Yesterday The Other Charlotte and I posted (click here and here) on the fact that family therapists and educators are finally waking up to the politically incorrect but firmly supported fact that the brains of boys and girls are different and that schools need to take into account the different learning strategies of boys in order to halt the fearful rate of school dropouts by male adolescents. We cited an op-ed article in the Washington Post and a news article in the Kansas City Star that rebut the proposition that all we need is a little indoctrination for boys and girls to be exactly alike.
In response, we’ve gotten comments from two terrific bloggers. One is Sensible Mom, whose blog is a “Best Weblogs” finalist this year (and deservedly so–a bookmark must). A quote from Sensible Mom’s blog:
“The idea that boys and girls are the same was sold by feminists (many who likely didn’t have sons of their own) and bought by educators. In fact, most people who think they’re the same have children who are the same sex. If you have both you know better. The frightening thing that’s hapening in schools is that teachers try to make the boys like girls. They want quiet classrooms and often don’t want to take time for recess so the boys can release their pent up energy. Many too quickly suggest that the boys are hyperactive when they may just be immature. But even more important is the fact that most grade school teachers are young, single women. They don’t have their own children and haven’t lived the difference between boys and girls.” I remember a Richard Cohen article (I can’t find it on the web) on this subject from about a year ago where I was shocked to learn he was disillusioned by the liberal approach of favoring girls. It’s interesting how people’s views change when their own children are affected, isn’t it?”
And here’s our good friend Bookworm:
“Maria Montessori figured out more than 100 years ago that children are active little creatures. If you visit any true Montessori classroom, you’ll see that the children are not anchored to chairs, but are free to move around the room and sit where they are most comfortable for their particular project. Proponents of traditional education would expect this to be an anarchic environment, but it’s not. Because the children are delighted by their work, the fact that their bodies are moving does not prevent their brains from being completely engaged by the educational process.”
“I think this is the reason that it’s a rare Montessori child diagnoses with ADHD. The bottom line is that all children are inherently ADHD, and the Montessori approach accommodates this, rather than pathologizing it.”
“Yes–instead of accommodating children’s high energy levels, we’ve drugged the children, abolished recess, gotten rid of competitive sports in the name of developing self-esteem, and indeed gotten rid of all forms of competition in school, when we know that little boys thrive on competition. Thank goodness that a few of our educators and therapists are finally seeing the light.
“I, too have enjoyed the HP movies, although the last two more than the first two. But J.K. Rowling isn’t so great a writer that you should…wade through her thousands of pages. (#5 is about as long as ‘Lord of the Rings,’ sans appendices). Rowling plots intricately and has some amusing inventions, but she badly needed editing on the middle volumes. Moreover, her prose is rather flat. The scripter writer did an amazing job paring ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ down to its essentials…. “An excellent site for the serious HARRY fan is http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/. www.hogwartsprofessor.cm/forums leads to some excellent articles about the series (like why Snape is actually a Good Guy).” Snape is my very favorite Harry Potter character, so I’m delighted to hear this!