Monday, February 11, 2013

How are Boys Doing?

Ed Week has an article  here discussing the research that is showing boys do worse in school than girls do.  The author suggests that schools should revamp curriculum and some procedures to make them more boy friendly.

Yeah, boys are a little squirmier;  it would probably be better—health-wise—if all schools were set up so kids could move around more.

What really has to change is the reading curriculum.   I taught high school English and, you know what, most boys were not charmed with Jane Austen or Amy Tan.   And, on the other hand, few girls enjoyed Joseph Conrad or Lord of the Flies.

Boys, and girls, will do fine when teachers are encourage to allow independent reading.  Dragging a whole class through a required reading book just ensures a good half of the class is trying to read a book they actively dislike.  What’s the point?  Maybe we are wining a battle or two ( “cultural literacy”) but we are most assuredly losing the war.  Real literacy needs to be our goal.

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