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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 06:40 PM
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"Why can't a boy be more like a girl?"
A compelling 12- minute TED video below about the state of boys in school today.

It covers much more than the title may lead one to believe. The speaker, Ali Carr-Chellman, deftly paints a picture of the school experience through the eyes of boys and concludes that tuning out of school and obsessive video game use "is a symptom, not a cause" of the alarming statistics surrounding the topic of boys' disinterest in school, quickly summarized in the beginning of talk, such as university attendence approaching 30% of all students. She gives three reasons why boys are opting to zone out of learning and continuing education:

1) Zero Tolerance for boy toys, such as toy guns and violence. Boys are not allowed to write about subjects they are most interested in - whether it be about a favorite video game or about violent tornadoes. Boys feel that a teacher "tells me what to write". If a boy does display an interest in these types of things, the question that inevitably arises is "Should we send this child to a psychologist?"

2) Fewer male teachers in the classroom sends the message to boys that school is for girls
and "I don't belong here".

3) "Kindergarten is the new second grade." Today, what students once learned in second grade is now being taught in kindergarten. This "compressed curriculum" is due to accountability measures that teachers "must get through" regardless of readiness for No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Race to the Top, and other standardized measures. Compliance, not the love of learning, is the rule of the day.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-17-11 07:53 PM
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1. Another fascinating anecdote from the talk
"College administrators are really worried as school admissions approach 70% female. They're concerned because women won't choose a college with no men in it."
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comtec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 12:46 AM
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2. I wonder.... Is this a consequence of telling girls they are great, while not telling boys anything
Part of me thinks it's a natural conclusion of boys being told they are insignificant compared to the uber-humans that women are.

but part of me thinks that it's perhaps the natural correction of women being suppressed for so long.
I'm wondering if you looked at the actual numbers (%-age of the population) of young men going into college, if the numbers are really all that different, and it simply reflects the increase of women entering college, and the work force.

Young men are still entering the work force, however low-tech it may be. We still need plumbers, electricians, auto-workers, mechanics, etc. None of these require a college degree, but a simple trade schooling, or Union training (IBEW does apprenticing for electrical workers).

Young men are also told, increasingly, that the military is the best way to go, then getting blown to hell in iraq, Afghanistan, or some other damned 'stan and returning a mess, unfit for college education. Sadly a love-interest sees the air force as his only way to get ahead in life, even though he's a brilliant programmer and 3D artist.

I am glad to see more women in university, of course, but I am disturbed a bit by this study.
My ex-boyfriend (who i still love dearly) also has a real lack-luster for doing anything with his life. His family has set up a trust fund so that all members get a free ride to college, and he simply has no ambition.

So it makes me wonder. I imagine that the push to improve girl's self image towards the positive has caused boys to be left behind.

that is, while it's good that girls are being encouraged to aspire to more than just being house wives, boys are simply being ignored, and not really given any alternative.

Geeks are still shunned, there are no sci fi programs on TV worth watching, and science education has been brutally raped since * got into office. There is no real push for boys to do anything worth while, no inspiration, and no one seems to care.

I imagine this will be corrected in the near future, when people realize that along with making girls feel better about themselves, this can not be done at the expense of boys. That is, boys need to be encouraged to strive for more in their lives as well.

Also, maybe it's time to admit that not everyone is cut out for college. That trade school is not a dishonorable way to go.

*shrugs* i dunno. i've had a long-ish day and im tired, but that's what my gut is telling me anyway.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 02:10 AM
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3. When I was in high school
There was a strong voc-ed program. A student could take horticulture, carpentry, shop, metalshop, electronics, reporting, graphic arts (offset printing), mechanical drawing, "office" (typing - what can I say, I'm old), or nursing.

For students who didn't feel like they fit in grade school, there was bound to be something to hold their interest well enough to get them through high school and perhaps beyond. In those days, nearly half of grade school teachers were men.

Now, new teachers don't have any direct knowledge of boys, nor are there any other teachers at the school who can give them that perspective. When boys get to high school, all of the activities which might hold a young man's interest have been eliminated because they are too expensive, interfere with state mandated activities or pose too much of a liability risk.

In my experience, 80% of teachers are well intentioned but ignorant of what makes boys tick, and 20% are openly hostile. They are on a mission to fix the world. The fact that their male students are failing is, at best, their own damn fault for being such slackers, or worse; justice.

My district's last male grade school teacher retires this year.

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