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Is education failing boys?

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posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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I just read something in the Daily Mail which gave me food for thought.

www.dailymail.co.uk...

It has been noted for some time that boys are getting outperformed in every subject at school. When I was in school, I was always completely bored at school. I don't know if it was because the subjects have been "feminized", not even sure what that exactly means...How can you "feminize" maths? or even that sweaty subject P.E?
In my view, the Daily Mail shouldn't be taken seriously. If you do share any views with the Daily Mail though, you might want to take a long walk off a short pier.




posted on Jun, 13 2006 @ 03:39 PM
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Well I dont know about the UK but I recently had an unsettling expierence here in the US.


I was applying for a job, and a woman in front of me asked for an application to which it was given to her gladly. Ok, no problem I step up to the desk and ask the same woman for the same application and she gave me the line....

"I dont think this is for you, and you will be waiting months for a response"

now keep in mind this just a desk clerk job and is nothing inheritantly "feminine" about the job.

Also, keep in mind I had a typed resume as well as my written application for this job, and the other applicant didnt have one.

so after she begrudgingly gave me one I filled it out and went ot her boss and gave him the resume and application out of fear she would throw it away.

anyway...I do feel females are more encouraged then males are and often receive scholarships etc even though there are males who excel far more greatly.

It's dicouraging yes, but just remember to stick to your guns and dont let politically correct, "its time for your punishment because of how your fathers before you were" tactic to bother you.



posted on Jun, 14 2006 @ 11:03 PM
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I dunno if I'm the only one, but I just didn't feel stimulated in school. I was completely disengaged, and bored out of my mind whenever I was in school. I felt absolutely nothing whilst I was at school. Is it my fault for not being interested or is it the ciriculum's fault for not being interesting?
I sort of blame myself. Maybe it's just that we're getting more stupid? Is that too big an assumption?



posted on Jun, 27 2006 @ 03:24 PM
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From my personal experience at school (finished secondary school a few weeks ago) , I wouldn't say that lessons haven't become "feminised", I cant really see how that is possible in some lessons, give out pink frilly pens or what? Classrooms may not be competetive places, but I feel that is the best way, currently students learn together, as opposed to learning against, meaning kids help each other out in subjects, if competetiveness is over encouraged, the climate in classrooms could dramatically turn, with students constantly trying to out-do each other, which is not an ideal way to learn.

Perhaps a big reason why girls outdoing boys is simple, most boys simply cannot be bothered, there are several boys in my old school that didnt care about their learning at all, generally because the learning is not relevant to them as people, and the typical male reaction is why bother with it? Lessons are not relevant to all boys, new subjects need to be implemented into the curriculum, for example a lot of what we learn is maths is not relevant to me at all, my exam was about 3 weeks ago, and i cant remember any of the stuff in it, things like pythagoras's theorem. Practical learning, that will be needed in later life is needed.



posted on Jul, 5 2006 @ 03:52 AM
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Its Daily Mail misrepresented nonsense.

You only get out of education what you put into it. Your sex doesnt matter.
Also girls tend to be smarter than boys, no wonder they do a little better.



posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by Uncle Joe
Its Daily Mail misrepresented nonsense.

You only get out of education what you put into it. Your sex doesnt matter.
Also girls tend to be smarter than boys, no wonder they do a little better.


Come on, let's be reasonable here. Saying that girls are smarter than boys is just as bad as saying that blacks are smarter than whites, or vice versa, or that Europeans are smarter than Germans. It's ridiculous. While it seems that girls are more talented in language and social sciences, boys seem to excel in math and science. Regardless, neither is more intelligent. Boys may seem that way due to the influence of testosterone in their thought processes, making them more aggressive, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is so.


