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Educating Boys

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Educating Boys

#21 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » October 1st, 2010, 1:43 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Is everyone here comfortable with the idea that boys and girls should somehow be taught differently?

Emma

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jaywhat
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Re: Educating Boys

#22 Post by jaywhat » October 1st, 2010, 2:11 pm

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:Is everyone here comfortable with the idea that boys and girls should somehow be taught differently?

Emma
Not at all. I believe all schools should be co-educational.

Now to the Gareth Malone programme which I decided not to watch although I did watch his choir series.
There was something about this prog that I did not like and the shot of Gareth in his shorts sitting all smiley in a wood with boys (no! I'm not thinking the obvious) rather put me off. Anyway I did 25 years teaching which included all sorts of camps and trips (mixed) and I feel this programme is saying Gareth can show teachers how it should be done. Clearly I have not a leg to stand as I could not be bothered to watch it but there you go. Honest if narrow.

Marian
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Re: Educating Boys

#23 Post by Marian » October 1st, 2010, 2:47 pm

loz2286 wrote:...Teachers are set targets for performance. We are measured by them. Teachers are dismissed or downgraded for failing to meet targets. Don't blame them if they take the safe option and teach to the test.

It's not ideal. I'm lucky. I work in the independent sector where I am given the freedom to be eccentric. I'm allowed to think putside the box. I do try to do as much outdoor learning as possible. I seek to foster adventurous minds, independent thinkers and rounded young men. We do LOADS of sport and celebrate success wherever it happens.

So don't blame teachers. Blame the system that values the sausage factory processes of examinations and standards, rather than the "education" of rounded free-thinkers.
Bravo, Loz! Well spoken. Yes, the problem is with the system that forces targets down the throats of teachers and students. Learning is supposed to be fun but it can't be when the pressure is on from all sides and for all involved. It's ridiculous to fire or downgrade a teacher because they couldn't meet standards. That makes teachers not only teach to the test but to focus almost exclusively on those students who can learn by rote and repetition while ignoring the gifts of creativity and other skills that different learners bring to the table.

One of the first things that teachers of adult learners are taught is that there are many different styles of learning and you need to figure out which suits individual students. Does this make it harder? More time-consuming? Yes but it's also the most effective. It's worth the effort up front, imo. I also want to point out that those adult learners most likely had different styles of learning as children. The lesson being that we need to start from childhood to figure out how individuals learn and gear strategies to address those different ways.

You are right that you are lucky, Loz. Schools that encourage actual critical thinking and independent learning are not available to all who might benefit from them. It comes back to social class and availability of extra income to send one's children there. At least, that's how it works over here.
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:Is everyone here comfortable with the idea that boys and girls should somehow be taught differently?
No, I'm not because I don't think it's about differentiating between the sexes, per se. People learn in different ways and styles and that's not something that's purely gender related, imo. I think it might have more to do with how brains are configured, generally speaking, possibly maturity levels, exposure to different life events/circumstances, etc. From my experience, there were boys who hated phys-ed, who were much more sensitive than you'd typically expect, they preferred reading. There were girls, like me, who couldn't stand the frilly-dress club. I wanted to hike and explore. I learn way better through experience. Gender stereotyping as a way of teaching really misses the boat and leaves some stranded.

I think the issue here is that the discrepancy between teaching for test results and shaping intelligent, critical thinkers is very wide. You can't want cookie-cutter students on the one hand and then demand clear thinking on the other.
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loz2286
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Re: Educating Boys

#24 Post by loz2286 » October 1st, 2010, 2:54 pm

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:Is everyone here comfortable with the idea that boys and girls should somehow be taught differently?

Emma

Absolutely....because they ARE different. That is not to say taught different things, but taught in different styles. My school also has a girls' division, on a different site. We teach boys and girls separately from 5 - 16, coming together for trips, outward bound, some sporting activities, concerts etc. The Sixth Form is co-educational. We have the best of both worlds. We can teach in the classroom without the sexual politics, without the posturing of the boys etc. Boys at our school are encouraged to sing, write, act and so on. Without the girls they are not under the macho pressure to do so-called man-tasks. At the girls' school we encourage them to do economics, the play rugby, we have girls into engineering and so on. This approach is based on considerable research that shows that children, boys in particular, do much better when taught in a single sex environment.

Gender is not a hurdle, recognise and celebrate the differences and acknowledge the similarities.

