A question for teachers, administrators or anyone interested in educational theory and methodology?
Question:Are boys discriminated against in Elementary Schools?
By this I mean are elementary schools, curricula and teaching methods more geared towards a female style of learning than a male style of learning (and there is a difference). Is the fact that the vast majority of teachers for this age group are female have a negative impact on young boys learning patterns?
If not, how would you explain that at least in my country and I suspect many others, females do much better in Elementary school but males catch up and outperform later.
In my country females get more Bachelor's degrees but fewer PhD's. Does this say something about learning patterns? (ie - earning a BA means learning someone else's ideas but earning a PhD requires independent thought)
By the way, I think that the situation in High School Math education is the opposite (though improving). Of course my goal is a balanced education for all.
In one school I am familiar with, the test scores disaggregated did indicate a gender inequity, but the gender gap can go either way. Schools are addressing this issue and making strides at narrowing the gap by using a variety of methods. I think some schools are experimenting with all-girl or all-boy classes and the results will be interesting to analyze.
I am not convinced the gender of the teacher has as much impact (negative or positive) on learning as does other factors and variables, but I don't have statistics on this.
It is usually agreed that females mature sooner than boys at the elementary stage. Boys also usually physically outgrow girls later as well. So I would suggest the difference in performance is more related simply to developmental stages rather than "female styles of learning". (We may be saying the same thing here)
My first guess would be that females earn fewer PhD's for reasons other than what you suggest. Societal factors for example.
You are going to have a hard time proving to me that earning a BA does not require independent thought and that earning a PhD is not based on someone else's thought. Even new research is based on past information.
I do not think that teachers/schools deliberately, intentionally "discriminate" against boys or girls for that matter. On the contrary, I see schools aware of the gender issue and are making improvments. I hope your question(s) helps to keep this topic of discussion at the forefront of education .
Yes, I think you're right. Not only are most elementary teachers (and a growing number of principals) female, but young girls are at a developmental stage where the structure of school is a better fit for them. With their higher energy levels, the need to use their large muscles and their competitive instincts, school is like torture for a lot of young boys. Asking a 6 year old boy to sit still and listen for SIX HOURS is absurd. The only thing worse is that millions of them are being drugged to make them more compliant. Very sad.
For a long time I believed that because elementary schools were run mostly by women the curriculum choices they made were geared more towards girls. For example, the choice of stories used to teach reading. HOWEVER, in my opinion with the big push for standardized testing I am seeing more and more non-fiction literature used to teach reading. This seems to level the playing field a bit. Both boys and girls are often fascinated with the topics of the non-fiction. But quite often the topics are science related. A subject area where boys have traditionally excelled. This is an interesting topic. As another person said...it is good that this topic is in the spotlight! We all need to be aware of this and how it affects our teaching.
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