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    Default Boys and the Feminization of Education?

    Anyone have any thoughts on this article? I get too flustered and emotional about it that I loose all coherence.

    Failing boys and the powder keg of sexual politics - The Globe and Mail
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    Interesting.

    I don't buy that boys do not have images of themselves as successful. I know in my university classes the male gender is highly correllated with willingness to loudly enthuse about a subject while making it very clear they haven't done the readings and know very little about what they are talking about.

    Likewise the kids at M's school who do poorly tend to be aggressive and brattish. Almost exclusively boys. Very different from the image of an underconfident girl who is not doing well because she doesn't see images of herself as successful kwim?

    However I would buy that the school program does not provide for boys' IMO increased need for physical activity, and their lesser capacity to do deskwork and sit quietly for long periods of time. I think that is an honest need that is not being met.

    But I also think there is a component of boys just being obnoxious because they think they can be. I don't know how else to explain the aggressive behaviour and disrespect of teachers that I see from boys.
    Last edited by myrrah; 10-17-2010 at 08:16 PM.

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    Caveat that I may be more bitter than usual on this subject because of the news about the fraternity boys at Yale who went chanting around the first year women's dorm rooms: 'No means yes. Yes means anal.'

    But anyone is going to have a damn hard time convincing me that the boys are downtrodden and that for this reason they are slacking/screwing up at school, while education has become women's and girls' domain.Not so much.

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    I will have to think about this and read it later.
    Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by myrrah View Post
    Interesting.

    I don't buy that boys do not have images of themselves as successful. I know in my university classes the male gender is highly correllated with willingness to loudly enthuse about a subject while making it very clear they haven't done the readings and know very little about what they are talking about.

    Likewise the kids at M's school who do poorly tend to be aggressive and brattish. Almost exclusively boys. Very different from the image of an underconfident girl who is not doing well because she doesn't see images of herself as successful kwim?

    .
    I wonder though if the boys are acting agressive and brattish because their needs aren't being met? I know if I don't give my DS a good run around he gets really annoying. Reading the different articles the Globe posted, a lot of it makes sense to me. I think boys are being shortchanged by an education system that rewards sitting still and being quiet, that doesn't offer a lot role models (ie male teachers) and where they are expected by peers and adults to act bratty instead of asking for help or fear being made fun of. Reading these stats, it's pretty awful! 9 boys referred for behaviour problems for every 1 girl? that's a big problem IMO.
    Last edited by jenelen; 10-18-2010 at 08:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by myrrah View Post
    Caveat that I may be more bitter than usual on this subject because of the news about the fraternity boys at Yale who went chanting around the first year women's dorm rooms: 'No means yes. Yes means anal.'

    But anyone is going to have a damn hard time convincing me that the boys are downtrodden and that for this reason they are slacking/screwing up at school, while education has become women's and girls' domain.Not so much.
    I'm having similar issues - that story makes me see red. Beyond red. Into blood red colours we don't even have words for.
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    I think that's a different issue altogether. Like I wouldn't say that boys in elementary and highschool are not at a disadvantage because some assholes at one college decided to chant misogynistic phrases. (btw I do think the school needs to expel them, pronto). But I still think the issues facing boys, particularly young boys are very real and need addressing.

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    I think this is the problem with the 'system' of education though. They do the best job they can to get the most kids through possible. Its so generalized and all based on the average kid. And I am not knocking the teachers or staff or anything, I really do think that given all the different needs and personalities kids/teachers/people have, its doing the best it can to not deny anyone an education, but I think its time for a change!

    Like maybe boys have different needs than girls and they should have more active classes? Or maybe we should consider more specialized classes based on needs/abilities as opposed to age? Like instead of: every 6 yr old will attend grade 1!, you could say every kid with _______ need goes in this class. And that class can have different levels of education (like grades).

    I know thats another one of my 'If I controlled the universe' dreams, but thats kind of how I would structure the schools if I had a magic wand and unlimited funds.
    Last edited by Mamarazzi; 10-18-2010 at 09:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamarazzi View Post
    I think this is the problem with the 'system' of education though. They do the best job they can to get the most kids through possible. Its so generalized and all based on the average kid. And I am not knocking the teachers or staff or anything, I really do think that given all the different needs and personalities kids/teachers/people have, its doing the best it can to not deny anyone an education, but I think its time for a change!

    Like maybe boys have different needs than girls and they should have more active classes? Or maybe we should consider more specialized classes based on needs/abilities as opposed to age? Like instead of: every 6 yr old will attend grade 1!, you could say every kid with _______ need goes in this class. And that class can have different levels of education (like grades).

    I know thats another one of my 'If I controlled the universe' dreams, but thats kind of how I would structure the schools if I had a magic wand and unlimited funds.
    Yes, this. The more I think about division of classes based on age the more silly it seems. Some kids just aren't ready for school when others are. Some are at different learning levels. How you can make sure all the 8 year old can read at a grade 3 level seems impossible, and is impossible since teachers can never meet this. Some 8 year olds are reading at a lower level, some higher. Tough for a teacher in our current system to accomodate!