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Re: Educating Boys

#25 Post by Nick » October 1st, 2010, 3:03 pm

That sounds a good set-up to me Loz. My education in life would have been better if I had had more contact with the fairer sex, (and my old school is now co-ed) but it was painfully obvious from the programme that the needs of the boys were not being met because of the female dominance within the school.

I know you were a teacher, Jaywhat, but your rigid co-ed stance seems to have more to do with some sort of "equality" than good education. It's a pity you missed the programme.

philbo
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Re: Educating Boys

#26 Post by philbo » October 1st, 2010, 4:04 pm

There are a couple of schools not far from here that try to get the same "best of both worlds" - separate sites for boys and girls, while doing some activities combined. Three of mine are currently at single-sex schools (my elder son at the same grammar school as I attended many moons ago), the fourth will probably be, this time next year. I came out of the school with a first-class academic education but a definite lack of confidence/experience when it came to dealing with members of the opposite sex; my children so far have been far more sociable that way, so I'm kind of hoping they're going to come away with the best of both worlds, too.. a damn good education but without the hang-ups.

As far as the question goes
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:Is everyone here comfortable with the idea that boys and girls should somehow be taught differently?
In my (admittedly limited) experience - I have a sister and two children of each sex - it seems rather self-evident that the different sexes learn differently, but.. I think that while there are differences, they seem quite minor compared to the similarities... whether that means they should be "taught differently".. I guess it depends how you define "differently", how different you're thinking of making things.

But then, I'm fairly schizoid on education generally: I hate the unfairness that selective education engenders, and a well-run comprehensive can give the best outcomes for all pupils; yet poor comprehensives fail *everybody*, and the one thing a grammar school system has going for it is that you do end up with a far higher proportion of children who really want to learn, so there are fewer disruptions. However, that can screw things up for significant numbers of youngsters who aren't quite bright enough to make it into a grammar school (or worse, develop slightly later and are intelligent but trapped in a school that doesn't cater for intelligence)... it's lucky I'm not education secretary: I'd spend all my time dithering.

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Educating Boys

#27 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » October 1st, 2010, 4:42 pm

I missed all three programmes, and it's too late now to watch on BBC iPlayer, but the second and third episodes are being repeated on BBC2 late on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Not sure why the first episode isn't being repeated.
loz2286 wrote:
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:Is everyone here comfortable with the idea that boys and girls should somehow be taught differently?
Absolutely....because they ARE different. That is not to say taught different things, but taught in different styles.
In what way are boys and girls different that is relevant to the way they should be taught? And are they different on average, or are all boys different from all girls in that respect?
loz2286 wrote:This approach is based on considerable research that shows that children, boys in particular, do much better when taught in a single sex environment.
What research is that? I've read fairly recently that there is some evidence that girls achieve higher grades in a single-sex school (see this Times article, for example; though note that it doesn't claim that the reason for this is that boys and girls have different learning styles), but I didn't think the evidence was so strong for boys. Previous studies have suggested that there is no significant difference in the achievement of girls or boys in single-sex as compared to co-educational schools. See, for example, "Achievement, Gender and the Single-Sex/Coed Debate", Richard Harker, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Volume 21, Issue 2, June 2000 , pp. 203[--][/--]18; "Science course participation and science achievement in single sex and co-educational schools", Peter Daly, Evaluation & Research in Education, Volume 9, Issue 2, 1995, pp. 91[--][/--]8; "Should the sexes be separated for secondary education [--][/--] comparisons of single-sex and co-educational schools?", Pamela Robinson and Alan Smithers, Research Papers in Education, Volume 14, Issue 1, March 1999, pp. 23[--][/--]49. This is from the abstract of the last-named paper:
The publication of schools' examination results in England has reopened in sharper form the old debate about whether single-sex or co-educational schooling is better for secondary education. This paper considers both the claimed academic and social advantages.

Performance at GCSE and A level has been analysed for boys and girls separately in single-sex and co-educational schools using national data supplied by the Department for Education and Employment, OFSTED and the Independent Schools Information Service. School experiences and ease of adjustment to university have been explored through in-depth interviews with a sample of 100 students in their second term at university, balanced for sex and type of school.

There is enough in the evidence to see how the various claims have arisen, but they are nevertheless caricatures of a complex reality. The outstanding performance of the single-sex schools in the examination league tables has much more to do with academic selection, socioeconomic background and the standing of the school itself than with the segregation of the sexes. When, as far as possible, like is compared with like, the apparent academic differences between single-sex and co-educational schools largely disappear.

