How Girls Achieve

The Power of Positive Identities and Feminist Schools

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 Original Photo taken in Ghana in 2009

Original Photo taken in Ghana in 2009


Book Summary: 62 million girls are not in school. Still, the positive impacts of educating girls are clear; they raise healthier families, build stronger communities and develop more economic opportunities for themselves and others.

Recognizing these positive outcomes, there have been a number of recent initiatives, most notably, the White House Let Girls Learn campaign, developed, “to open doors of education for girls around the world.” Yet, while these types of initiatives promote educational access, they barely address the specific approaches necessary to facilitate girls’educational achievement. Additionally, both policy leaders and scholars rarely examine the connections between girls’ educational achievement and its broader political consequences.

Accordingly, this book examines the experiences of girls that attend non-elite schools both in the U.S. and Africa and highlights the specific role of schools, and public policy, as conduits of important social-emotional skills critical for their educational achievement. Through a discussion on innovative concepts, such as the importance of establishing “achievement nets” (networks) of support and the power offeminist schools to spread “achievement-oriented identities,” the book begins to develop answers to one of the most important questions facing education systems worldwide,namely, how can achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students be closed?

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