School Choice & Charters Opinion

British Educators Explain Why Boys Fail

By Richard Whitmire — July 11, 2011 1 min read
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The decline of single-sex schools leaves boy exposed to a feminized curriculum and a paucity of male teachers, says the head of the City of London School.

From the article:

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Levin said: "We believe that there's a problem across the English speaking world with boys' academic underachievement. The education system is not giving them a good deal. We need some serious research into the pedagogical differences between teaching boys and girls to raise awareness of the fact that boys respond differently."

And the Eton headmaster weighs in on the same topic.

From his column:

Researchers will give us scientific evidence but practical experience over many years shows that it is simply wrong to assume that the educational needs of girls and boys are the same. A default position that boys and girls must follow the same path and be treated identically through their schooling seems now a tired piece of dogma, a lazy approach to education - and it is damaging. To take just three examples: first, experience shows that teenage boys tend to be more emotional than girls, not less. At important moments, especially when under stress, it is natural for them to respond impulsively. Second, the stereotype that females have an ability to multi-task has some truth to it. Teenage boys, by contrast, tend to respond better and develop faster when they have one idea to concentrate on at a time. Third, boys are creatures of habit. Whether these habits are good or bad depends on their environment and their schooling. Boys need to be encouraged to have a habit of engagement, with regular, productive involvement with life around them. The stress needs to be on doing.

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