Are boys falling behind girls in academic achievement?

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David S. Bushnell (not verified)

Having worked with graduate

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Having worked with graduate and undergraduates for the past 40 years, I can say without reservation that boys (admittedly with many exceptions) are not competitive with girls at the academic level. I hypothesize that some of their shortcomings may be the product of the way we try to teach young men at the junior and senior high school levels. Given their predilection for "active learning," we fail to harness the energy surge experienced by adolescent males, many of whom excel at sports but lag behind in their academic pursuits. Perhaps we need to reexamine the "one-size-fits-all" mentality that governs much of the thinking behind how students should be involved in learning experiences, particularly between the ages of 11-18.
Jerry Longo (not verified)

It is not only boys who are

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It is not only boys who are falling behind, but men. Men are not competitive in the education market place and I have heard similar reviews from CEO's in the business world. I have occassion to critique and interview dozens of teacher applicants each year. I also teach at the graduate level. Women have it all over men in academic achievement, external experiences, confidence and presence. Of course there are exceptions, but that should not be a comfort. There may not be easy answers to this complex problem. Educators should be studying the issue and beginning to take thoughtful steps to turn the tide. We need our young men and young women to excel if our nation and way of life is to be maintained.
George Falkenhagen (not verified)

Having taught in middle

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Having taught in middle school, high school and junior college for 32 years, I can tell you that boys are behind girls the majority of the time. Of course there are exceptions to that rule. I believe we must do a better job of educating the male population if we are going to maintain our place in the World.
Dr. Anthony Salvatore (not verified)

With almost 30 plus years in

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With almost 30 plus years in education at the upper elementary to College levels, boys are being left way behind but for reasons that we are missing. There is increasing research and literature on the presence of adolescent depression which is going unnoticed, especially by the medical and educational fields. 1 in 5 youths have a diagnosable mental health problem according to a 1999 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It hits boys the hardest because they tend not to be as verbal as girls during the pre-adolescent and adolescent years so it can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for a longer period. Remember, depression wasn't even recognized by the medical profession until 1980 when DSM-III first recognized that it could occur in children instead of being only an adult disease. Dr. William Glasser notes that all behavior is purposeful and that it is a language, but we have to understand the meaning behind a young person's behavior such as dropping out of school, binge drinking, car accidents, smoking, etc. beyond the archaic "boys will be boys" mentality. The other cruel piece is that depression is increasingly impacting our brighter children who have the capacity to "mask" their depression until they bottom out, sometimes in high school, more likely in college, or even later in the workplace. Tragically, mental health is still an unspoken word in our culture instead of being recognized as a legitimate disease like diabetes or cancer. Before we can do a better job of educating males in our country, we have to help them to become healthier first!
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