web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Boys In The Back: Equalizing Education

Schonfeld-logo1

Think about the perfect student, the one who sits quietly, takes notes, and participates when called on. Now, were you imagining a boy or a girl? Chances are, your “perfect” student was a girl.

Why? The attributes I mentioned – sitting quietly, participating when called on, and taking notes – are noncognitive skills. These skills have nothing to do with a child’s intelligence and include: attentiveness, persistence, eagerness to learn, and the ability to sit still and work independently. Cristina Hoff Summers pointed out in a February article for The New York Times, “As most parents know, girls tend to develop these skills earlier and more naturally than boys.”

In essence, the whole system of education in our country is “rigged” against boys. And because of this, regardless of their intellectual ability, boys receive lower grades than girls. In fact, Summers points out that teachers tend to rate boys as less proficient in all skills (math, reading, writing) than girls, but on standardized tests, those same boys will score the same or better than the girls.

Saying that our education system is biased against boys might be true, but you could argue that our workplaces, which require people to sit and focus for long periods of time, are also rigged against boys and their later mastery of those essential noncognitive skills.

So, how can we, as parents and educators, make the learning process less unbalanced for our boys?. Here are some suggestions to help move our boys to the head of the class:

More boy-friendly reading assignments. In literacy education, there are often books that are labeled “boy books” or “girl books.” And, yep, you guessed it – most books incorporated into curricula would typically be labeled “girl books.” Instead of the more classic works of literature, curricula should include science fiction, fantasy, sports, and espionage genres. Even if the boys have not yet fully developed their “noncognitive skills” they will be more likely to read subjects that interest them. Of course, this does not mean that all books should be geared towards boys; rather, more books should be selected with their interests in mind.

More recess. Boys and girls need time to run around and shed their excess energy. In fact, research shows that children are able to better concentrate after they have done some exercise. So, how do you maximize boys’ learning? You let them run around the recess yard first. When they get back into class, their brains will be primed to learn.

More hands-on learning. While it’s true that boys lag behind girls in noncognitive skills such as sitting still and attending, this is no indication of their intelligence. Therefore, if we create hands-on learning opportunities (which do not rely on sitting still), we will be giving these boys a method through which to learn. For example, instead of talking about the lifecycle and anatomy of a plant, dissect a seed and use that hands-on activity as a jumping off point for discussion.

Single-sex classrooms. Our yeshivahs have single-sex classrooms, but just having a single-sex classroom is not enough to ensure that boys will learn up to their capabilities. That single-sex classroom must be run with the understanding that boys read different material, need to run around a little, and benefit from hands-on learning. Our classrooms and schools are already separate. Now, we need to make an effort to teach to our boys’ strengths.

 

Boys and Reading

Boys do not read at nearly the same level as girls. Reading Rockets, an organization devoted to promoting lifelong learning, states the situation bluntly:

The statistics are consistent: Young male readers lag behind their female counterparts. According to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in 2001, fourth-grade girls in all of the 30-plus participating countries scored higher in reading literacy than fourth-grade boys by a statistically significant amount. 

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Boys In The Back: Equalizing Education”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF soldiers examine fragments from a rocket that landed near Kibbutz El Rom, fired from Syria on July 14, 2014.
IDF Soldier Wounded by Syrian Mortar Fire on Golan Heights
Latest Sections Stories
Mordechai-082214-Armoire

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

Einhorn-082214-Water

Stroll through formal gardens, ride mountain bikes, or go rock climbing.

Teens-082214

As they fall upon us we go
To the WALL.

Twenties-082214-Girls

One minute you’re shaving shwarma off a pit, then the shwarma guy tells you he read a (fake) WhatsApp that the boys are dead.

I probe a little deeper and Shula takes me into the world of phantom pains and prosthetic limbs.

This went on until she had immersed eighty times, and then Hashem at last took pity upon her.

Because Menachem lives in Israel, he can feel the ruach in the air.

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Leon experienced the War of Independence from a soldier’s perspective, while remaining true to his Jewish ideals and beliefs.

Chabad of Arizona centers recently hosted an evening of remembrance to mark the 20th yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

More Articles from Rabbanit Chana Henkin
Schonfeld-logo1

Think about the perfect student, the one who sits quietly, takes notes, and participates when called on. Now, were you imagining a boy or a girl? Chances are, your “perfect” student was a girl.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/boys-in-the-back-equalizing-education/2014/01/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: