Schools are starting to figure it out

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.”


5 Responses

  1. I was always amazed by (and never believed) that sudden “received wisdom” that girls weren’t doing well in school. I did high school as a preppie back in the days when most New England prep schools were single sex schools, but my recollection from before I left to do that was that from first grade to eighth grade the girls just killed us. In a class of fifty the top fifteen were always girls – in all subjects.

    Don’t know where this belief that they were being “left behind” came from – but never believed it.

  2. […] [Discuss this article with Bookworm over at Bookworm Room…] Share Article Montessori, ADHD, Maria Montessori    Sphere: Related Content Trackback URL […]

  3. I agaree w/JJ. I’ve been scratching my head for years about how on earth the girls-left-behind crappola came to be believed. All through high school (’58-’62)it was the girls who outshined the boys, except for a few exceptions in (sorry feministas) math and science. My daughter’s friend has a 5-year old son who is a totally undiciplined and very unhappy little boy and she is sure that now he will become a little charmer and not throw things and act out 24/7. Why? Because the doctor has prescribed ridilin.

  4. I could see the girls in school with me dumb themselves down as they entered high school. This was in the early 1980s, at a private prep school in a big city. Girls who had been academic leaders turned into bubbleheads.

    My own observation is that girls are the ideal student in elementary school — obedient, social, able to sit still, fast-developing in language skills, etc. But as the kids move into high school, the ideal student becomes a boy — competitive, outspoken, not afraid to be a “know it all,” and oriented to math and science.

    In trying to cure the high school girls, our schools have punished the boys. I hope this article presages a real trend.

  5. An assistant dean of education presented a film which purported to show us that when it came to science education, girls were short-changed. To lend support to this hypothesis, the assistant dean, who was of the feminine persuasion, told us, “My father was a physician. My brother was a physician.And look at me- in education.”
    Perhaps to support this, one should look at my sister’s best friend in high school.Her father was an MD. She got her doctorate in Ed Psych. This might lend support to the education dean’s assertion that girls were short-changed in science. Unfortunately, there were two facts in the way. First, the mother of my sister’s best friend was also an MD. Second, the result of my sister’s friend’s doctorate suggested that there was a genetic component in the differences between male and female achievement in mathematics. Because of the politically incorrect conclusions of her thesis, she could not get a faculty position.

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