School & District Management

A Curriculum Just for Boys

By Bryan Toporek — August 19, 2010 1 min read

When you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? The soon-to-be-opened East Bay School for Boys in Berkeley, Calif., has adopted that maxim by designing its curriculum around the principle that young boys tend to be energetic and always on the move, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The structure of a classroom—sitting still in a desk all day—works better for girls than boys,” said Marcia Bedford, an East Bay School for Boys board member. “There’s a lot of pressure on boys to hold it together all day and behave, well, like girls.”

Boys now trail girls in reading, writing, grades, test scores, and motivation, according to a report compiled by educators and sociologists for President Obama. Instead of forcing young boys to restrain their typical abundance of energy, the East Bay School for Boys will adapt to the boys’ needs, and will provide them plenty of opportunities to run around, along with lesson plans structured to accommodate boys’ active learning styles.

“These schools take boys as they are. Instead of punishing boys for their activity, they embrace it and build the curriculum around it,” said Brad Adams, executive director of the International Boys School Coalition. “These schools have had great success.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.