...Furthermore, nearly all those who had been to co-educational schools said they would also send their own children to co-educational schools, but only about a third of those who had been to single-sex schools said they would send their children to single-sex schools.
I went to a single-sex school, and if I'd had children I would not have sent them to single-sex schools.
Marian wrote:Gender stereotyping as a way of teaching really misses the boat and leaves some stranded.
Yes, that's how I see it too.

Emma

Nick
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Re: Educating Boys

#28 Post by Nick » October 1st, 2010, 5:58 pm

There's also some discussion on the BBC Blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2010/09/g ... ry-s.shtml

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loz2286
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Re: Educating Boys

#29 Post by loz2286 » October 2nd, 2010, 12:52 am

My evidence arises from recent discussions with senior school inspectors.

Anyway, it works for us. By the way we're non-selective.

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jaywhat
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Re: Educating Boys

#30 Post by jaywhat » October 2nd, 2010, 7:03 am

loz2286 wrote:My evidence arises from recent discussions with senior school inspectors.

Anyway, it works for us. By the way we're non-selective.
If you are in the 'independent sector', loz, does that not mean 'fee-paying'?
If so, is it not somehow 'selective'?

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Re: Educating Boys

#31 Post by Gottard » October 2nd, 2010, 4:02 pm

Message recovered after the site cut-off for a while.
loz2286 wrote:Following the thread hi-jack I'll steer this back to the main topic.... Educating boys.
I've always thought that educating children is the most difficult task in life. Nevertheless, parents are entrusted with this job without a degree! None is to blame, however. Mine is a special case in that I divorced and I was entrusted, by the tribunal, with the task of rising a boy that I took with me at 6 and is now 16. I relate with the boy and school teachers but also with parents of class mates. I could write pages about experiences lived along the way but, don't worry, I like to be very short.

Loz2286: the situation in the UK - from what you say - is not dissimilar of that in northern Italy where I am based; with a difference I think:teachers here are not rated and earn very little, with all consequences anyone can guess. A cartoon on a paper recently shown two situations:a boy came home showing parents poor marks; 30 years ago--> the father shout out at the boy saying that he should be more compliant. today--> the father goes to the teacher shouting at him as 'his boy did not deserve bad marks'.

As for boys in the 14-17 range, it is the most difficult time for parents as this is the 'challenge and dispute' time; teachers and friends tell me that it is just true of every boy/girl and all that will disappear with passing time.

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:"Is everyone here comfortable with the idea that boys and girls should somehow be taught differently?"
Don't think they should (although I have not had girls) but having read further entries in this thread I confess I am rather put off: how can -those for separate sex classes- reconcile with other subjects where we maintain that both sexes' brain bears no difference in potential?
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Re: Educating Boys

#32 Post by lewist » October 2nd, 2010, 8:17 pm

I have a girl and two boys. My daughter is a graduate with a career and a husband and daughter. My sons are rock 'n rollers. The boys have taken time but gradually they are succeeding in quite unorthodox ways, making money in the rock music industry through tour managing, sound and in the case of my older son, song writing (I hope). They promise to be successes too.

I'm a product of Scotland's public coeducational educational system. Then I went to teach in the same system and thus I have no direct experience of any other. There is a school of thought that says boys should be taught differently but it's also true that girls develop slightly faster than boys and therefore do better at school as a result. I also have a problem with the whole achievement agenda in schools. The word is taken to be about scores in tests in maths, english language and reading and also science. Yes, they are important but there are so many things that are more so. For a start, children should be allowed to be children and not grow up before their time, to develop in a natural way.

They should be nurtured, not forced. The Scandinavians could teach us a lot about early education and they do better in the International league tables than either England or Scotland. Raising the starting age for formal school and introducing a structured play curriculum in the kindergarten years would be a good start for boys and girls. There are aspects of the way we treat our four year olds that are simply abusive.

Take a look at this!
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Re: Educating Boys

#33 Post by Marian » October 3rd, 2010, 7:20 pm

lewist wrote: They should be nurtured, not forced. The Scandinavians could teach us a lot about early education and they do better in the International league tables than either England or Scotland. Raising the starting age for formal school and introducing a structured play curriculum in the kindergarten years would be a good start for boys and girls. There are aspects of the way we treat our four year olds that are simply abusive.
Exactly! Nurtured, not forced. There are a great many things I like about Sweden but how they treat people is probably at the top. I enjoyed watching the video. I wondered how the babies fared later in life with the stimulation and attention starting so early in life.

