Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Education Fails Boys

An interesting take from NSWATM on education, which is absolutely worth a read. It presents an interesting study where children are given the task assign a statement to a male or female figure. The results:

The statements posed were about behaviour, intelligence and success in school, such as “This child is really clever”, or “This child always finishes their work”. More than 200 children of various ages were tested, and the results were:

At age 4, girls consistently pick the girl picture as being cleverer, better-performing, more focused and better behaved than boys.

The boys continue to hold no gender bias for about 2-3 years, but by around the age of 7 or 8 they start to exhibit gender bias… in favour of girls, at their own expense. Their views start to conform to that of the girls, and this continues throughout the older age groups.

The girls continue to hold the same views throughout.
I’d love to know more about what’s giving those 4-year-old girls such strong anti-male prejudices. I’d like to also draw attention to the fact that the questions didn’t just cover the children’s own views, but also asked the children what adults believed.

The conclusion:

It’s a question of the current system essentially comprising a female-dominated workplace, one which Ms Hartley’s research suggests is distinctly misandrist — particularly at the primary-school level where children are learning what school is and how they fit within it. In an employment context, we’d call that a hostile working environment.

My belief is that to improve boys education, it’s not necessary to pair each boy with a male teacher (or each girl with a female teacher). Instead, it’s necessary to change those fundamental attitudes that are telling boys, before they even reach the age of 7, that they are inferior.

Now read it all...it is a great article.

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