Sunday, November 29, 2015

What Is Happening to Our Boys?

When it comes to education, boys are falling behind. Boys' grades are lower than girls' grades. Their dropout rate is 25% higher than girls. And less boys are going onto college after they graduate high school. What is the problem? Some suggest that boys and girls learn differently, and that our currently curriculum are more in tune to the ways girls learn. Some suggest we need more male teachers in elementary education.
I worked in a VPK classroom for two years, and before that I worked in a toddler classroom. It wasn't primary education, but I did notice a lot about little boys. More often than not, they would get criticized for moving too much. The games and imaginary play they wanted to do was discouraged. There was never enough sensory play for them. Boys were constantly pushed to be physical but at the same time punished for it. I felt that boys had so many mixed signals being sent to them.
Currently, I volunteer in elementary aged classrooms. I am so encouraged by one of the teachers I volunteer with. He is an older military veteran that currently teaches second grade. I think it is so wonderful for the children in his class. So often boys are only surrounded by one or two parental men in their lives. In family structures, fathers are usually only brought into the conversation about their child's education when there is a problem. (The school I volunteer with has already had multiple events trying to get the dads more involved in school.) Could this be solved by boys having more support surrounding their education? I think so. 

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