Friday, September 24, 2004

Start Of School Very Different For Parents Of Boys, Parents Of Girls - Glenn Sacks

Start Of School Very Different For Parents Of Boys, Parents Of Girls - Glenn Sacks: "Simply put, modern schools are not boy-friendly. This can be seen from the time boys enter school, when many of them are immediately branded as behavior problems. The line of elementary school kids who used to gather every day after school in my son's class for their behavior reports--all boys. The names of kids on the side of the chalkboard who misbehaved and would lose recess--all boys. The nine million children, many as young as five or six, who are given Ritalin so they will sit still and 'behave'--almost all boys.

Girls get better grades than boys, and boys are far more likely than girls to drop out of school or to be disciplined, suspended, held back, or expelled. Boys are four times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as girls, and the vast majority of learning-disabled students are boys. By high school the typical boy is a year and a half behind the typical girl in reading and writing.

Modern K-12 education is not suited to boys' needs and learning styles. Success in school is tightly correlated with the ability to sit still, be quiet and complete work. The fact that many young boys are bodily kinesthetic learners who crave physical, hands-on and energetic lessons is inconvenient, and is thus largely ignored.

The trend against competition and the promotion of cooperative learning strategies run counter to boys' natural competitiveness and individual initiative. Group projects and lessons in which there are no right or wrong answers, and from which solid conclusions cannot be drawn, tend to frustrate boys, who often view them as pointless.

Efforts to make schools gentler and to promote women's writing, while understandable, have pushed aside the action and adventure literature which boys have treasured for generations. In their place are subtle, reflective works which often hold little interest for boys."

What can I say - this guy is right! We need a revival of the "action and adventure literature" for our little boys. There is nothing wrong with giving boys and girls different assignments!

As the mother of 2 boys and one girl, I can tell you that boys need an entirely different approach to schooling and learning than girls do - not just because of their learning "styles" but because of their entire testosterone-soaked little brains.

However politically incorrect this may be, boys are different from girls! Vive l'difference!

In the name of "helping" girls, we have totally disregarded our boys. How about we go back to gender-based academies at least through middle school, and preferably through high school? Both girls and boys would get the educational emphases they need without the distractions of the other gender.

And just don't even get me started on our abandonment of the gifted children! That's another rant!

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