British Journal of Sociology of Education vol:27 issue:3 pages:293-309
In this study we examined whether the underachievement of boys in language at the end of secondary education is related to school-related attitudes. Data were drawn from the LOSO project, a longitudinal research project in secondary education. The results showed that there were gender differences in language achievement in favour of girls in the lower tracks, but not in the highest track. The underachievement of boys was associated with boys' less positive relationships with teachers, less positive well-being at school and less positive attitude towards schoolwork. Furthermore, the results showed that - in the lower tracks - boys who were the least attentive in the classroom, the least interested in learning tasks and the least motivated towards learning tasks achieved better than expected. Post-hoc analyses revealed that these are the more intelligent boys. Possible explanations of the demotivation of the more intelligent boys in the lower tracks are discussed.