robertogreco + boys   54

Philly Free School
" I have noticed an interesting phenomenon during the admissions process at the Philly Free School over the past 4 years. Often parents will express interest in the school as a possible placement for their school-aged son, but will not consider it as an option for their daughter. The son is often struggling in his current school. He is too active, or too quiet, too academic, or too physical, and the conventional system is ill-suited to serve this boy’s needs. His sister, however, is often “doing just fine.” She gets good grades, or gets in no trouble, or makes friends easily, or gets along well with her teachers, or all of these. The parents, coming to see the value in a Free School education, think it might be just the thing for their son, but don’t want to rock the boat for their “well-adjusted” daughter.

This is a mistake, and not just for the daughter. Here is why.

1) The daughter is NOT “just fine.” She is sublimating her sense of self, her leadership potential, and her critical thinking skills to fit into a system designed for economies of scale, not the needs of individual learners. She is feeding on the praise, good scores, and honor rolls of a conventional school while starving her inner creator, risk-taker, and out-of-the-box thinker.

How do I know? Because I was that girl. I nailed every test, rocked the distinguished honor roll, participated in clubs, made friends. But where was the deep learning, the hard questions, the healthy skepticism? I didn’t even know I was missing it until college, and by then, boy did I feel cheated. I was so busy meeting and exceeding the expectations of others that I never considered what it might mean to, or even that I had a right to, set and exceed my own expectations. And the toll on girls can have subtle but tragic consequences: according to a recent study by the CDC, teen girls are more likely than their male counterparts to suffer from depression and alcohol use problems.1

We don’t want to sell our daughters short. We want them to excel, to lead, to change things for the better. Developing the personal strength and skill to do these great things takes time, and requires an education that nurtures her leadership potential from the crucial, formative K-12 years. In a May 2013 article in the Harvard Business Review2, Herminia Ibarra, Robin J. Ely, and Deborah Kolb explain: “People become leaders by internalizing a leadership identity and developing a sense of purpose. Internalizing a sense of oneself as a leader is an iterative process.” That is, it cannot be rushed or grafted on after the fact. And while of course we want the same opportunities for our sons, these authors point out that the hill is steeper for girls: “Integrating leadership into one’s core identity is particularly challenging for women, who must establish credibility in a culture that is deeply conflicted about whether, when, and how they should exercise authority.” Accepting “just fine,” or waiting for our daughters to become leaders in college, simply isn’t good enough.

2) Society gets shortchanged. The paucity of women in leadership positions in the U.S. today is a travesty. As Barnard College president Debora Spar3 put it at a White House conference on urban economic development in February, 2012, “Women remain hugely underrepresented at positions of power in every single sector across this country. We have fallen into what I call the 16 percent ghetto, which is that if you look at any sector, be it aerospace engineering, Hollywood films, higher education, or Fortune 500 leading positions, women max out at roughly 16 percent,” Spar said. “That is a crime, and it is a waste of incredible talent.” What inventions would we all benefit from were more women in top positions? We like to think of the US as an enlightened world leader, when in fact we rank 73rd in female legislative representation, behind Bangladesh, Sudan and Pakistan4. What new solutions to age-old global struggles would emerge with female voices being heard, at last, in the halls of power? In 2015, we would like to think that the gender gap is finally shrinking. Sadly, the truth is that women’s advancement has flatlined in recent years3. What improvements to our quality of life in this new millennium would we all enjoy, if women were in charge of the way careers and families support one another? When we settle for a conventional education for our daughters, we all lose. When we give a girl the gift of a Sudbury education, like at the Philly Free School, she gets the opportunity to define leadership for herself, and to go after it with all she’s got.

3) The son gets mixed messages. Is the Free School a real school for real learners, or a last chance ranch for kids who can’t hack it in regular school? Is his future just as bright as his sister’s, or do his parents think she is bound for big ideas, while he should start thinking about manual labor? Conversely, perhaps the mixed message is that he deserves the right to direct his own education and chart his own course, whereas she ought to accept direction by others and passively accept her place in a traditional system where the status quo continues to rule the day. Either way, the parents are missing an opportunity to show that they believe in the Free School model of education and trust their children, boys and girls alike, to create a path to achievement only they can imagine.

The school itself will also benefit greatly from the contributions of these young women. Though the school enjoys a nearly even balance of male and female students, I believe some girls are still missing out. I hope that the parents who consider the Philly Free School for their sons will also think about it for their daughters. The sky’s the limit on where that can take us. In the words of the Bard, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”"
gender  schools  freeschools  phillyfreeschool  children  boys  girls  lcproject  openstudioproject  learning  unschooling  society  parenting  2017  michelleloucas 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Why We’re Launching Redefining Masculinity | Thrive Global
"How the changing definition of what it means to be a man affects the way we work and live."



"What does it mean to be a real man? What does it mean to be a good man? Those are the questions Stony Brook University sociologist Michael Kimmel, who pioneered the field of masculinity studies, asks his students when first broaching the subject. The responses tend to contrast: a real man is tough, maybe a little aloof, certainly brawny; a good man is dependable, takes care of his family, and definitely capable.