    I think there is some basic difference in maturity. I don't know why, I used to think it was environmental, but now I think it's more genetics/biology. Many boys just aren't ready for things, like school, at the same age the girls are.

    And there is a divide IMO where lots of boys don't see themselves as successful in public school cause it's not in their realm of caring. KWIM? However, I think this evens out between the genders by the end of highschool. A lot of girls who were happier and had a better outlook in public school, have this trashed by the end of high school.
    Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

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    Thats another good point! (Thanks colleen!) You group everyone together all the time and try to force them to be copies of each other and this is when you get labels: we're all the same, but they are goth, geeks, jocks, etc etc and that becomes the defining label. Then you get bullying because they are all supposed to be the 'same' according to the system, but they arent. They just arent. Kids get more moody more miserable (etc etc..).

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    Well, the problem with the “system“ of education is that it is a system. It is failing everyone, not just boys.

    And I'm sorry -- but it does relate to the Yale frat house issue. THIS is what we are raising. THIS is what we are churning out of our schools, and I do NOT buy that boys are disenfranchised. Education isn't “feminine“ by nature, it isn't “failing“ boys, it is failing EVERY CHILD. So that, while the pendulum is “swinging the other way“ and girls are seen as somehow superior, (falsely so), the attention is placed BACK on maleness how we need to bring maleness back into the spotlight/power structure. Ridiculous. Coddling. Infuriating. It smacks of "reverse racism" all over again. Based on faulty arguments about "academic success".

    It's all a red herring. What a joke.
    Last edited by dressage mom; 10-18-2010 at 09:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dressage mom View Post
    Well, the problem with the “system“ of education is that it is a system. It is failing everyone, not just boys.

    And I'm sorry -- but it does relate to the Yale frat house issue. THIS is what we are raising. THIS is what we are churning out of our schools, and I do NOT buy that boys are disenfranchised. Education isn't “feminine“ by nature, it isn't “failing“ boys, it is failing EVERY CHILD. So that, while the pendulum is “swinging the other way“ and girls are seen as somehow superior, (falsely so), the attention is placed BACK on maleness how we need to bring maleness back into the spotlight/power structure. Ridiculous. Coddling. Infuriating. It smacks of “reverse racism“ all over again. Based on faulty arguments about “academic success“.

    It's all a red herring. What a joke.
    Hmmmm, good point. Kinda like all the comments I used to get as a WS major about why there are no “Men's Studies“. Tired of arguing my response eventually was - good idea, you should start that program. But of course it was the women who were supposed to do that, the work of make the men feel important.
    Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

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    I agree with DM that it does relate to the Yale issue.

    I don't think the education system is failing every child tho. I think it has its positives and its negatives. We've been over this before LOL.

    I think it is a combination of boys' physical needs not being met, and perhaps an entitlement issue. We can say that if 9 boys for every girl is in trouble, perhaps their needs are not being met. Or perhaps girls don't feel entitled to be such arseholes. I have a friend newly arrived from Colombia, her son is being bullied and she says the schools in Colombia are much safer because the kids actually get in trouble. Coupled with the several super aggro kids I know, who I have ranted about before, and who are all boys and permissively parented, I think there may be something to that.

    I know my kid wouldn't get away with coming up to other children and hitting/pushing them, or being rude to the teachers and simply ignoring their directives, disturbing the learning of the whole class. I have known mothers to defend their kids when there are actually consequences for this type of behaviour.

    I don't think it's all lack of discipline, and Lord knows I am not a disciplinarian. I am tho shocked at some kids' (boys' primarily) behaviour.

    I also think it is a lack of physical activity in the learning environment. But that hasn't changed for the worse in the last say 30 years has it? I think if anything we are more concerned about how to help kids learn. What has changed is less discipline/consequences for poor behaviour, and increased parental justification of BS, and I'm going to say it's especially with boys.

    I think it's both physical activity/other learning needs, and boys getting away with shit girls don't.
    Last edited by myrrah; 10-18-2010 at 10:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen View Post
    Hmmmm, good point. Kinda like all the comments I used to get as a WS major about why there are no “Men's Studies“. Tired of arguing my response eventually was - good idea, you should start that program. But of course it was the women who were supposed to do that, the work of make the men feel important.
    LOL Kinda like 'Why is there no Straight Pride?' Um coz we all know what it would be, tube tops and those hats with beer cans and straws to your mouth.

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    I also think we currently have a lack of male leadership and role modelling for what being a decent man looks like. Manhood is associated with power over, with violence, wealth, having no feelings, and definitely not liking or respecting women. I see this even in grade 1/grade 2, the boys are absolutely hideous about girls. M had a friend at the start of last year but he basically turned on her and it was because (he actually told her this one time when they were alone) it was considered extremely uncool to like girls.

    They don't start liking girls til they want to f*ck them. This is the male code.

    I think we need leadership for a new kind of manhood. Strong manhood that is actually kind and human. I know men like this, many, but I don't see this reflected in the dominant culture and every man I know who embodies these traits has had a lot of struggle and has had to figure it out on his own.
    Last edited by myrrah; 10-18-2010 at 10:37 AM.

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