There's an African saying that goes something like this: Hitting a child makes his/her soul run down the road for a few days. While I don't put much stock in the whole soul thing, I like the idea that there is a community recognition that hitting kids can do a lot of damage and that we ought not to do it. I find that here, it's considered bad if you don't hit your children. Probably comes from the religious notion of 'spare the rod', etc.
There is one program run through Family Services (http://www.fsatoronto.com/media/releases/cope.html) that addresses this issue.
Transformative fire...

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Re: Educating Boys

#34 Post by loz2286 » October 3rd, 2010, 8:51 pm

They should be nurtured, not forced. The Scandinavians could teach us a lot about early education and they do better in the International league tables than either England or Scotland. Raising the starting age for formal school and introducing a structured play curriculum in the kindergarten years would be a good start for boys and girls. There are aspects of the way we treat our four year olds that are simply abusive.
Having experienced an educational exchange in Norway, you'll not find me disagreing with this.

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Re: Educating Boys

#35 Post by Fia » October 3rd, 2010, 9:08 pm

The link was very interesting, thank you lewist. 30,000 kindergarten places in Stockholm in 10 years. That's impressive. And freeing the parents to engage in work, by providing more than a mere day care system, but socialisation, language and confidence skills. Education aimed at the wee ones needs. A win/win for society I reckon.

I was also particularly struck by the comment from one of the teachers that "each teacher has a second degree". Certainly for secondary teaching I'd like to think the norm would be a equivalent degree in the discipline, followed by a post-grad teaching qualification. I am mightily uncomfortable that 3 years after leaving school folk who have little life experience can be qualified to teach. My youngest currently wants to teach primary children, but I am encouraging her to do another degree or relevant work experience first. I'd be interested to hear others thoughts on this.
Marian wrote:I find that here, it's considered bad if you don't hit your children.
I find that completely shocking. Is violence towards partners and animals also lauded?
Someone (sorry, don't know who, it may have been anon) wisely said that it takes a village to raise a child. Family, friends, neighbours, teachers, elders, peer group and sometimes even bystanders all have an impact upon a child's growth...

Back on educating boys... for a while our local secondary school, backed up by some research, made troublesome boys sit next to studious girls in the hope that the boys may have some studiousness rubbed off :shock: The system was universally reviled by female pupils and their parents, and is thankfully no longer practised. I dunno about the rest of you but, having never been one or given birth to one, I find boys from the age of around 7 until they grow up (if they do :innocence: ) completely incomprehensible :shrug:
My rational mind says educate them all together: genders, parental beliefs, physical and mental abilities, learning styles. But my heart thinks that some separation on the gender and mental abilities side can provide a more positive space for learning. Ergo, currently, I don't know :)

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Re: Educating Boys

#36 Post by Alan C. » October 3rd, 2010, 9:20 pm

Fia
My rational mind says educate them all together: genders, parental beliefs, physical and mental abilities, learning styles. But my heart thinks that some separation on the gender and mental abilities side can provide a more positive space for learning.
At my (cough) secondary modern we were divided by (perceived) intelligence, in each year there was an A class, a B class, and an R class, not sure if the R was for retarded, or why there wasn't a C class.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Re: Educating Boys