These differences speak to just how complicated, variable, and amorphous masculinity is right now, and how much the definitions of “becoming a man” that guys carry around are actually artifacts of their upbringing. As Kimmel, the founder of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook, explained to Thrive Global, the hopes and despairs of males trying to be men connects everything from urban violence to Donald Trump’s road to the White House, not to mention the cultural prescriptions of professional and personal success. At the same time, public life is seeing leaders revise gender norms: Jay-Z, Brad Pitt, and Prince Harry are opening up, Wonder Woman continues to rule the box office, and Michelle Obama and Angela Merkel serve as guiding lights in domestic and international politics. Meanwhile, the rise of women's rights and the decline of traditionally masculine labor have put unexamined gender roles into a bind—the robots are coming for men. And the jobs being added are traditionally thought of as "women's work," to boot.

It is precisely because of masculinity’s many intersections with the world’s biggest social trends that Thrive Global has decided to put together an editorial initiative called Redefining Masculinity. We will show how blinkered, machismo-driven notions of masculinity imprison men in their careers and relationships and impact the workplace for women, and how a more evolved, examined, and expressive manhood can not only improve mental health, but literally save lives. Given the tremendous amount men are acculturated to finding their identities (solely) in their roles at work, changing the workplace for both men and women requires examining the connection (and disconnection) between manhood, masculinity, and machismo.

Launching this week, the section kicks off with a profile of Becoming A Man, a mindful masculinity program in Chicago that reduces teen violence by 40 percent. We’ll also dive into why, as economists have found, so many swaths of American men are getting less marriageable. We have stars across fields taking over our Instagram, and a host of male leaders opening up in interviews about what manhood means to them, and how they seek to become good men. In 2017, it’s taken as an article of faith that gender is a spectrum, but what’s less agreed on—and what we’re going to dive into—is what it means to identify as a man.

Stories thus far:

• Why American Men Are Getting Less Marriageable

• What Donald Trump, Frats, And Feeling Powerless Can Teach Us About Men

• How Masculinity Training Is Curbing Teen Violence In Chicago

• Rembert Browne On Manhood, Malcolm X, And ‘Being Vulnerable, But Not Soft’

• Andy Cohen on TV Dads, the Marlboro Man and Caitlyn Jenner

• PureWow CEO Ryan Harwood on What Being A Father Taught Him About Masculinity

• CrossFit Guru Kelly Starrett On Manhood, Raising Daughters And Rites Of Passage

• Dylan Bowman: What It Means To Be A Man When You Run 100-Mile Races For A Living

• Ben Lerer: Masculinity Is 'All Part Of Just Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin'

• Lewis Howes: Men, It’s Time to Take Off the Masks

• Parents Now Prefer to Have Daughters Over Sons

• Stuart Fitzwilliam: How I Fell Apart as a New Father

• Tony Porter: What Healthy Manhood Means to Me

• Jack Cheng: Masculinity Is Pursuing Truth And Expressing The Self

• Jay Edidin: How to Be a Guy

• Brad Stulberg: Masculinity Is Wisdom, Toughness, And Stability In The Midst Of Uncertainty

• Blackbird CEO Ross Martin On "Wonder Woman" and Fatherhood

• Joseph Gelfer: We Need To 'Undefine' Masculinity

• Masculinity Is 'Being What You Need To Be' To Do What Needs To Get Done

• This Masculinity Camp for Boys Starts at Age 8

· What Restauranteur Adam Elzer Teaches His 3-Year-Old About Life

· How to Pursue Love and Purpose While Still Being Kind

· Eric Franchi on How Having a Child Changes Your Worldview"
masculinity  culture  drakebaer  donaldtrump  mnhood  rembertbrowne  andycohen  ryanharwood  kellystarrett  dylanbowman  benlerer  lewishowes  stuartfitzwilliam  tonyporter  jayedidin  bradstulberg  rossmartin  josephgelfer  boys  adamelzer  ericfanchi 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Want to Raise Successful Boys? Science Says Do This (But Their Schools Probably Won't) | Inc.com
"Restricting kids' movement like this leads to increased anger and frustration, less ability to regulate emotions, and higher aggressiveness during the limited times kids are in fact allowed to play, Hanscom writes. "Elementary children need at least three hours of active free play a day to maintain good health and wellness. Currently, they are only getting a fraction."

Expanding the definition.
You probably know that kids are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD now than they were in years past, but you might not realize that the number of diagnoses is still rising--and at an alarming rate.

In 2003, for example, about 7.8 percent of kids were diagnosed, but that rose to 9.5 percent in 2007 and 11 percent in 2011. That's a 40 percent increase in eight years.

Why? For one thing, we've changed the definition of ADHD to make it more expansive. Many critics argue it's also because of the pharmaceutical industry, since the leading treatment for ADHD is use of the prescription drug Ritalin.

