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Don't Blame the Boys

Stories in the press and research continue to chronicle the gender bias against females in the classroom. However it is the boys that are falling behind.
by

Patrick Kelly

on 7 May 2012

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Transcript of Don't Blame the Boys

Don't Blame the Boys "In a class of their own: boys benefit even more than girls from single-sex schools,"
Alison Gordon in The Mail on Sunday (UK), June 11 2000, p. 42. "Boys perceive the coed school as an institution run largely by women and run largely according to women's rules: sit still, don't make too much noise, don't be disruptive."
- Marcia Gentry, Robert Gable, and Mary Rizza, "Students' perceptions of classroom activities: are there grade-level and gender differences?" Journal of Educational Psychology, volume 94, number 3 (September 2002), pages 539-544. "In the [coed] environment that we had before, we spent most of our time taking care of crises."
- Benjamin Wright Principal Thurgood Marshall Public School "both boys and girls are academically disadvantaged in co-educational schools, but that the disadvantage is greater for the boys."
- Graham Able - Dulwich College Female teachers – male teachers tolerate behaviours female teachers don’t. Boys learn through impulsive behaviours. Females tend to not ignore this type of behaviour so boys spend more time in the office.
- Whitmore, Richard. Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That’s Leaving Them Behind. New York: American Management Association, 2010. Much of the curriculum is literature that does not appeal to boys. They need action packed books and graphic novels about boys, and non-fiction books. "boys simply have different needs than girls and those needs aren't being met" The TDSB is considering an all-boys school.
At the Boys’ Leadership Academy the curriculum and teaching style would be geared toward boys through things like reading selections and increased physical activity. Stories in the press and research continue to chronicle the gender bias against females in the classroom. it is the boys that are falling behind. “The real gender gap is not in ability but in motivation -- not in what girls and boys can do, but in what girls and boys want to do: specifically, in what they want to learn, and how they want to learn it,”
- Leonard Sax in Education Week "persistent gender differences in computer attitudes, ability, and use have been observed. These observations indicate that males have the advantage."
- Dr. Robin Kay
Gender Differences in Computer Attitudes, Ability, and Use in the Elementary Classroom Physical education is perceived as male dominated. In the United States Article IX attempted to legislate an even playing field. However, there is not an article IX for dance, drama or English. In fact, "when a class is headed by a woman teacher boys are more likely to be seen as disruptive. And disruptive children often end up in remedial classes or getting Ritalin or some other drug to "control" their behaviour."
Thomas Dee - Swarthmore College There is no proof male teachers boost boys academic performance.
Mike Parr - Nipissing University What about an all boys school? Does the teacher's gender make a difference? And "Teacher gender was not a factor in the perception of students in either same-sex or coeducational physical education classes"
Cathy Lirgg, Environmental perceptions of students in same-sex and coeducational physical education classes. Journal of Educational Psychology. Vol. 86(2), June 1994, pp. 183-192 So that may still be debated. But the teacher that creates a climate that is supportive, active, organized, and caring should promote learning to a greater degree than one that does not have those characteristics. Gender is not a factor. One last issue, Single gender schools versus single gender classes. We will finish with the boys' view.
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