Date of Award

Fall 2015

Degree Type

Certificate of Advanced Study


Educational Leadership


Michael K. Barbour


This case study focuses on male gender disparity in education and the large numbers of males referred and receiving special education services. The data indicates that females outperform males academically, and that the males behaviors impacts their academic success. The connection to males at a young age being placed in low ability reading groups based upon behaviors, and their motivation and academic achievement is affected negatively. The eighth grade students at a PK - 8th grade rural Connecticut school participated in this researcher’s case study. The case study looked at, how students perceived their education, and what role their education plays in their future goals and plans. The students found education to be an important part of their future plans, and also perceived their education as a positive experience. The females consistently outperformed the males academically. The special education students were predominately males, as were all of the office referrals for behavioral issues. The females indicated a positive attitude toward languages arts, as also seen in their academic achievement, which is contrary to the lower scoring males, who share a negative attitude toward language arts . The results indicate that gender differences impact academic achievement, referrals to special education, and behavioral office referrals. The male’s positive opinion of their education, and their view on its importance for future goals allows for a solid foundation to explore more engaging learning environments for males. Males referrals rate to special education and behavioral office referrals create gender inequities in education and require further study to understand the effects of gender-stereotyping on male academic achievement.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the coursework required for the post-masters' Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Educational Leadership.



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