A father was asked to come to school because his son during an art class,drew a diagram of a man cutting of the heads of a group of men and his teacher who is a female teacher panicked and suspected streaks of violence. The father came to see the female teacher and brought the son along who explained what that art work was all about. It was a fight against the bad people,a heroic story of good versus the bad. By the time the father was done explaining how boys see story telling differently from girls,the teacher calmed down. A male teacher would have had a personal conversation with the boy and get to understand that story but as a female teacher she freaked out and labelled him violent and would have used her power to discourage his innate capacity to express his thoughts or tell his own kind of stories which is far different the way girls tell their stories, had it been the father wasn’t in the picture.
Mark Sherman said we are feminizing boys as we masculine girls.
Labelling certain masculine traits in boys as aggressive and violent is destroying the traits that drives boys which includes self reliance,depends on own beliefs, aggressive and acting as a leader,which is tantamount to breaking their personality.
Have a “Boy Crisis”?
Today’s classrooms are too structured, ignoring boys’ energetic natures and their need for physical movement.
Today’s classrooms are not structured enough, ignoring boys’ competitive natures and their need for discipline.
Misguided feminism has skewed societal attitudes and discredited boys’ natural strengths.
The myths of masculinity have crippled boys’ emotional and intellectual growth.
Organization for economic co- operation and development reporting on a three year study of knowledge and skills in males and females in 35 countries showed girls out performed boys.
Our classroom structure is tailored to reflect the needs and ideas of the girlchild as against the boychild. Imagine story books are designed to have a happy ending because girls love it but for the boychild their stories are filled with fights, violence,murder,the use of weapons which is very dramatic and may not have a happy ending but really would this be accepted or encouraged within the classroom structure? I don’t think so!
We have a huge boy crisis here in Nigeria,there is a huge decline in academic performance,a huge proportion of boys in the north aren’t in school(Almajiris),boys are recruited as child soliders for terrorist attacks,a huge proportion of boys from the East drop out of school to learn a trade,a high percentage of boys live on the streets,another chunk of boys in several cults and gangs all over the country. All of these portends BOYS ARE LEFT BEHIND.
With the decline of male teachers from kindagarten to high school it leaves room for our schools to become more feminized and boys aren’t allowed the platform to express themselves and be boys.
Its key that while we create structures and platforms conducive for girls,we must also create platforms suitable for boys learning development.
THE WAY FORWARD
1- Teachers must understand learning preference for both boys and girls.
2-Accomodate varying expressions of both boys and girls towards school activities.
3-Implement single sex classrooms for some subjects in schools.
4- Create an enabling environment where we don’t drive boy/girl competition and provide alternative models to improve boys academic performance.
5- Adjust learning styles to suit both preference.
6- Implement the NO BOY LEFT BEHIND ACT which ensures boys are giving focal attention in education.
Dr Farrell and Gary Frighten said the boys crisis is a crisis of education, fathering,purpose,being a warrior, leader,and sole breadwinner is fading.
There are also biochemical differences. Boys have less serotonin and oxytocin — hormones that play a role in promoting a sense of calm — than girls. That’s why it’s more likely that young boys will fidget and act impulsively. “Teachers think the boy who can’t sit still and is wriggling in his chair and making noise is being defiant,” Leonard Sax, MD, author of Why Gender Matters and Boys Adrift, says. “But he isn’t. He can’t be quiet.”
Helping Boys Learn
Sax and Gurian say parents can work with teachers and schools to best support their boys’ educational needs.
Children should be allowed and encouraged to move around while they do their work. Leg tapping, standing, and doodling while kids read, write, or take a test — activities often seen as distractions — can help many boys learn.
Wait a year. Kindergarten is much more academic than it was 40 years ago. “We’re asking 5-year-olds to do what 6-year-olds used to do,” Sax says. Although opinions vary, some boys with a fall birthday may benefit from delaying school an extra year. Consult your boy’s teachers before deciding.
Get outside. Confirm that your son’s school offers playtime in the yard (many new schools are being built with no playgrounds) and that even on bad-weather days he’ll have free time outside. Research shows that kids learn better after recess.
All hands must be on deck to improve the education of boys.