The Mail is reporting that an education leader has called for schools to persuade girls to ditch studying psychology and switch to ‘hard sciences’.
Barnaby Lenon, who chairs the Independent Schools Council and was headmaster at Harrow, said too many girls were taking the subject when they were capable of getting good grades in physics and chemistry instead.
This is making it more difficult for them to gain places on sought-after university courses such as medicine and engineering, he said.
Mr Lenon said that private schools had helped to increase the number of girls studying sciences but this was not mirrored in the state sector…
‘Teachers should be saying, you’d be good at physics and it leads to more university degree options than psychology,’ he told the Times Educational Supplement.
‘It’s in the interest of the country as a whole that more pupils should be doing hard sciences and that there should not be a gender imbalance within individual subjects…’
But Professor Catriona Morrison of the British Psychological Society said: ‘Discussions that continually polarise science subjects as gender-specific are unhelpful and reinforce stereotypes.
‘Students chose different subjects for a range of reasons. It is complex and multifaceted.’
Breaking this down a bit, is Barnaby Lenon right to suggest that psychology is a subject valued less highly than other science A-levels by leading universities/courses?
If this is the case, is it fair? Is it actually a less challenging subject or is there an image or perception problem?
And, overall, do you agree that state schools are doing girls a disservice by failing to encourage them to take other sciences instead of doing psychology?
Please let us know your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…
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