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School very different for boys and girls



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 22nd 04, 05:21 AM
Dusty
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Default School very different for boys and girls

Start of School Very Different for Parents of Boys, Parents of Girls

September 22, 2004



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by Glenn Sacks

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We received the notices for my son's and daughter's school in the mail
recently. My soon-to-be-first grade daughter jumped up and down, wanting to
know who her new teacher will be, what room she will be in, and "when do we
get to start?" My middle school son examined his letter, and optimistically
noted, "the first week is mostly minimum days, except for a Friday, but
that's almost the weekend, when there's no school. So the week will go by
quickly."

I called my son's old school, which my daughter will now be attending, to
ask a question. The women in the office all know me. My name is associated
with discipline problems in class, inappropriate mischief on the yard, and
calls home to dad. I hear the slight apprehension in the secretary's voice.

"Don't worry, you won't have any problems this time," I tell her
apologetically. "This is my daughter."

Modern schools are the land of "girl good, boy.." well, not bad, maybe, but
a problem to be solved. Of "If only he would." and "someday he'll." and, my
favorite, "he's a nice boy, but."

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.

The dearth of male teachers--particularly at the elementary level, where
female teachers outnumber male teachers six to one--is a problem for boys.
The average teacher is a well-meaning and dedicated woman who always did
well in school and simply cannot understand why the boys won't sit still, be
quiet and do their work. Instead, boys need strong, charismatic teachers who
mix firm discipline with an understanding and good-natured acceptance of
boyish energy.

Another problem is that teachers are weighed down by paperwork and
secretarial labor which limits the amount of time they can spend planning
and delivering creative, hands-on, boy-friendly lessons.

Perhaps most importantly, there is little outlet for natural boyish energy
and exuberance in schools. Recess and physical education time allotted
during the day are insufficient for boys' needs, and the trend has been to
reduce this time rather than to increase it.

The educational establishment has reacted to the boy crisis in education in
a way reminiscent of Bertolt Brecht's famous poem about calls to reform or
dissolve the unpopular government of East Germany: the government found it
difficult to reform itself, so would instead choose to "dissolve the people
and elect another."

Similarly, rather than reform a system woefully out of touch with boys' real
world natures and needs, our schools find it easier to demand that boys be
something other than boys.



  #2  
Old September 22nd 04, 03:09 PM
Beachcomber
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Similarly, rather than reform a system woefully out of touch with boys' real
world natures and needs, our schools find it easier to demand that boys be
something other than boys.



I went to elementary school in the early 1960's. There was no Ritlin
or diagnosis of "Attention Deficit Syndrome". As a boy, I don't
always remember sitting still all the time, but we did respect the
teachers and did what they asked of us, more often then not.

If a kid did something really bad, he or she had to stay after school
or see the principal. That or the prospect of a note or a phone call
to our parents was enough to put a scare into us and make us behave.

I have a problem understand what is so different today? Are the kids
that different? Are they wilder? Are they breathing air of a
different chemical compositon? Or are the teachers less skilled and
less willing to put the effort into correcting behavior. Anyone?

Beachcomber




  #3  
Old September 22nd 04, 05:01 PM
Bill in Co.
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Beachcomber wrote:
Similarly, rather than reform a system woefully out of touch with boys'

real
world natures and needs, our schools find it easier to demand that boys

be
something other than boys.



I went to elementary school in the early 1960's. There was no Ritlin
or diagnosis of "Attention Deficit Syndrome". As a boy, I don't
always remember sitting still all the time, but we did respect the
teachers and did what they asked of us, more often then not.


Exactly! Well said. Truer words have never been spoken.

If a kid did something really bad, he or she had to stay after school
or see the principal. That or the prospect of a note or a phone call
to our parents was enough to put a scare into us and make us behave.


Right on! (those days are a thing of the past)

I have a problem understand what is so different today? Are the kids
that different? Are they wilder? Are they breathing air of a
different chemical compositon? Or are the teachers less skilled and
less willing to put the effort into correcting behavior. Anyone?


They're more spoiled. And this is the fallout of so much more prevalent
absentee parenting. Hell, you're lucky if you can find a 2 parent home
nowadays. And as for someone being home for the kids these days? Don't
make me laugh. It's more important to have those 2 incomes, don't ya know!

Does anybody have any quality time for the kids growing up these days?
Nah, we're all too busy at work. Do we have some misplaced priorities
here??? No, can't be! Hey, but at least we can all feel
"self-actualized" today! (ME ME ME).

So, is this rocket science? Nope. We are reaping what we've sowed.
Praise the Lord!

But, hey, at least we have TVs and cell phones and other prized possessions
in all our rooms!


  #4  
Old September 22nd 04, 06:25 PM
AZ Astrea
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Default


"Beachcomber" wrote in message
...


Similarly, rather than reform a system woefully out of touch with boys'

real
world natures and needs, our schools find it easier to demand that boys

be
something other than boys.



I went to elementary school in the early 1960's. There was no Ritlin
or diagnosis of "Attention Deficit Syndrome". As a boy, I don't
always remember sitting still all the time, but we did respect the
teachers and did what they asked of us, more often then not.

If a kid did something really bad, he or she had to stay after school
or see the principal. That or the prospect of a note or a phone call
to our parents was enough to put a scare into us and make us behave.

I have a problem understand what is so different today? Are the kids
that different? Are they wilder? Are they breathing air of a
different chemical compositon? Or are the teachers less skilled and
less willing to put the effort into correcting behavior. Anyone?

---------------
No mention of the parents?? The parents are supposed to be the first line
in teaching their kids values, morals and that they are not to misbehave at
school. Or maybe THAT is the problem. Parents aren't supposed to hurt poor
little bratleighs self esteem by actually being a parent and telling him no?
Hell apparantly parents aren't even in the equation when it comes to
behavior. Only teachers and bad air are. Sheesh.

~AZ~


Beachcomber






 




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