Improving Boys' Academics Improving the Term Paper

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(p. 88) Boys and girls also respond differently to stress, threat and confrontation, as girls are more likely to shy away from confrontation while boys seem to at times be motivated by it. (p. 88-89) Lastly, one of the most important issues of gender differences that effect education is in relation to social interactive differences, boys feel less of a need to connect with others in a social way while girls are driven by friendships and social engagement. In school this fact effects relationships with teachers and others to such a degree that it challenges their ability to learn in the current system, yet this is not something that should be altered the system needs to be altered to meet this different need. (p. 84) (Lundy & Firebaugh, 2005, p. 233) one suggestion, easily implemented that will alter the dynamic of the success of boys in a situation where peer relations dependant on school rejection is the norm is to only privately praise or admonish students for successes or failures as open testament to doing well or doing poorly seems to drive peer acceptance and change the manner in which boys learn. ((Rundell, 2001, online)

Boys leave school most days feeling as if they are not welcome there and they act academically and socially in response to this feeling. Gurain and Stevens point out that boys are a year to a year and a half behind girls in academics. (p.22) the natural tendencies of boys to be active, and fidgety has become an almost total liability and changing the system is the only way to alter the situation for boys. (p.53).".. It is as hard- wired into the brain as a person's genetic personality. In the same way that you cannot change an introvert into an extrovert, you cannot change the brain of a boy into the brain of a girl...." (p.60)

Systematic changes that need to be made, short of segregating boys from girls (though this is still an option that should be addressed everywhere) include; reducing class size to help those who are behind get caught up, modifying instruction time to better meet the needs of the active student, (Gilbert, 1998, p.8) utilizing more visual aides and hands on activities, using high interest learning materials, utilizing technology and the internet (Weinman & Cain, 1999, online) building self-esteem and having greater expectation within a better tailored system. (Connolly, 2004, p. 136)

The male brain is one that requires hands on learning, aptitudes of interest and expectations of self and others that actually reflect the way they think. (Rundell, 2001, online)

It is often the case that an individual seeks education before they have become a parent, in fact this is the desired state of the system as it is utilized today. The fact that child development is studied, prior to the development of real child rearing experiences can taint the individual to begin to believe that the way a person responds to the world is entirely dependant upon the way in which the environment treats it. This leave the individual with the distinct sense that it is the fault of parents and educators when children do not do what we expect them to do. Though it is many the new parent that realizes the error of their thoughts and even their ways when they become the parents of distinctly individual children, with gender and individual differences that force one to alter the way in which he or she reacts to an interacts with him or her. (Sax 2005) There are even a couple of cases where prominent, respected individual academics have had distinct epiphanies that negated their foundational core beliefs about sociology or psychology once they became parents and began to interact with their children. Sadly, springing from the equal rights movement, is the idea that if we can prove that a person, as a biological being is equal to another (male-female) then we must also go further to say that they can be educated in the same manner and achieve equal success. Yet, the proof has not been supplied, only theories that attempt to gender-neutralize the classroom. The result has been failure of boys in the current system and the failure of girls in the sub-systems (such as math and science) that tend to be taught in a manner that better meets the needs of boys. To change this problem a full scale abandonment of gender neutrality as a goal must take place and we must begin to teach children in the manner in which their brains actually function.


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