Summary of the “St. Petersburg Tribune” Article
“Schools Leave Boys Behind, Experts Say”
The statistics alarm that young males are getting worse with literacy, reading, and class behavior in comparison to their female counterparts. In fact, boys are more predisposed to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the number of male diagnosed with this disorder increased greatly in the last decade. Furthermore, the majority of the total school-related arrests result from boys’ misdemeanor. Is a high boys’ energy, which nothing can be done with, the only explanation of the statistics, or are there some ways of profitable treatment of boys’ natural habits? The Pinellas Education Foundation’s 2014 education symposium concludes that being a spacey boy is not bad; it means being different and having a need for a new educational approach that schools have been constantly ignoring.
The St.Petersburg Tribune article touches upon one of the most noteworthy educational psychology topics, which also has a significant meaning in solving the gender gap issue. Dedicated to the Pinellas Education Foundation’s 2014 education symposium, the article underlines the importance of ideas being discussed among notable educators, judges and psychologists. As it was previously mentioned, recent statics give grounds to concern over boys’ lag in learning specific subjects. While Florida educational standards in literacy, for example, are getting higher, boys are becoming more exposed to be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which, in turn, may lead to an increase of children whose future is predetermined by criminal charges or imprisonment. A disappointing chain of consequences might be broken if certain authorities, leading experts in the field of education and psychology will try to change the current situation in schools and introduce the necessary innovations in the boys’ educational process. Moreover, director of the Tridas Center for Child Development in Tampa suggests that “introducing more hands-on, interactive lessons in schools” can alternate medical treatment of the disorder, manifestations of which usually are simple traits of boys’ characters as liveliness, vigor, and spaciness. Educators should not torture them with inflated text-heavy lessons and standards, but they should involve them into “science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities into classrooms, whether through after-school clubs, hands-on career training or robotics contests in every elementary and middle school”. In addition, the male respected mentor would probably have a positive influence on those bullies who are too rebellious to be quiet listeners in a class.
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Thus, instead of being guided by the imposed stereotypes and quite incorrect interferences enlarging the gender gap, those restless boys should try to steer their energy into useful mainstream so as to develop their own interests. That might bring positive results for themselves and for society as well. Consequently, schools are responsible for the future of such young males and along with the work of reputable male mentors and additional activity classes the number of young criminals among boys might decrease soon.
What if not boys’ energy is so contagious and fun in a classroom? Boys are usually instigators, pranksters, cheerful generators of funny and inventive ideas. Probably it would be quite boring without boys in a class even for teachers. Nevertheless, middle-school educational and psychological circles continue to discuss only difficulties that occur with boys, their low grades, and disobedience. Every year statistics alarms that boys’ rates are lower than that of girls’, and as a result, some kind of general truth statement about boys’ inherent defectiveness came about. I suppose it is a wrong and rather offensive statement. For this reason, the St. Petersburg Tribune article not only caught my attention, forced to agree with certain statements presented therein, but also to rethink the artificial gender-gap stereotypes that are circling in society, and make a certain type of people feel discouraged or follow the wrong traces.
In the beginning, I would like to express my total support to the idea of additional classes that would involve boys into activities of a different kind. Not every family or even a schoolboy by himself has an idea of where to put all his energy and enthusiasm of constant activity. Thus, instead of bad usage of such hyperactivity, boys might invest it into personal, social and educational development. Instead of interpreting boys’ hyperactivity as a disease, it is much better to consider it special traits and talents. Afterwards, boys will not feel themselves losers in comparison with girls if to speak about their study successes and achievements. In addition, a very amusing dependence between the improper organization of the educational process, where excessive literacy and reading lessons ultimately can be a reason of boys getting involved in crime, though it sounds ludicrous, but apparently still has a grain of truth. If to make a kind of analysis of various additional factors that influence boys’ tendency to prank, school arrests may be really connected with the general educational situation that was created. Thus, I strongly believe that making boys get interested in things they tend to be good at and things they like the most at school will bring great results. Furthermore, boys tend to have a person they can follow as a role model in their young and teen age. Usually it might be a father or elder brother, and yet often a leader of thought is a local bully, but almost never a teacher. But what if special mentors would be the ones who they will look up to and inspire to behave not like uncontrolled rebels and mischievous bullies, but like brave and prudent leaders, inquisitive enthusiasts and witty persons? Those types of men usually are more respective and attractive not just for girls but the whole society.
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Knowingly, there is a joke that excellent pupils should help poor students and permit them to write off if they want the ones with low grades to provide them with job in the future. It often happens that children with low marks and even with incomplete education become more successful than their excellent classmates. Thus, being the ones who pass literacy test with the highest grades means not so much, while individual traits of energy, personal enthusiasm and activity are assessed as bad or even as disease manifestations. It is especially wrong if those are generally boys left by school behind.