Joe’s Reading Log

January 23, 2006

The Downfall of Gender Neutral Education

Filed under: Education — Joe Martin @ 5:03 pm

To any parent with children, it would seem obvious that boys and girls have different learning styles and personalities. The educational establishment is apparently just discovering this insight. Dr. Helen comments on a Newsweek article that examines the ways that boys are failing in schools. She highlights a paragraph from the article that I’d like to highlight as well:

For Nikolas Arnold, 15, a sophomore at a public high school in Santa Monica, Calif., college is a distant dream. Nikolas is smart: he’s got an encyclopedic knowledge of weaponry and war. When he was in first grade, his principal told his mother he was too immature and needed ADHD drugs. His mother balked. “Too immature?” says Diane Arnold, a widow. “He was six and a half!” He’s always been an advanced reader, but his grades are erratic. Last semester, when his English teacher assigned two girls’ favorites—”Memoirs of a Geisha” and “The Secret Life of Bees” Nikolas got a D. But lately, he has a math teacher he likes and is getting excited about numbers. He’s reserved in class sometimes. But now that he’s more engaged, his grades are improving slightly and his mother, who’s pushing college, is hopeful he will begin to hit his stride. Girls get A’s and B’s on their report cards, she tells him, but that doesn’t mean boys can’t do it, too.

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January 20, 2006

We Need Men to Educate Boys

Filed under: Education — Joe Martin @ 8:46 pm

Why are more women than men graduating from high school and entering college? Shannon Love thinks that boys learn poorly when fathers aren’t around.

Girls do better with mom and boys do better with dad. In most divorces and never married families, the mother becomes the primary care giver with Dad showing up on the weekends. … I think that boys have suffered more from the breakdown of the family than girls and that is reflected in their academic performance. It is not the only cause of the gap but I bet it is a major one and one that receives precious little attention.

It’s an argument I can buy. And it’s just one more reason why divorce is a selfish escape route that doesn’t make things better “for the children”.

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