Monday, June 15, 2009

Boys Left Behind

While the author does not explain why the current education system is not serving boys well (if at all), the numbers she presents are concerning. She argues that No Child Left Behind equals All Boys Left Behind. This WSJ article on the same topic has some insights into why this may be happening :

The lifestyles and habits that worked so well for men in more dangerous times may not be working so well for them in the information age. In every age from the caves right on through the second World War, it worked for men to take big risks, have short attention spans and be driven by ego. These days, those things are more likely to get in the way of doing a good job. Hunting wild boar and hunting through Wikipedia require a different set of skills.

That makes a great deal of sense in a workplace situation and can possibly be tied to a the process of learning even at the grade school level. Taking big-risks, short attention spans and being driven by ego don't seem to be the most valuable characteristics for success there either. The challenge for educators and parents must then be how to instruct boys in a way that is compatible with their natural traits in a world that appears not have much use for them.

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