October 28 2013

Hoff Sommers: Helping Boys Succeed in School

Charlotte Hays

Christina Hoff Sommers' book The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men is a seminal work. Hoff Sommers was one of the first to recognize that our society has policies—many the product of feminist ideology—that are detrimental to the welfare of boys.

Schools in particular have become less hospitable to boys, resulting in declining achievements for young men.

Hoff Sommers has a must-read piece this morning in Time magazine on what schools can do to help boys perform better.  

The piece both outlines the problem and offers solutions:

Being a boy can be a serious liability in today’s classroom. As a group, boys are noisy, rowdy and hard to manage. Many are messy, disorganized and won’t sit still. Young male rambunctiousness, according to a recent study, leads teachers to underestimate their intellectual and academic abilities. “Girl behavior is the gold standard in schools,” says psychologist Michael Thompson. “Boys are treated like defective girls.”

These “defective girls” are not faring well academically. Compared with girls, boys earn lower grades, win fewer honors and are less likely to go to college. One education expert has quipped that, if current trends continue, the last male will graduate from college in 2068. In today’s knowledge-based economy, success in the classroom has never been more crucial to a young person’s life prospects. Women are adapting; men are not.

Hoff Sommers' common sense--and also counterintuitive--solutions include bringing back recess (abolished as too rowdy in many schools but good for high-energy little boys) and turning boys into readers. Most of the books taught in schools today are girl-friendly but not appealing to boys.

Read the entire article.

 

 

 

 

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