Posted by: Tony Carson | 20 September, 2007

Schools a systemic struggle for boys

There are more women teachers than men; more girls than boys go to college: female dominated schools are becoming terra incognito to males.

This op-ed in The Christian Science Monitor is an interesting appeal to a return to single sex education:  Single-sex schools help children thrive. An extract …

When young boys arrive at school today they enter a world dominated by women teachers and administrators as the percentage of male teachers in the nation’s public schools is at the lowest level in 40 years. The girls around them read faster, control their emotions better, and are more comfortable with today’s educational emphasis on cooperative study and expressing feelings. Boys favor visual processing and do not have the hand-motor control that girls readily achieve in early grades. There’s hardly any of the physical action, competition, or structure boys so often crave. And they’d rather do just about anything than express their feelings.

For these and other reasons, boys have trouble paying attention in class. They often ignore instructions and generate sloppy work. They are three to four times more likely to suffer from developmental disorders, and twice as likely as girls to be classified as learning-disabled. Many are punished for physical outbursts, controlled and medicated simply for behaving like boys (1 in 5 Caucasian boys spends time on Ritalin). They may not even be allowed to run during recess. This means that boys often get off to a bad start, fail to catch up, and frequently develop an aversion to school.

According to a comprehensive report by the Education Department, elementary school boys are 50 percent more likely than girls to repeat a grade and they drop out of high school a third more often. Boys from minority and lower-income families fare the worst. In the end, America’s K-12 educational system turns out legions of young men ill-prepared or disinterested in advancing their education, even though its dramatic impact on future earnings is well documented. This is bad for men, women, the country’s economic future, and all of society.

Another article, this one in the Toronto Star entitled Girls study harder than boys suggests that the relative success of girls over boys in school today has more to do with effort and expectations:

Young men and women are also quite different in terms of the amount of time they spend on homework: only 30 per cent of boys spent at least four hours a week on homework, compared with 41 per cent of girls.

The study also found that young men had lower expectations placed upon them: as many as 60 per cent had parents who expected them to complete a university degree, well behind the 70 per cent of young women in the same situation.

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Responses

  1. Yet for years girls were expected to learn in the same way as boys and were called unintelligent if they had a different learning style.

    Women still face male oriented work places.

    Why is it the downfall of society because it is now males being affected?

  2. Easy. No one’s talking about downfalls, they’re talking change and expectations and effort.

    I’ll add this to the post:

    Young men and women are also quite different in terms of the amount of time they spend on homework: only 30 per cent of boys spent at least four hours a week on homework, compared with 41 per cent of girls.

    The study also found that young men had lower expectations placed upon them: as many as 60 per cent had parents who expected them to complete a university degree, well behind the 70 per cent of young women in the same situation.


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