One of my favorite images of a visit to a Montessori classroom is of a second grade boy working on a project. He was crouched on the floor with his friends, with a huge sheet of paper spread out in front of him, diligently preparing a time line about the dinosaurs. Even as his focus never left the project, his body was never still. He moved sideways, he jumped back and forth over the paper, he spun around — and he never, never stopped working for one minute. The physical freedom of the Montessori classroom, coupled with the fact that (common in Montessori) he found his work absolutely fascinating, meant that a boy who would have been classified as ADHD in a traditional chairbound classroom, was highly productive. It’s so obvious — and was obvious to Maria Montessori when she started observing children more than 100 years ago: engage their attention and free their bodies.
It’s taken the education establishment 100 years to catch on, but they’re doing so ever so slowly, and they’re figuring it out only as to boys — which itself is huge, because it means that the blinders radical feminism threw over education are finally lifting:
For more than a decade, the conventional wisdom has been that schools have shortchanged girls, who were ignored in the classroom as they lagged behind in math and science.
But now a growing chorus of educators and advocates for boys is turning that notion upside down.
Boys are the ones in trouble, they say. They are trailing girls in reading and writing, are more likely to get in trouble or be labeled as learning disabled, and are less likely to go to college.
The educators, citing emerging brain research, say that the two sexes learn differently and that schools are more geared to girls than to their ants-in-the-pants counterparts. But they are adopting strategies to help boys succeed, from playing multiplication baseball to handing out stress balls and setting up boys-only schools.
“The public schools teach to girls. You have to be able to follow the rules and color in the lines,” said Livermore parent Missy Davis, who moved her son, Collin, to the private, all-boys Pacific Boychoir Academy in Oakland after he struggled in coed public and parochial settings. “Boys get labeled immature and disrupting. (Teachers) don’t know how to utilize the energy.”
I’m so happy that a change may be coming, and I’m so sad for the lost generation of boys, especially the last generation that was especially handicapped by the feminist ideology permeating America’s “schools” of “education.”