A Michael Gurian, Kathy Stevens book, published by Jossey-Bass, reviewed by Reg Adkins.
Michael Gurian begins the book by describing the current crisis in the education of boys. He takes careful steps to note the indicators of this crisis in detail noting facts including
- boys get the majority of D’s and F’s
- boys make up 80% of the discipline problems
- boys make up 70% of the “learning disabled” students
- boys make up 80% of the “behavior disordered” students
- boys make up 80% of the children on Ritalin, et. al.
- boys are a year to a year and a half behind girls in reading and writing
- boys make up 80% of the high school drop outs
- boys make up less than 44% of the college population
One must admit those are pretty stark facts.
The authors stipulate that these weaknesses developed as the result of the paradigm shift designed to make education more receptive to girls several decades ago.
The authors continue on to point out this is not a phenomena specific to the United States. Similar data is noted in England, Canada, Australia, Germany, France and Japan. Further, the authors state boys are outperformed by girls in thirty-five of the developed countries.
The next section of the book is dedicated to examining the functionality of the male brain and how it differs from the female in the processing of information.
At this point the book undertakes the examination a series of instructional techniques designed to compensate for the deficiencies in the current educational practices which highly favor girls. The theme of which is movement inclusive instructional methods.
Further, the book breaks the techniques into practices that may be applied by parents to stimulate brain function in boys. The follow-up is an examination of how teachers may implement these changes in the classrooms.
All in all, it is a pretty good read that has some excellent insight into (you guessed it) the minds of boys. However, I was struck by the frequent references to instructional techniques for girls. They seemed out of place. I don’t believe if I had read a book entitled “The Minds of Girls” it would have contained nearly as many references to techniques for boys.
Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (elementaltruths.blogspot.com).