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes of schooling - regardless of either student or teacher gender. Indeed, findings from the related local and international evidence-based research indicate that 'what matters most' is quality teaching, supported by strategic teacher professional development!

subs111_1[1].pdf (2484 kB)
Submission 111.1