Saturday, March 7, 2009

Enough girl power.

I feel as strongly as the next educated woman on the importance of educational equality for women. But, the fact is that the tables have turned dramatically. Women are statistically more successful in school than men. This all starts in elementary school and continues sll the way up to college where incoming freshmen classes are female biased and attrition is higher in males than females all the way through.

The time has come to address why males are less successful in our educational system than females. While educational initiatives for girls are still important - we need to figure out how to fix the leaky pipeline of bright young unsuccessful boys. It comes as no surprise to my readers reader that I am a mother of boys. But, seriously, why does my kindergartner suffer in his grades because he can't sit in a chair all day, do worksheets and want to cut out pictures of growing bean plants? Can't the kid just get dirty and plant beans to see what happens? He can get his teeth into getting dirty - but, cutting and sounding out B-E-A-N for six hours is not exactly setting him up for success.

The kid went into kindergarten with high hopes and WAY ahead of the curve on all the pre-tests. At this point (six months in), he shows NO signs of increased achievement, and has decided everything but gym class and art sucks. Can't we just spend kindergarten teaching kids that learning is fun? It is really crucial to his college enrollment that he is reading by the end of kindergarten? Are worksheets the best way to learn?

Let's start initiatives to help boys succeed, to actually get some male role models into the elementary schools (other than PE teachers), and to get them dirty at school - cuz' that's the funnest stuff to do.

I am a big Dewey fan - we learn by doing, let's do more and talk about it less. I think we need to introduce the following into kindergarten (all things, by the way, that I remember doing in elementary school):
  • playing in dirt (gardening?)
  • counting games that require running around
  • letter games that require running around (run to trace the letters? playground chalk?)
  • blowing shit up (science? I don't know, but it sure is fun)
  • walking in the woods
  • keeping frogs in tanks
  • growing insects

I bet there are a million better ideas. This totally makes you appreciate the potential of homeschool.

1 comment:

BOSSY said...

Growing insects. Bossy must mull this one for a few years.