I started the week with a cold opening. I hoped this question would elicit some emotion and strong opinion.
The answers ranged from uncertainty over whether this claim was true to collections of links about boys performance in school. Most responses, however, shared observations that may point to the problem.
A1.2 If rule following and pleasing adults, school is oriented for girls. Personal obs from my own kids. #slowchated
— Beth Crawford (@bethctech) April 6, 2015
A1 Societal expectations. Is there really more than that? #slowchated
— Mike Thayer (@mthayer_nj) April 6, 2015
A1 In my experience, boys are less likely to read (esp. fiction) for fun & this can have a cumulative effect #slowchated
— Barbara Larochelle (@BarbLarochelle) April 6, 2015
. @TeacherWithTuba IMHO, The pace & volume of teaching has increased over the last 20 yrs. The gender gap follows suit. #slowchatedAnd my first question also brought back the first reminder that we must be careful with these statistics to avoid stereotyping our students.
— Sean Hampton-Cole (@SeanHCole) April 8, 2015
A1 - In 2nd grade, I don't see big academic girls/boys gap. Need to avoid stereotyping roles for girls/boys in our culture. #slowchated
— Michelle Davies (@LovesSummerSun) April 7, 2015
When I reflected on the statistics shared in my opening statement and from various tweets on Monday, I realized that I had seen many of the behavior statistics play out in my classroom (more frequent suspensions and discipline infractions related to bullying), than I had academic differences between boys and girls. That led to this question:
A2 experience-both go together(cyclical)boy behavior not acceptable-T kicks out of class-boy misses instruction-lost so acts up #slowchated
— Ben Dickson (@BDicksonNV) April 7, 2015
A2 #slowchated Both. Boy or girl, most behavioral issues, IMO, stem from academic and classroom struggles.
— Mr.Allard (@MrAllardSS) April 7, 2015
A2: Great Q @TeacherWithTuba. In my exp, external causes. Some struggle bc of inconsistent behavioral expectations yr to yr. #slowchatedAll of those tweets began to point at the problem, but the next ones really summed it up for me.
— Joe Young (@Jyoung1219) April 7, 2015
A2 - Boy struggles can be both academic & behavioral. The problem is, we respond to them differently for girls vs. boys. #slowchated
— Michelle Davies (@LovesSummerSun) April 8, 2015
@SeenaRich I'm thinking "boys will be boys" allows & even encourages more aggression.Then when goes to far, harsher consequence.#slowchated
— Michelle Davies (@LovesSummerSun) April 9, 2015
I've seen just as much inappropriate behavior from girls as boys, but boys are more likely to break a big school rule that results in harsh consequences like suspension. For example, bullying seems to happen equally with boys and girls, but boys' bullying is more likely to get physical and our school rules are clear that physical aggression results in suspension. Although the humiliation that can come with name-calling and rumors is just as damaging, if not more so, it is more difficult to determine when those behaviors warrant severe consequences.
After spending two days discussing the problem, it was time to look for solutions.
A3: @TeacherWithTuba Plan for movement! Let them move around and make noise. Learning is messy #slowchated
— Jacob Hunter (@Mr_Hunter106) April 8, 2015
A3 #slowchated Model/mentor positive behavior. Unique for me having gone to school I teach at. Show Ss ok to be good academic/athlete
— Mr.Allard (@MrAllardSS) April 8, 2015
A3: I am helping boys in the classroom by giving them a sense of power and ownership in what they do and creat. #slowchated
— Angela Breneman (@teachlove4SpEd) April 9, 2015
A3: positive and well designed competition important too. Yee's gamification player types suggests boys engage dif than girls #slowchated
— Adam Powley (@MrPowley) April 9, 2015
Our fourth question went back to the big picture.
A4 Schools need to adapt to be more Ss centered period, w/o a specific focus on boys or girls. #slowchated
— Beth Crawford (@bethctech) April 9, 2015
A4: I think we need to do a little of both, and meet in the middle. The whole system needs to change to meet diverse students #slowchated
— Mari Venturino (@MsVenturino) April 10, 2015
A4 I put all the onus on the schools, given what we know about kids. We need to adapt to them, rather than expect the opposite. #slowchated
— Moss Pike (@mosspike) April 10, 2015
A4 #slowchated I think early childhood ed is key. Ss need time to learn through play - not high stakes kindergarten.
— Jim Windisch (@TeacherWithTuba) April 10, 2015
I ended the week with a question I think about frequently as a male elementary school teacher. I've never worked (or attended) an elementary school with more than three male teachers. I've always felt that some boys get the idea that school and education is a female pursuit when they don't see men teaching classes. Being the Friday question, there weren't too many responses, but I think the one below says it all.
A5: A person once told me in order for a boy to become a man he must first see one. #slowchatedMale role models are important, whether or not they're found in schools. Still, this is an idea I would like to explore more, so I might dedicate an entire chat to this topic in the future.
— WalterReap (@WalterReap) April 10, 2015
Thanks to everyone who participated this week. I enjoyed seeing the thought put into the answers for this topic. I look forward to more discussions of big ideas with #slowchated