How are Boys Doing at School?
The Trouble With Boys
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.