The War On Boys: Essex School Uses Golf To Stop Boys Behaving Like Defective Girls
CHASE High School in Westcliff, Essex, is offering students ‘man days’. An Ofsted inspection found achievement among male students was “inadequate”. Victoria Overy, head teacher, says this is down to male students lacking a “positive male role model at home”. This lack of manliness has created a “barrier” to the boys’ learning. So. There are to be “man days”. These will teach the feckless lads how to be manly. They will taught things like – get this – “asking girls out and fine dining etiquette“. It’s the kind of useful stuff that will help them get cracking scores in their GCSEs and impress the female teachers.
Anorak wonders if the boy will also be taught how to ask other boys out, should they be gay?
Other manly pursuits include a game of golf, a visit to a military assault course and shaving advice.
But don’t women play golf, shave and work in the military? Why are they uniquely manly things?
The BBC adds:
“This is for everybody, but we have got our target group of lads who really need to be choosing a different path from their fathers or brothers,” said Mrs Overy. “I want them to leave here with a strong set of academic results in their hand and the social skills to go anywhere.” The head teacher said the “desensitising” impact of violent computer games and easy access to pornography had “skewed” some pupils’ ideas about happy, fulfilling relationships.
What utter balls. The adults’ fears are being placed upon the child’s shoulders. There is no proof that violent video games undermine boy’s sense of self-worth, and no link between watching porn and failed relationships has been proven. Do women and girls watch porn and enjoy it? Do girls like violent video games? Mrs Overy is seeking to ban and curtail the things boys enjoy. Why? What happened to boys being boys? This woman wants boys to be like girl like her want them to be: compliant.
One question should be: what do we want from boys?
The other question should be: why are schools failing them?
Maybe we need more male teachers, especially at primary school level, where any young man seeking a career among young minds is viewed with suspicion or put off?
Conducted by professors Amine Ouazad and Lionel Page, for the London School of Economic’s Centre for Economic Performance, the report said:
“Male students tend to bet less [money] when assessed by a female teacher than by an external examiner or by a male teacher. This is consistent with female teachers’ grading practices; female teachers give lower grades to male students.
“Female students bet more when assessed by a male teacher than when assessed by an external examiner or a female teacher. Female students’ behavior is not consistent with male teachers’ grading practices, since male teachers tend to reward male students more than female students.”
More men are needed. William Gormley looks at the situation isn the USA:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2% of pre-K and kindergarten teachers and 18% of elementary and middle-school teachers are men. The situation is more balanced, but not evenly balanced, in secondary school, where 42% of teachers are men
In the UK:
The University of Strathclyde study reveals some of the anxieties that bubble beneath the surface for men in primaries; some well recognised, others more surprising. They range from nervousness about public perceptions that male child abusers gravitate to schools, to discomfiture at being “mothered” by female colleagues.
The work echoes a major piece of research published in 2005, The Gender Balance of the Teaching Workforce in Scotland: What’s the Problem?
It said the proportion of men in Scotland’s teaching workforce had fallen from about a third in 1994 to about a quarter in 2004 (February 2013 GTCS figures put it at about 22 per cent), but that decline was largely attributed to changes in secondaries.
Teaching was increasingly seen as a woman’s job demanding “soft” qualities, found University of Edinburgh researchers. Men wanting to work with young children felt that a growing emphasis on child protection meant they might be viewed with suspicion.
Gender stereotyping appeared to be a factor in the growing feminisation of the teaching workforce. Teaching had yet to re-establish itself as a high- status profession and men still saw themselves as the family breadwinner, with the associated need for a high salary; men dominated promoted posts.
The study said: “Men entering primary education training had to be particularly determined, since questions might be asked about their sexuality, they might be discouraged by family and friends, and the almost exclusively female training programme and staffroom might be off- putting.”
Kay Hymowitz writes in Family breakdown disproportionately harms young males—and they’re falling further behind:
The claim that family breakdown has had an especially harsh impact on boys, and therefore men, has considerable psychological and biological research behind it. Anyone interested in the plight of poor and working-class men—and, more broadly, mobility and the American dream—should keep it front and center in public debate.
In fact, signs that the nuclear-family meltdown of the past half-century has been particularly toxic to boys’ well-being are not new. By the 1970s and eighties, family researchers following the children of the divorce revolution noticed that, while both girls and boys showed distress when their parents split up, they had different ways of showing it. Girls tended to “internalize” their unhappiness: they became depressed and anxious, and many cut themselves, or got into drugs or alcohol. Boys, on the other hand, “externalized” or “acted out”: they became more impulsive, aggressive, and “antisocial.” Both reactions were worrisome, but boys’ behavior had the disadvantage of annoying and even frightening classmates, teachers, and neighbors. Boys from broken homes were more likely than their peers to get suspended and arrested. Girls’ unhappiness also seemed to ease within a year or two after their parents’ divorce; boys’ didn’t.
Since then, externalizing by boys has been a persistent finding in the literature about the children of single-parent families. . . .
