Posts Tagged ‘education’

Philip Zimbardo on the Lives of Boys

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus at Stanford University, gives his take on why boys are struggling:

I think he brings an interesting and valid perspective, but obviously there are more factors as to why boys are struggling in school and in finding a job.

Some of them may be:

  • Schools aren’t adapted to the learning style of boys.
  • Society has a negative view on men.
  • Boys living without their father (and there are many of them) have a hard time finding male role models, especially in school.
  • We lack a vision of what positive masculinity could be in a postmodern world. And when there’s no vision – you may as well play computer games and watch porn.

Boys still struggling in schools

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

An article in Education Week highlights how girls have closed the gap to boys in mathematics, while boys are still trailing girls just as much in reading:

[...] male students in every state where data were available lag behind females in reading, based on an analysis of recent state test results. At the same time, in mathematics, a subject in which girls have historically trailed, the percentages of both genders scoring “proficient” or higher were roughly the same [...]

Luckily, educators are finally beginning to take these trends seriously:

“We’ve been talking about closing the achievement gap in so many different ways, … but we have not focused on the gender gap, which is very clear and startling in this report.”

To the best of my knowledge there has been quite a bit of focus on the gender gap–in math-where girls used to trail boys in their performance. However, the fact that there has been a reversed gender gap in reading has pretty much been ignored, so it’s good to see that it finally may gain some traction.

The gender gap in schools cannot be ignored since it carries over into higher education. In most Western countries more girls than boys are entering college and universities, and the differences cannot be said to be negligible. In Sweden, for example, almost twice as many women are getting a degree from colleges and universitities. What will these differences lead to in the long run?