Bad News (for) Boys

News & Notes for those who care and share!
•References •Resources •Research •Ramblings
Issue Three -2016
Editor: Ed DeRoche
Co-Editor: Serena Pariser
Bad News (for) Boys
”The work we do in school is girls’ work; it is not real work,” says a middle school age
Peter DeWitt author of Writing the Playbook: A Practitioner's Guide to Creating a
Boy-Friendly School writes: "I challenge you: Put on a 'boy perspective' and take a
hard look at your school – from the curriculum, to the décor, to the policies and
procedures. What is turning boys off and tuning them out?”
Columnist Michael Kimmel notes that “boys' underachievement is driven by
masculinity – that is, what boys think it means to be a man is often at odds with
succeeding in school. Stated most simply, many boys regard academic
disengagement as a sign of their masculinity.”
It is no surprise that “girls are reading better than boys… and the pattern is giving
girls a life-long advantage…. Boys are lagging behind girls on standardized reading
tests in all 50 states…In Virginia and New Hampshire, middle school girls did better
than boys in reading proficiency by 15 percentage points. In New York, girls were 13
percentage points ahead…The difference now is that boys are not catching up."
The Common Core Standards might be slanting what one reads to more non-fiction
than fictional materials?
The new standards envision elementary students …reading equally from literature
and informational text. By high school, literature should represent only 30 percent
of their readings; 70 percent should be informational. The tilt reflects employers'
and college professors' complaints that too many young people can't analyze or
synthesize information, or document arguments.
Might this help boys? Maybe. There is some research evidence that literature-based
programs might help young readers to learn and apply positive behavioral virtues,
like gratitude, integrity, self-control, and courage, as well as improving social skills
by helping the reader better understand other human being and taking another
person’s point of view (empathy).
A recent Gallop Youth Survey== The poll also finds that girls are more likely to say they feel happy
in school than boys are -- 37% to 25%, respectively. Thirty-six percent of boys say they feel challenged,
compared with 26% of girls. Nineteen percent of girls report feeling lonely, versus just 7% of boys. The
genders are equally likely to report being bored at school.
For a comprehensive perspective read this article by Kimberly Bowen-Reading is for the boys (and girls)!
Narnia Virtues Project
The University of San Diego's Character Development Center is happy to connect
you with a new educational project from our colleagues at the Center for the 4th and
5th Rs and the University of Leeds, UK.
The Narnia Virtues Project is a literature-based character education curriculum for
students ages 11 to 13. If you are an educator who teaches students in the 11 to 13
age -group, then you are eligible to join the Narnia Virtues project. All teacher and
student materials are free. The project that will begin a pilot launch of its
curriculum in fall 2016, and are looking for participants.
Please click here to read this invitation.
If your school would like to participate, please complete this registration form,
and submit ASAP to Dr. Peter Hart at the University of Leeds, UK.
Blogs for Educators, by Educators
Former principal, Wendy Ghiora’s, April blog: “Let’s Raise Powerful Self-Confident
Hal Urban, Teacher, Author, Speaker—April blog: “Our Public School Teachers Are
in Need for a Lift”
Serena Pariser- former Teacher of the Year, Speaker, National Evaluator for Schools
of Character
++ Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework
++The Gratitude Project
++“Heroes of Character”
++ Self-awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and
Responsible Decision-Making
Thursday, June 23 and Friday, June 24, 2016
*graduate level extension credits in semester hours for conference attendees