By the 1990s, as divorce rates eased and the ranks of never-married mothers expanded to include more women in their twenties, researchers were able to exclude the trauma of a parental crack-up and teen motherhood as primary causes of the son/single-mom disadvantage. Even controlling for mothers’ age and parents’ marital history, boys in fatherless homes were still getting into more trouble compared with their sisters and male peers with married parents. Autor and Wasserman cite a large study by University of Chicago sociologists Marianne Bertrand and Jessica Pan, showing that, by fifth grade, fatherless boys were more disruptive than peers from two-parent families, and by eighth grade, had a substantially greater likelihood of getting suspended. “The gender gap [between boys and girls] in externalizing behavior in fifth grade and suspension in grade eight . . . is smallest in intact families,” the authors summarized their findings. “All other family structures appear detrimental to boys.”
In contemporary America, then, girls and young women act in ways that meet with the approval of Hymowitz and her economists, because doing so accords with both economic self-interest and biological instinct. That was once true of boys and young men. It no longer is, because of the same social changes–feminism and sexual liberationism–that transformed the incentives for women.
Hymowitz laments that young males are insufficiently interested in “becoming reliable husbands and fathers.” Imagine somebody opening a piece with the converse lament that young females are insufficiently interested in “becoming reliable wives and mothers.” The author would be attacked as a misogynist and a dinosaur. Why, critics would demand, should women set their sights so low?
Well, why should men? Except perhaps in very conservative communities, men with sufficient social skills can find sex and companionship without need of a matrimonial commitment (and for those who lack social skills, a willingness to marry is unlikely to provide much compensation). The culture’s unrelenting message–repeated in Hymowitz’s article–is that women are doing fine on their own. If a woman doesn’t need a man, there’s little reason for him to devote his life to her service. Further, in the age of no-fault divorce, “reliable husbands and fathers” not infrequently find themselves impoverished by child support and restricted by court order from spending time with their children.
As for education, the story of Joshua Strange ought to be enough to give any sensible young man second thoughts about enrolling in college.
Jesscia Lahey finds faults in the way boys are taught:
Something is rotten in the state of boys’ education, and I can’t help but suspect that the pattern I have seen in my classroom may have something to do with a collective failure to adequately educate boys. The statistics are grim. According to the book Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys: Strategies That Work and Why, boys are kept back in schools at twice the rate of girls. Boys get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls. Boys are diagnosed with learning disorders and attention problems at nearly four times the rate of girls. They do less homework and get a greater proportion of the low grades. Boys are more likely to drop out of school, and make up only 43 percent of college students. Furthermore, boys are nearly three times as likely as girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Considering 11 percent of U.S. children–6.4 million in all–have been diagnosed with a ADHD, that’s a lot of boys bouncing around U.S. classrooms.
A study released last year in the Journal of Human Resources confirms my suspicions. It seems that behavior plays a significant role in teachers’ grading practices, and consequently, boys receive lower grades from their teachers than testing would have predicted. The authors of this study conclude that teacher bias regarding behavior, rather than academic performance, penalizes boys as early as kindergarten. On average, boys receive lower behavioral assessment scores from teachers, and those scores affect teachers’ overall perceptions of boys’ intelligence and achievement.
In an attempt to get at what actually works for boys in education, Dr. Michael Reichert and Dr. Richard Hawley, in partnership with the International Boys’ School Coalition, launched a study called Teaching Boys: A Global Study of Effective Practices, published in 2009. The study looked at boys in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, in schools of varying size, both private and public, that enroll a wide range of boys of disparate races and income levels.
The authors asked teachers and students to “narrate clearly and objectively an instructional activity that is especially, perhaps unusually, effective in heightening boys’ learning.” The responses–2,500 in all–revealed eight categories of instruction that succeeded in teaching boys. The most effective lessons included more than one of these elements:
Lessons that result in an end product–a booklet, a catapult, a poem, or a comic strip, for example.
Lessons that are structured as competitive games.
Lessons requiring motor activity.
Lessons requiring boys to assume responsibility for the learning of others.
Lessons that require boys to address open questions or unsolved problems.
Lessons that require a combination of competition and teamwork.
Lessons that focus on independent, personal discovery and realization.
Lessons that introduce drama in the form of novelty or surprise.
Rather than penalize the boys’ relatively higher energy and competitive drive, the most effective way to teach boys is to take advantage of that high energy, curiosity, and thirst for competition. While Reichert and Hawley’s research was conducted in all-boys schools, these lessons can be used in all classrooms, with both boys and girls.
Teachers have grown accustomed to the traditional classroom model: orderly classrooms made up of ruler-straight rows of compliant students. It’s neat and predictable. But unless teachers stop to consider whether these traditional methods are working for both girls and boys, we will continue to give boys the short end of the educational stick.
Stereotyped as “naughty,” boys quickly learn that they are thought of as dumber and more trouble than girls. And that has consequences. “When boys aged seven to eight were told that they tend to do worse at school than girls, they scored more poorly in reading, writing and mathematics tests than those who were not primed for failure. And telling children aged six to nine before a test that both sexes were expected to do equally well improved the boys’ performance.” But the message that boys get is that they’re not as smart.
Boys are boys. They are not dysfunctional girls…
– Paul Sorene