K-12 schools not geared to Boys
by Glenn Sacks
Excerpts from: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/sacks2.html
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 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.
The full column appeared in the Washington Times (9/12/04), the Albuquerque Journal (9/10/04), and the Omaha World-Herald (9/4/04).
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