The following article is republished from the Al Fin Next Level blog. Those who are familiar with the topics in the Dangerous Child blog find much that is familiar to them.
Mainstream Coed Schools are Failing Boys
Girls read more books. They outperform boys on tests for artistic and musical ability. More girls than boys study abroad. More join the Peace Corps. At the same time, more boys than girls are suspended from school. More [boys] are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. More boys than girls are involved in crime, alcohol, and drugs. Girls attempt suicide more often than boys, but it is boys who more often succeed. __ The War Against Boys
For some odd reason, modern schools are designed around the needs of girls. It should be no surprise then that girls are thriving in schools from K through university, while in comparison boys are languishing.
Girls are usually better able to sit still and read, able to read and write earlier, and better at literacy in general. When teachers are unaware of these brain differences, they may misdiagnose normal boys as having learning disabilities and conduct disorders. __ http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept06/vol64/num01/Teaching-to-the-Minds-of-Boys.aspx
Boys need more physical activity, more risk taking activities, and more rough and tumble play. Most female teachers are not comfortable with giving boys these needful things. And so schools continue to put boys through hell, which disadvantages many of them throughout their education — which is too often curtailed as a result.
Simple changes to the pace and tempo of the school day, such as incorporating several brief recesses throughout the day, devoting more time to physical education, and including more hands-on activities go a long way towards alleviating some of the natural restlessness of boys and harnessing male energy in positive ways. How much Ritalin could remain on the shelves if we created schools that are ready for boys rather than boys who are ready for schools? __ Lori Day
Boys have a different style of learning than girls. According to a study titled “Teaching Boys: A Global Study in Effective Practices” by Dr. Michael Reichert and Dr. Richard Hawley, eight categories of instruction seem to succeed particularly with boys:
- Lessons that result in an end product—a booklet, a catapult, a poem, or a comic strip, for example.
- Lessons that are structured as competitive games.
- Lessons requiring motor activity.
- Lessons requiring boys to assume responsibility for the learning of others.
- Lessons that require boys to address open questions or unsolved problems.
- Lessons that require a combination of competition and teamwork.
- Lessons that focus on independent, personal discovery and realization.
- Lessons that introduce drama in the form of novelty or surprise.
Most K-12 schools are not boy-friendly, and in the same way most modern universities are not man-friendly. But universities and university departments that still care about competing in male-dominant fields will usually find a way to treat male students in a fair and equitable manner.
Young men may be a vanishing breed on the college campus, but there are some colleges that have no trouble attracting them—schools whose names include the letters T-E-C-H. Georgia Tech is 68 percent male; Rochester Institute of Technology, 68 percent; South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 74 percent. This affinity pattern points to one highly promising strategy for reconnecting boys with school: vocational education, now called Career and Technical Education (CTE). __ How to Make School Better for Boys
Locking kids indoors for seven or eight hours each day may be good for most girls, but it is hell on boys. Boys need exercise — lots of exercise. And they need to learn to take physical risks, something that is strictly forbidden at most schools.
- We overprotect kids, trying to keep them safe from all physical dangers–which ultimately increases their likelihood of real health issues.
- We inhibit children’s academic growth (especially among boys), because the lack of physical activity makes it harder for them to concentrate.
- When they fail to conform quietly to this low-energy paradigm, we over-diagnose or even punish kids for reacting the way they’re naturally built to react.
Most boys are rambunctious. Often they seem like they’re in a constant state of motion: running, jumping, fighting, playing, getting hurt–maybe getting upset–and getting right back into the physical action.
Except at school, where they’re required to sit still for long periods of time. (And when they fail to stay still, how are they punished? Often by being forced to skip recess–and thus sit still even longer.) __ Boys Need to Move
Researchers in Finland discovered that boys do better in reading and math when they are allowed more physical activity, with less time sitting in a classroom. Girls did not need nearly so much exercise as boys, according to the Finnish researchers. We should pay attention to the suggestion that boys and girls may benefit from entirely different approaches to schooling and child raising.
Very young children such as toddlers between 1 and 4 years, need at least three hours a day of exercise, broken up into shorter segments of time. Older children are said by various agencies of the US government to need at least one hour of exercise daily, but the real benefits for boys probably come from at least three hours a day of exercise for older children as well as younger ones. This would most easily take the form of roughly 15 minutes of exercise out of every hour of waking time. In other words, short periods of exercise throughout the day, interspersed with longer periods of other activities such as eating, dressing, schooling, homework, and occasional longer exercise periods.
The current guidelines for children 6 to 17 years of age include being physically active for at least 60 minutes or more each day with aerobic, muscle and bone strengthening activities. __ Source
A unique approach to schooling known as “forest schools” seems to offer benefits for boys (and probably some girls) which cannot be obtained at conventional schools. Here are some possible benefits from forest schools:
1. Building confidence and independence
Building dens, navigating with a compass and using a knife in woodwork are just some of the activities that instil children with confidence and a sense of independence.
