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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Trend: The Boy Crisis

The Trouble With Boys
They're kinetic, maddening and failing at school. Now educators are trying new ways to help them succeed.

some article excerpts:
>This widening achievement gap, says Margaret Spellings, U.S. secretary of Education, "has profound implications for the economy, society, families and democracy."

>In elementary-school classrooms—where teachers increasingly put an emphasis on language and a premium on sitting quietly and speaking in turn—the mismatch between boys and school can become painfully obvious. "Girl behavior becomes the gold standard," says "Raising Cain" coauthor Thompson. "Boys are treated like defective girls."

>One of the most reliable predictors of whether a boy will succeed or fail in high school rests on a single question: does he have a man in his life to look up to? Too often, the answer is no. High rates of divorce and single motherhood have created a generation of fatherless boys. In every kind of neighborhood, rich or poor, an increasing number of boys—now a startling 40 percent—are being raised without their biological dads.

>In the past, boys had many opportunities to learn from older men. They might have been paired with a tutor, apprenticed to a master or put to work in the family store. High schools offered boys a rich array of roles in which to exercise leadership skills—class officer, yearbook editor or a place on the debate team. These days, with the exception of sports, more girls than boys are involved in those activities

via Newsweek

Get more at this link:


alyson said...

Provoking. If boys are falling behind now, does this mean that 18- to 34-year-old males will no longer be the "most important demographic in advertising" in future?

Lachlan said...

Similar stuff on adolecent male develpment has been fairly well studied in Elephants and various Primates... (it's always Elephants and Primates!), from what I remember it showed that without a calming older male presence they pretty much go off the rails and become hyper agressive. Often a problem where poaches kill the older males (ie for ivory) and the young males then become a menace to surrounding communities. Interestingly reintroducing older males from outside, restores their behaviour (reduces their destructive agression).

Erm, so... maybe we need older male Elephants introduced to schools??? :o)