Discussion in 'Education' started by Angel Heart, Aug 22, 2007.
I think schools in general are now stacked against many boys. Part of it had to do with making girls 'equal' which has translated into more verbal assessments. Story problems have become more 'gender nonspecific,' meaning that the more 'boy orientated' bias that used to be there has largely been done which may or may not be part of the reason that boys scores have been dipping.
Boys through the 9th grade or so, tend to dislike reading anything that seems 'non-boy', girls do not have the same problem with required reading, (sort of why it's hard to get the bf to see chick flicks, but not so difficult for women to see action films). That's probably why so many math problems had to do with trains, running, skipping stones, etc.
I support the efforts of setting up some 'all boy schools' and 'all girl schools'. Of course the choice should be left up to the parents. If NY can fund an Islamic language school, same gender should also be available.
Girls too can have problems with schools, though usually in an inverse order. Some have problems doing their best from 6th-12th grades.
Related to the theme, if I had a younger boy today, say from 4th-9th grade, I'd grab the book, "The Dangerous Book for Boys".
I think that the school set-up in general isn't great for a typical, active boy. There isn't a lot of physical activity, unless a teacher specifically sets it up that way, and there aren't a lot of outlets for boys physically energy needs.
At the same time, lots of studies have been done demonstrating that schools punish girls for talking out, being too giggly, etc. more than they punish boys for similar things because its "understood" that boys are going to be more unable to behave themselves than girls. Additionally, girls are often stopped from arguing with eachother and told to "be nice," far more than boys...which some hypothesize is why girls are far more manipulative and passive-aggressive (the age-old adage that girls are far meaner than boys)...we let boys "fight it out," but we tell girls to "be little ladies." Read "The Secret Lives of Girls" for more info on this fascinating subject.
I DO think that we are doing a disservice to many boys in our public school system. But often, I think that we could help A LOT of young men by providing technical, hands-on, education earlier. In my district we have an INCREDIBLE vocational-technical school. Starting in their sophomore year, students can choose to attend English, science, social studies, and math classes at our high school...and then they spend the rest of the day at the vo-tech school studying everything from culinary arts to welding. The vo-tech school places them in a paid-internship for their last year..so they are actually working and making money their senior year. Often they go right to work full-time for these companies, but the vo-tech school sends over 65% of its students to higher-level education as well...demonstrating that just because you majored in auto-tech it doesn't mean you can't go to college to learn more. The school is so competitive that it doesn't take people who don't keep up their grades or maintain excellent attendance records. I have male students now in 8th grade who can't stay awake through an entire school day...but could take apart my entire car and put it back together perfectly...why are we putting this type of kinesthetic knowledge to waste? Instead, we continue to force these kids into classrooms they don't like until they lose interest and drop out...
I don't know about you Gem, but I've never had more than two girls that 'spoke out' in my classes without being called upon, after the 2nd day of class. Boys? Never less than 3, more often 5 or more. I teach 6-8.
At the same time, while girls 'chat'; boys truly disrupt the class. Much less so, if the lessons are male friendly. Problem is, the examples given in text are more aligned towards girls. Not a problem if I have time, but when I don't it's not boy friendly.
I think it depends upon the teacher...but I think that there might be two different areas here: discipline and educational delivery. Maybe...boys, in general, are permitted to "act out" more in class because they are boys. At the same time, delivery of instruction seems to be geared more towards girls.
My point exactly, today is more girl driven, especially in regards to novels and presentation of SS.
Wanna guess how many 'girls'/boys' go for extra reading, whether 1st or 8th?
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