“Children feel empowered as they learn more about their own natural environment,” explains Worroll.
2. Feeling empathy for others and nature
Working as a team in a natural setting bonds children as a group. It also makes them aware of the need to care for each other and for the environment.
3. Physical fitness
Running around and climbing trees develops muscle strength, aerobic fitness, and coordination. A Scottish study found activity levels were 2.2 times higher in a typical Forest School day than during a school day that included PE lessons.
4. Health benefits
Studies have highlighted a multitude of health benefits to being outside -sunlight and soil microorganisms boost the body’s levels of serotonin, the chemical linked to feelings of wellbeing, while vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health, is also provided by the sun’s rays.
5. Improved mental health
Today’s children are experiencing increased stress caused by a range of pressures, from school exams to social media. Mental-health professionals acknowledge that maintaining a relationship with nature can be very helpful in supporting children’s emotional and mental wellbeing.
6. Learning by experience
Research suggests young children learn best from experience, by using their senses actively rather than passively, and it’s via these experiences that learning remains with us into adulthood.
7. Exposure to manageable risk
At Forest School, children can run and make a noise, get their hands dirty and experience manageable risk, which is essential for healthy child development, through activities such as supervised fire building and cooking.
8. Better sleep and mood
Children – and adults – sleep more deeply after either playing outside or going for a long walk, and mood lifts just from breathing in a few lungfuls of fresh air.
9. Learning about spiritual meaning
Outside the confines of four walls, without the distractions of electronic devices and excessive supervision, children can move, explore and discover at their own pace, connecting to the natural world – a place not created by man, that had deep spiritual meaning for our ancestors. __ Benefits of Forest School
It should be clear that boys need more exposure to the outdoors and to manageable risks, as well as to rough and tumble play and physical exercise in general. Forest schools seem to offer one possible solution to this puzzle that is caused by innate sex differences in educational needs. Clearly many possible solutions to the needs of boy students are possible — if society chose to make boys as much a priority for the future as it has made of girls.
There is a strong argument to be made that boys and girls should be educated in separate classrooms — if not in separate schools. This is not politically correct, but then most wise and effective ideas and most profound truths in this world are not politically correct in this age. We must do the best we can anyway, and make sure that we outlive the insanity.
We may have to fight some of the most powerful corporations in big technology, however:
Big Tech is Making the Problem Worse
The average age of children given their first smartphone is 10 years, in the US. Boys are often given video games much earlier. These electronic devices can bring unhealthy obsessions — leading to less exercise, more sedentary time, and less direct face to face social contact with family and friends. The impact on children and adolescents of such obsessions with electronic devices and social media has yet to be well defined.
There is a preponderance of evidence that social media and smartphone usage seriously damage the mental health of adolescents. Suicide rates among adolescents and young women have skyrocketed from 2007 to 2017.
Smartphones and social media consumption by adolescents are intertwined. Almost all the social media platforms and smartphones are supplied by the following five Big Tech companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and Apple. These five companies have a total market cap of $3.5 Trillion. They are the wealthiest and most powerful companies in the world.
… Big Tech companies use their tremendous influence to suppress information and deter scrutiny of how their products, services, and practices are damaging the health of young people. __ Big Tech Suppresses Information on Its own Harm Producing Impacts
Both boys and girls should have limited contact with sophisticated electronic devices, social media, and uncontrolled access to the internet until at least the mid teen years. The social life of family, school activities, play, as well as their experiencing of the natural world around them — and reading — should take up most of their time. Developing their skills of movement, pattern, music, and language, should take up most of the rest of their waking hours that are not devoted to necessities such as eating and such.
The War Against Boys Continues
Boys are different from girls, and should be raised and educated differently. Modern feminists are determined to continue their war against boys, however. They see no need to accommodate the needs of males at this time, when men are disappearing from so many college campuses.
As long as radical feminists hold dominant positions in government, media, academia, foundations, NGOs, corporate human resources departments, etc., boys and men — and those who love them — will continue fighting an uphill battle. Homeschooling may work in some cases — if it incorporates self-teaching, self-discipline, and self-guidance — as in the Robinson Curriculum.
Vocational high schools and post-secondary schools can provide useful skills that allow boys to generate incomes and experience in the world of money. There are many areas of employment that continue to be dominated by males for strong practical reasons. And there are still some conventional grammar schools, high schools, colleges and universities that try to treat males fairly, overall.
In much of the western world, we are living in a politically correct age of insanity. But these things tend to occur in cycles, so look for your chance to wound this PC turkey at every opportunity — and be ready to finish it off when the time comes.