Wednesday, February 1, 2006

How are Boys Doing at School?

How are Boys Doing at School?


The Trouble With Boys

Peg Tyre

January 30,2006

Tyre cites studies in public Schools across America that point to boys as "falling behind" and "seeing doors close and opportunities leave."

She says that "boys are twice as likely than girls to be diagnosed as special ed and placed in special ed classes than girls are in elementary schools."

She says"boys are loosing ground to girls in standardized writing tests in high schools."

She further states that" thirty years ago, men were 58 percent of college campus populations, now they are 44 percent." She claims that these numbers effect us as a nation.

The Gates Foundation according to her is reaching out to underprivileged boys now.

Tyre says that part of the reason the boys can't be shown to excel is that for the last twenty years the schools have defined academic success too narrowly and too quantifiable and that this is hurting boys and their chances.

She says that "boys are 47percent more likely to experience learning problems, or have emotional problems or speech problems than girls  in the grade first to fifth."

She points out that education has become more highly standardized; which has put more pressure on teachers to teach in acertain way, instead of tailoring their teaching to the individual child. Meanwhile, the classroom size has gotten bigger. Sports programs have been cut and children get less time for recreation.

Boys tend to have better hand- eye coordination, but their motor skills are less developed than girls in kindergarten; which means that they cannot hold a pencil very easily. They also prefer not to sit still too long.Girls do not have this problem.

In Boulder Colorado, a principal launched anew experiment: she had her teachers read the book "The Minds of Boys" by Gurian  and she created a classroom that was full of fast and active lessons that boys and girls could enjoy.The boys upped their grades!

Tyre points out that boys like to stare down their fears like primates and therefore they do not tell people in middle school when they feel overwhelmed.

Tyre quotes a scientist's findings, Deborah Y   at McLean Hospital, who says that boys' brains (the pre frontal cortex) are two years behind girls in development.

Tyre suggests that older men in boys' families need to reach out and help them achieve better.

What do you think will help these boys? Do they need family outreach? More active lessons? smaller classes? Write out your comments.




princesssaurora said...

Huh...I have to ponder this....thankfully all my kids are excellent students, so far!

Be well,

sugar1337 said...

I think boys are just being "boys" and society just seems to keep labeling them which only hurts them in the end.

lisbnjvi said...

I am having problems with my 10 year old son with his school work and his grades.  So I totally understand what this article is saying.  I REFUSE to allow him the sexist way of thinking of "Boys will be boys" and that they don't do well in school because they are boys and therefore have a shorter attention span.  I believe they can learn just as easily as girls, they just have to learn to FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS!  This is their hardest lesson I believe.  And, with boys, schools will tend to let them "glide through" to the next grade with terrible grades and they don't care about that.  I will not allow that to happen.  As far as having an older male influence for my son, nope, not gonna happen, my husband's attitude is "he is a boy, that's how they are".  Not gonna fly with me that's for sure!
Hugs and love,

psychfun said...

I saw that with John's posting & read the article & have it for my students for extra credit.

sunnyside46 said...

Do you remember several years agowhen girls were touted as being disadvantaged and money was shelled out for special programs like Title X?
I certainly agree withe hte part about teachers not being allowed to tailor their ljesson's to the student any more.