#37 Post by Nick » October 4th, 2010, 2:17 pm

Fia wrote:The link was very interesting, thank you lewist. 30,000 kindergarten places in Stockholm in 10 years. That's impressive. And freeing the parents to engage in work, by providing more than a mere day care system, but socialisation, language and confidence skills. Education aimed at the wee ones needs. A win/win for society I reckon.
I liked it too. What appalls me is that some kids are so disadvantaged so early in life. But what annoys me is the idea that it is solely because of lack of money. When I was very young my family had very little money (I was surprised that my neighbours had furniturein their front room!) but had great parents. I'd love to see parenting skills taken more seriously.
I was also particularly struck by the comment from one of the teachers that "each teacher has a second degree". Certainly for secondary teaching I'd like to think the norm would be a equivalent degree in the discipline, followed by a post-grad teaching qualification.
Hmmm... I'm not totally convinced. Too often 'qualifications' are just another expensive hurdle to leap through. My brother, a successful teacher, and something of a leftie, was refused teacher training because he was over-qualified (he has a D Phil.) and thus forced to teach in the private sector, as no state school would employ him. Training yes, life skills, yes (I'd like to make it easier for people to switch to teaching later in life), but 4+ years before teaching young and kindergarten kids? I'm not convinced, and think you are as likely to lose good teachers as create them.
Someone (sorry, don't know who, it may have been anon) wisely said that it takes a village to raise a child. Family, friends, neighbours, teachers, elders, peer group and sometimes even bystanders all have an impact upon a child's growth...
That's a good sentiment, but sadly it seems increasingly difficult to put into practice. Dunno what the answer is, but I doubt it's more paperwork....
Back on educating boys... for a while our local secondary school, backed up by some research, made troublesome boys sit next to studious girls in the hope that the boys may have some studiousness rubbed off :shock: The system was universally reviled by female pupils and their parents, and is thankfully no longer practised. .
Not that I have any devastating answers, but why should it be worse to put disruptive boys next to studious girls, than to put disruptive boys next to studious boys?
My rational mind says educate them all together: genders, parental beliefs, physical and mental abilities, learning styles. But my heart thinks that some separation on the gender and mental abilities side can provide a more positive space for learning.
Curiously, I'm the complete opposite. Hmmm... not sure what that means....
I find boys from the age of around 7 until they grow up (if they do :innocence: ) completely incomprehensible :shrug:
I haven't grown up, I've just grown out..... :sad:

Marian
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Re: Educating Boys

#38 Post by Marian » October 4th, 2010, 3:09 pm

Fia wrote: I am mightily uncomfortable that 3 years after leaving school folk who have little life experience can be qualified to teach. My youngest currently wants to teach primary children, but I am encouraging her to do another degree or relevant work experience first. I'd be interested to hear others thoughts on this.
Life experience is very important since it opens up one's eyes to the reality of that job. Not sure what the requirements are for working with primary children in the UK but over here, it's a two year diploma program. They are expected to do co-op work (relevant work experience as part of the curriculum.)
If she wants to teach kindergarten and above, for example, she would have to earn her degree in education and then do a couple of years of teacher's college with practicum.
I certainly think that some volunteer work in her hoped-for career is a brilliant idea!! Let her see if that's what she wants to do day after day.
Fia wrote:I find that completely shocking. Is violence towards partners and animals also lauded?
It is shocking that punishment is often the method used to control children but we live in a culture that values how fast you can get your food or how quickly you can get from point A to point B. There's a lot of lip service paid to stopping domestic violence but it still goes on although the laws have improved in that regard. In terms of cruelty to animals, they've only just instituted a severe fine for animal endangerment but like children, animals are often seen as property so people turn a blind eye to it, unless it is so shockingly severe that someone has died. Quite sick as far as I'm concerned. Maybe things have changed a bit since spent a lot of time with parents and young children but it sure doesn't seem like it to me.
Fia wrote:Back on educating boys... for a while our local secondary school, backed up by some research, made troublesome boys sit next to studious girls in the hope that the boys may have some studiousness rubbed off :shock: The system was universally reviled by female pupils and their parents, and is thankfully no longer practised. I dunno about the rest of you but, having never been one or given birth to one, I find boys from the age of around 7 until they grow up (if they do :innocence: ) completely incomprehensible :shrug:
Common sense would have told me to not put the studious girls and troublesome boys together. He'll just be a distraction to her and he's certainly not going to get studiousness through osmosis. I don't necessarily think that putting disruptive pupils next to studious ones is tenable unless the only difficulty is that the disruptive ones need a role model for being studious and are willing to learn.
Often that isn't the case but not just because they are boys or girls but rather that nobody has taken the time to figure out why the disruptive kids are behaving in that way. Is it a different way of learning? Do they need more physical outlets? Have they figured out on some level the uselessness of our current method of training them?
I live with two of the male persuasion and I haven't the foggiest idea how things actually work with them although I suspect making rude noises, watching American football and feeding their ever-hungry stomachs is a baseline. They can be amenable to teaching so all is not lost. :D :exit:
Fia wrote:My rational mind says educate them all together: genders, parental beliefs, physical and mental abilities, learning styles. But my heart thinks that some separation on the gender and mental abilities side can provide a more positive space for learning. Ergo, currently, I don't know :)
It's a tough call. Having dealt with the mental abilities side, I'd say that we need to find a solution that best suits the children involved. Call me an idealist :) Some children with different mental abilities can work along side their less effected peers and others need to be separated. Sometimes, the right environment is one that is completely separate, like a treatment center where education goes hand in hand with counselling etc.

