It’s a ‘Boy Crisis’!

“Basically, boys are flatlined’, says Judith Kleinfeld, director of the Boys Project at the University of Alaska.”They aren’t keeping up with the demands of an economy that relies increasingly on highly technical skills.”
(In one international test of literary skills, 15-year-old girls in Canada outperformed 15-year-old boys by 30 percent..)
Boys from all social classes are falling behind. Amoung white sons of college educated parents, Professor Kleinfeld’s research shows the reading skills of this group have dropped dramatically – with 23% of these boys scoring below basic in reading and writing at the end of grade twelve, compared to 7% of the girls.
As Wente states:
“But consider your average school. This is a place where adolescents are expected to sit for hours at a time without squirming, where compliance, neatness, rule following and politeness are rewarded, where males make up the smallest percentage of teachers in 40 years, where adult females drone on about subjects that have no relevance to your daily life, where good literature is anything by Toni Morrison, where normal male competitiveness is intrepreted as deviance and horseplay as sexual harassment, and a sizable percentage of the male inmates have been labelled special ed or behavioural from an early age – i.e. deficient. Is it any wonder so many boys think school is hell?
We do have a problem. And instead of trying to change boys, maybe it’s time we tried to change the system.”
The Globe and MailMargaret Wente