As for the OP, I do believe that girls are favored in schools over boys, due to personal experience. (While I live in the U.S., and the news article is about the U.K., I have a feeling that it's the same over there too). Obviously, women have been oppressed in the past - very recently, in fact, were they allowed to vote. Thus, there is still tension between genders in jobs and education. I'm guessing that, since women are generally more sociable (the female brain is programmed to focus more on social issues than, say territorial ones like the male brain), they are favored by the teachers for being "nicer" - therefore, they have extra leverage in the teacher's descisions which may lead to higher grades and apparent favoritism. I know that, in my school, I always watch the girls be allowed to do things that most boys couldn't even think about doing before they were given detention or whatever other punishment the teachers could think of. That's why, in my opinon, girls do better than males in school.



posted on Jul, 20 2006 @ 08:45 PM
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Now what I want to know is how many people on this site are male. Because the impression I get is that there are relatively few woman on here. Typing out your male or female is obviously meaningless; but the questions important because it might just help explain why there are so few women in parliament. I thought this might be because woman are generally less likely to be evil than men, but ever since my previous girlfriend was a bitch I now know this to be just naive.

But seriously; if ATS did some sort gender research it would put the so called parliamentary barriers to women into perspective. I mean how many gender barriers are there to joining this site?
And why anyone deserves so called "positive discrimination" is something I don't know as its just unfair discrimination under a different name. Because of this you would have thought the quality of our MP's would deteriorate if all woman shortlists were pushed through. Then again given that their chief quality seems to be misleading the public, perhaps this is not such a bad thing?


[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
And why anyone deserves so called "positive discrimination" is something I don't know as its just unfair discrimination under a different name.


- If such an obvious disparity didn't exist then you would be right.
The problem with this argument is that is ignores the reality as it actually is and does little or nothing to correct an unhealthy and existing imbalance.

In the case of women MPs the situation was so bad that the Labour party took the view, rightly IMO, that the only way to redress the situation on anything like a credible scale and in anything like a workable time-table was by 'positive discrimination' (even the tory party have come to recognise this).


Because of this you would have thought the quality of our MP's would deteriorate if all woman shortlists were pushed through.


- There are many and varied reasons why some aspects of life are a barrier to full participation by women (and others) at times.

If we honestly believe that the best and most sustainable decisions are reached when a more representitive section of our people are engaged and taking those decisions then the quality should improve, not deteriorate.


Then again given that their chief quality seems to be misleading the public, perhaps this is not such a bad thing?


- Back to the idea that everyone of them's a crook and a liar eh, Lib?



posted on Jul, 22 2006 @ 08:18 PM
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I am female and yeah, school sometimes sucked.

But I think in the U.S. and U.K., its more about the culture we live in than sex differences. Actually attempting to learn or be smart is frowned upon. Boys are more interested in asserting some image of "macho" or manly than in actually trying to be intelligent or better yourself.

And i agree the Mail should not be taken seriously. My husband reads it. if i read and believed everything in the mail, I'd be convinced I was living in a Socialist dictatorship filled with drug crazed drunks and populated by immigrants who never worked and lived off state benefits............and its all Labour's fault!



posted on Jul, 24 2006 @ 04:48 PM
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I suppose this revolves around what 'we' want 'our' schools to be and where 'we' place the priorities.

It's probably a little sweeping but I think it's fair to say that coeducation schools generally produce better rounded people when it comes to social relations and interaction when children mature to adulthood whereas single sex schools produce academic success but maybe a slightly lesser level of social skills.

The interesting thing is that these debates (concerning such a fundamental issue) always seem to take place in an inward looking 'national bubble'.

The UK isn't the only country to have single sex and mixed sex education yet we are almost never informed about how other countries manage in their education systems.
How do the other EU countries manage?
How about the US system?

Sweeping generalities that simply claim 'coeducation' results in less achievement for boys are just not good enough IMO because I don't believe that to always be true anyway.



posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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On Channel 4 in the UK there was a program. They took some kids back to 1950's style of teaching. The girls and boys were kept seperate and it was found the boys learnt a lot better without distractions. A lot of the boys even said this themselves. The classes involved more experiments instead of theory and again they learnt much more quickly and even more importantly, they became interested in the classes.

the same occured for the girls, although they didn't like the practical experiments as much. I think schools should be returned to the days of same sex school, more practical experiments and less theory.



posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
I think schools should be returned to the days of same sex school, more practical experiments and less theory.


- I disagree.

I come from a place where they used to separate boys and girls at 11 and have same sex schools (Northern Ireland).