My biggest issue is the reaction of other people to this separation so that name-calling, put-downs, cruelty and taunting are often how the so-called 'normal' kids treat those who are different. While the special needs kids may never be CEO's or the head of Oxford, the 'normal' kids are not guaranteed a spot in the world either. It only takes one accident to become someone with special needs.
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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Educating Boys

#39 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » October 4th, 2010, 8:35 pm

Fia wrote:I dunno about the rest of you but, having never been one or given birth to one, I find boys from the age of around 7 until they grow up (if they do :innocence: ) completely incomprehensible :shrug:
Um ... Isn't that ... a bit ... sexist? :innocence:
Fia wrote:My rational mind says educate them all together: genders, parental beliefs, physical and mental abilities, learning styles. But my heart thinks that some separation on the gender and mental abilities side can provide a more positive space for learning. Ergo, currently, I don't know :)
I think my heart and mind are pretty much united on this. I think schools should ideally be for all genders, parental beliefs, and, for the most part, abilities (though it may be that, especially given the limited resources currently available to mainstream schools, they may not always be able to teach some students with severe learning difficulties or disabilities effectively). I also think a wide range of learning styles should be used. Children can't all be neatly categorised into those who learn best by listening, or by watching and looking, or by reading and writing, or by acting and experimenting, or whatever. Most of us, I suspect, benefit from a mixture of learning styles, using all our senses. If some schools are failing boys by not using appropriate learning/teaching styles, chances are they're failing at least some of the girls, too. And vice versa.

Emma

Fia
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Re: Educating Boys

#40 Post by Fia » October 4th, 2010, 10:12 pm

Gosh, I'd better take this a bit at a time...
Nick wrote:I'd love to see parenting skills taken more seriously.
Couldn't agree more. It's compounded by the attitude Marian described:
...they've only just instituted a severe fine for animal endangerment but like children, animals are often seen as property so people turn a blind eye to it, unless it is so shockingly severe that someone has died.
The cultures that feel it's ok for parents to reign violence upon children need to address this. But how does a society go about that?
Marian wrote:My biggest issue is the reaction of other people to this separation so that name-calling, put-downs, cruelty and taunting are often how the so-called 'normal' kids treat those who are different.
It's partly the same issue: good parenting engenders an awareness of others, that we are all different coloured crayons in the same box.
Nick wrote:Not that I have any devastating answers, but why should it be worse to put disruptive boys next to studious girls, than to put disruptive boys next to studious boys?
I asked them why they didn't do this and they said they needed to distance the disruptive boys from their audience/peer groups, who were other boys. So the girls suffered, as teenage girls do.
Fia wrote:
I dunno about the rest of you but, having never been one or given birth to one, I find boys from the age of around 7 until they grow up (if they do :innocence: ) completely incomprehensible :shrug:
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:Um ... Isn't that ... a bit ... sexist? :innocence:
As I was speaking from my own lack of experience but occasional interaction with boys, what makes them tick as a group is to me completely incomprehensible. I can remember how it felt as a teenage girl to ride the hormones, to try and fit in by wearing the right clothes and make-up, and having enough information on subjects I had no interest in to be able to be accepted. I don't emotionally understand the boys obsessive humour about bodily functions, the physicality of their interactions, the grunt rather then the conversation...
Yet I admit there was a low blow there which, in gender equality terms was uncalled for. Just because I can't empathise with it does not give me the right to demean the male struggles. I apologise.
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:I think schools should ideally be for all genders, parental beliefs, and, for the most part, abilities (though it may be that, especially given the limited resources currently available to mainstream schools, they may not always be able to teach some students with severe learning difficulties or disabilities effectively)
In urban areas (here there is one secondary school, absolutely no choice unless you go to the private sector and have your child 3 hrs on a bus every day or board) there is more scope. If every school had to provide for every possible student (as our school has to do, bar severe difficulties) the available resources are even more stretched. I'm unconvinced our secondary school has done the best by my eldest, indeed she begged me frequently to change schools. She certainly would have been happier in a school with a different focus, which in a city would be feasible. So I'm still torn in the same way...

Enough! I'm working at silly o'clock tomorrow...

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Alan H
Posts: 24067
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Educating Boys

#41 Post by Alan H » October 10th, 2010, 9:41 pm

In today's Observer:

Britain's divided schools: a disturbing portrait of inequality
One of the most comprehensive studies into fairness in the UK shows how class, race and gender remain crucial factors in determining how British pupils succeed at school - and beyond
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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