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Why Are Boys Poor In School?

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Only 43% of college students are boys according to the US Census Bureau, yet still there is female favoritism going on throughout the school system.

American boys today are downtrodden, beaten down and discriminated against. They aren't taught to be tough anymore, but to be "soft and sensitive", yet at the same time not supposed to expose emotions. Sure, you'd think that the "sensitive man" days are behind us and that America has "smartened up" and returned to its roots, but that's not what Debbie Schlussel discovered when she found this article in the Wichita Eagle which quotes Wichita State Baseball coach Gene Stephenson. His Shockers won the National Championship in 1997.

Gene Stephenson, says he has watched a generational drop-off in passion for life, knowledge, self-sacrifice and work, let alone for ball. ... "I'm really disappointed in how they no longer have the zest, not just for baseball but for knowledge, and for the joys that come when you take responsibility and learn to do something really well," he said. "You realize... I'm recruiting the cream of the crop. Wonderful guys. But they don't have the work ethic or consistent performance or the tolerance for pain that guys used to have."

That shows that the spine of boys nationwide has been broken. They have no motivation. Wichita State University notes that enrollment for male students has dropped from 49% in 1980 to less then 44% in the latest year.

Really, what do they expect though? There are many incentive programs and a national guilt that continues to be poured on our nation that women are disadvantaged and that they should receive special benefits like scholarships over men. That has worked so well that women now comprise 57% of students in college, a clear majority.

This isn't just about social programs and the accepted discrimination that continues to this day, it's also about the failing school system. As you read the article above it will become clear that these boys are intelligent. They're not dumb. They are unmotivated and nobody seems to know why. Well, I have the answer.

I am one of those boys who was unmotivated. Clearly recognized as above average intelligence and taking 7th grade courses while in 5th grade in a private school. I was shifted into a public school after we moved. I can tell you first hand that the school system, with a lowest common denominator form of education, not only bored me to tears, but crushed any motivation I had. They refused to move me ahead for "social concerns" with my age. So rather than possibly face that they'd rather make me hate school and turn into an unmotivated drone.

These days boys face even more concerns. They are berated for being boys. If they get fidgety in their chairs they are punished, yet at the same time gym and PE classes have been reduced or eliminated not letting them get rid of physical energies. They no longer are allowed any outlet for their frustrations.

In addition, "extra curricular" type classes such as woodworking and metalworking have been eliminated. So guess what you get to do all day in school as a boy? You get to go to school and sit in classroom after classroom listening to boring ass teachers talk all day and getting yelled at for shifting around in your chair with nothing of interest to look forward to. No gym classes, no hands on education like woodworking - where you learn things like fractional measurement and geometry in an interesting way that boys can relate to directly.

This is stated as "Velcro classes" by high school teacher Larry Smith in the article.

"We used to have more woodworking and welding classes," Smith said. "I called them 'Velcro classes' because boys stuck with school just to do those classes, even if they never wanted to be a welder or woodworker. They stuck with those classes because boys seem to learn a lot more hands-on."

And no matter how much I personally love technology and video games, there is no substitute for what I did as a child, actually going outside and playing.

Kids these days also face no repercussions at home. Parents are told to reason with their kids, not to spank them. If they don't do an assignment, they get grounded. Ooooh, so scary, being made to stay in the house on the computer, the Internet and playing video games. Parents have no spine either refusing to actually punish their kids because they will feel guilty. We've turned into a generation of wimpy parents who never put the smack down.

Then you have wimpy people in the school system that refuse to face the facts. Like Ron Matson, chairman of the department of sociology at Wichita State University, who had this to say regarding whether boys are wired differently for learning than girls - which in my opinion is quite obvious.

"Let's not go there," Matson said. "If wiring had anything to do with it, history would have had us omit blacks and women and gays and people with disabilities from education long ago. We need to fix education; we need to fix the culture of masculinity."

You can't fix a problem if you are unwilling to address it directly.

The fact is that kids learn through play. They don't learn through simple lectures. As schools have slowly removed the "play" ways of learning, the incidents of dropping out, poor grades and an appearance of being a "slacker" have been on the rise. The fact of the matter is that the way schools used to be had far less problems than the schools of today. While they may not have been perfect, they performed a lot better than today's schools.

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Posted by Digger on March 7, 2007 08:00 AM (Permalink)

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It's sad to know that woodworking classes have been eliminated in your extra curriculum. I used to have fun in those classes as a kid.

Posted by: kevindominguez on May 11, 2011 11:56 AM

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