They say NI has good acedemic results compared to the rest of the UK but they're still making those claims and most places became co-educational some time ago.
We also have a big domestic violence problem - and I do not think this is unconnected.

As I said before I think the differences in acedemic performance are pretty marginal anyway but when set against the later social cost/benefit they just aren't worth it, IMO.

There are other ways to improve acedemic performance rather than taking the 'easy' option of gender separation and creating further generations with poor social skills (and quite possibly broadening the numbers of those ill-equipped for stable marriages and/or partnerships with the opposite sex later in life).

As for the Channel 4 program?
It was interesting, I agree.

But then again I've never seen a situation where the preceeding generations are not aghast at the (to them) modern teaching methods and what 'the kids today' learn (or don't learn).
My grandparents told me so about my parents and my parents said it about my education and we all said it about the kids.
It always was and always will be.

(if you look back in history you'll find the Romans and Greeks tutted said and complained about exactly the same kind of 'the kids today' stuff thousands of years ago)


[edit on 30-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by ImaginaryReality1984
The classes involved more experiments instead of theory and again (...the male students..) learnt much more quickly and even more importantly, they became interested in the classes.

The same occured for the girls, although they didn't like the practical experiments as much.


I think you just hit the nail on the head there. I was going to try to say something along the lines that school has become feminized in many ways but the reason may be more economics than one of gender exclusion. Schools (at least in America) have gone away from the "show don't tell" rule that is required for a male mind to stay actively involved. In their place, we get endless lectures followed by essay and report writing. It is my feeling that females (especially during the high school period) excel at verbal and written tasks and this creates an environment that unevenly tests the genders. The reason isn't gender bias but economics; experiments are expensive. To make matters worse the subject areas such as trade skills that were male oriented have been slowly cut due to the changing job landscape but have never been replaced. Many schools are losing shop classes but aren't gaining electronics repair courses, for example.

My father, an educator for 30 years, tells me that even test questions have changed over time. Today a student in history may very well find himself confronted with a question of the form, "What was the motivation behind XYZ's actions that lead to event ABC?" How many male students can adequately explore his personal feelings? Yet the question asks the student to formulate an answer based on another human's emotions. As my father put it, "How many boys keep a diary?"

With my father's help, I have tried to identify some of the steps necessary to fix the educational system:
1) Separate the sexes into individual classes.
This is self-explanatory.

2) Use cross-subject education.
Use history to teach mathematics and science to teach history. A perfect math class example is instead of asking, “If you had 42 apples and 6 days later only had one left, what was the average number of apples eaten per day?” ask “Napoleons army entered Russia with some 420k troops, 6 months later he returned, defeated, to Europe with only 10k troops. How many losses, per month, did Napoleon’s army suffer?” The ultimate goal is to engage more than one part of the student's brain.

3) Encourage gender-dominant subjects.
Subjects such as basic engineering and repair subjects offer the necessary visual and manual interaction a male student requires and offer a short respite from a mostly writing-dominated curriculum.

Jon



posted on Jul, 30 2006 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
But then again I've never seen a situation where the preceeding generations are not aghast at the (to them) modern teaching methods and what 'the kids today' learn (or don't learn).
My grandparents told me so about my parents and my parents said it about my education and we all said it about the kids.
It always was and always will be.
[edit on 30-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]


Sminkey i am that generation! I sat through school maybe five years ago thinking then that it was stupid. The only two classes i loved were chemistry and biology. The reason for this was simple, the teachers still used lots of practical experiments. Watching thing's go bang and flash, smelling god awful smells, strange coloured flames and gases. These are the things that get people interested at the outset. I did well in every other class but i enjoyed those two classes far more and for me this made me want to learn them instead of just learning them becuase i had to.

The teaching methods also seem incorrect. When i saw people in college they greatly lacked the basic skills to do the thing's required at college level. The reason is because we were taught bits and pieces of information without a good basis. Also we were taught certain things which are wrong, and they were wrong then as well. I read an awful lot outside of school so i was prepared, but now the education system truly is in a state of teaching simply to pass exams.



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