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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Teaching Your Child

I participated in a remarkable conversion a few days ago. An experienced teacher had recently participated in a workshop on the differences between boys and girls (the instructor is supposedly to appear on a John Stossel 20/20 episode on September 15, 2006). The instructor was not identified, but it may have been Michael Gurian or his logical equivalent.

The teacher was shocked to learn there are differences in how the two sexes learn. Apparently this workshop struck a chord because many common problem classroom situations, with boys in particular, where elucidated.

From the conversation I gathered that since the 1970's teachers have been instructed that boys and girls are "the same" relative to how they learn (supposedly due to "woman's lib"). The teacher was beside herself because it was completely clear that whatever had been going on in his classroom was highly stilted toward favoring the "female" learning model. He realized that the boys were being "made into girls".

(As an example: Little Johnny scribbles outside the lines. Little Suzy colors neatly inside the lines. Little Suzy is praised for doing a good job while little Johnny is chastised for his coloring ineptness. Johnny subsequently tries to emulate little Suzy. As time goes by little Johnny realizes he is inferior to Suzy as a boy and hence works to emulate her due is native male competitiveness. The point being that little Johnny learns coloring differently and coloring outside the lines may not (no pun intended) outside the lines of Johnny's ability relative to little Suzy and their respectively equal numerical ages.)

The conversation expanded into how much this teacher was expected to do in the classroom already and that making up for the lack of teaching skills shown by the younger teachers was now also becoming a problem. An example of this was a situation where newly graduated teachers were unsuccessful at teaching junior high school grammar and spelling - apparently because they (the newly graduated teachers) themselves did not have a good grasp of these subjects.

This combination of revelations lead the teacher to lament his future survival - particularly in retirement.

Well, its about time! Sadly no connection was made relating the product of the educational system and the skill levels of newly graduated teachers - nor was a connection evident between the "sissifying" of boys and the educational system.

I suspect its too late for hope....

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