Schools Need to Look Deeper at "The Boy Crisis"
> 2/7/2006 2:09:55 PM

If you missed out on Newsweek's January 30th cover story "The Trouble with Boys," read it here. The basic premise comes from the article's fourth paragraph:
The problem won't be solved overnight. In the last two decades, the education system has become obsessed with a quantifiable and narrowly defined kind of academic success, these experts say, and that myopic view is harming boys. Boys are biologically, developmentally and psychologically different from girls—and teachers need to learn how to bring out the best in every one. "Very well-meaning people," says Dr. Bruce Perry, a Houston neurologist who advocates for troubled kids, "have created a biologically disrespectful model of education."

Yesterday, Boston Globe columnist Cathy Young again pushed the debate, but happily brought it back down to Earth. Newsweeks' piece threw a bunch of statistics and anecdotal evidence into the fray, much of which was very helpful and important. But their editorial choices made it seem as though they may have been trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill, or maybe at least a smaller mountain.

Young's piece looks at the situation with a little more of an even keel and concludes with the following:
The problem is out in the open, which is a positive step. Now, we should try to address it without pitting girls against boys, or treating either as victims.
As she states, we've put the problem out into the open recently with a slew of media coverage. The next step is for educators, administrators, psychologists and researchers to look at the problem a little more deeply and try to draw out not only causes and influences, but also solutions.

We'll continue covering this story as it progresses, and bring our own perspectives into the forum over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to leave your comments, and check back as the debate continues.


You seem to me to be minimizing the problem and I have to say I think it is a real problem and a big one. As the parent of a young boy, perhaps I have become oversensitive. But I see this "disrespectful model of education" frequently. One example: a local university offers special programs to encourage girls to go into science and engineering. There is no program either aimed at boys or gender nuetral.I think that the schools are reflecting a societal problem, actually. I first became aware of the issue when my son was a baby and I was reading parenting magazines. The babies in parenting magazines are much more frequently referred to with feminine pronouns than with masculine ones. Please keep looking at this issue. I believe it is a very important one. It was wrong in the past to overlook the educational needs of girls and it is now equally wrong to overlook the educational needs of boys.
Posted by: Karen 3/3/2006 12:39:13 PM

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