And Hanscom, in a separate article, says it's also because we're forcing kids to sit still longer--and they're simply reacting as nature intended.

"Recess times have shortened due to increasing educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors," she writes. "Lets face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem."

Misaligned incentives.
Of course, these are complicated issues. Nobody wants kids to fail or develop health problems. But given the trends in science and research, why won't more schools at least experiment with including more recess and physical activity in their schedule?

The most commonly cited explanations are both simple and frustrating. Last year, for example, the New Jersey state legislature passed a law requiring public schools to include at least 20 minutes of recess each day--but the governor vetoed it, calling it a "stupid" idea.

Another big adversary is standardized testing, because the time required to prepare for and take tests has to come from somewhere. ("When we have standardized testing, we don't get recess," said one of the students Hansom interviewed. "The teachers give us chewing gum to help us concentrate on those days.")

There is also simple inertia. It's much easier to control a classroom in which the kids have to sit quietly than one where you allow for a little bit of managed chaos. Nobody judges teachers by whether they gave kids enough recess during the day.

And as long as we have overly protective helicopter parents, there will always be fear of liability issues. My free e-book, How to Raise Successful Kids, has more insights and advice on parenting.

Play around a bit.
There are a few signs of hope. An elementary school in Texas began working four recess periods per day for each child into its schedule, for example. That was a big enough story to make the national news.

Result? Students are "less fidgety and more focused," one teacher said. They "listen more attentively, follow directions, and try to solve problems on their own instead of coming to the teacher to fix everything."

But this approach is the exception to the rule. Until schools figure out how to incorporate lots of movement and play into their schedules, it will be up to parents to compensate.

So set a good example with your own physical activity, and maybe side with your son (or daughter) if he or she gets in trouble for moving too much at school.

Hanscom reminds us of the stakes: "In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.""
movement  teaching  boys  2017  safety  learning  concentration  discipline  sfsh  schools  education  behavior 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Hear Kids' Honest Opinions on Being a Boy or Girl Around the World | National Geographic - YouTube
"What does it mean to be a boy? What does it mean to be a girl?

National Geographic traveled around the world to talk with 9-year-olds and ask what it's like to be growing up in 2016, and how gender affects their lives.

What makes them happy and sad? Is there anything you can't do because of your gender?
Their answers inspire, can make you laugh or cry, and show how the next generation is considering gender identities in a new way.

Read "In Their Words: How Children Are Affected by Gender Issues" from National Geographic Magazine.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/01/children-explain-how-gender-affects-their-lives/ "
gender  classideas  children  non-binary  9yos  fourthgraders  fourthgrade  girls  boys  identity  genderidentity 
december 2016 by robertogreco
The Suppression of Boys Emotions in a 30 Second Animation - YouTube
"This 30 second video shows the cycle of male emotional suppression for boys. Its pared down to just the brutal facts, that boys are belligerently are repeatedly taught throughout their lives to hide their emotions."
boys  emotions  2016  suppression  psychology  masculinity  society  mentalhealth 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Female heroes are even more important for boys than girls - Quartz
"But the sad fact is engaging with female characters has long been optional for boys, who are specifically discouraged—by society at large if not by their own parents—from seeking out material designed “for girls.” And the female characters they do see in mainstream entertainment are more likely to be sidekicks and love interests (not to mention outnumbered by male characters three to one). Arwen stuck out to me because she shared my gender. And yet in a series full of hobbits, wizards, and warriors, I doubt she made much of an impression on those not specifically looking to see themselves represented onscreen.

And that’s what’s so cool about Rey, Katniss, and Supergirl: It’s impossible to ignore them. They are female protagonists in properties that boys are encouraged—expected, even—to watch. For the first time young boys are being asked to empathize with female leads the way girls have long been expected to empathize with male ones. After all, I may have loved Hermione, but I spent 3,000 plus pages inside Harry’s head.

And studies have shown that media has a concrete impact on how we relate to people who are different than us. As author Junot Díaz puts it, women have “spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity.” Now we’re finally teaching boys a similar lesson by introducing them to female leads who are strong, smart, flawed, emotionally complex, and able to fight their own battles.

In other words, we’re raising a generation of boys who think that watching a show about a female superhero is no big deal. And that is a pretty deal in itself."
gender  fiction  boys  2016  heroes  empathy  junotdíaz  subjectivity 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The History of American Childhood / Backlist
"Contemporary American attitudes about childhood are rife with paradox. We’re convinced that our children are overprotected (this is a sentiment that seems politics-proof, reaching across party lines), yet parents find it impossible to step back from the many protective measures put in place over the past century. (Who wants to be the first one on the block to let their kid walk to school alone?) Or how about this: we’re convinced that our children are overprotected, yet 22 percent of American children live in families whose household incomes fall beneath the poverty level. These children, as well as black kids like Tamir Rice (shot to death by police at age twelve), are denied the protections accorded their upper- and middle-class counterparts. What is “childhood innocence,” and who gets to benefit from it?

Historians of childhood can offer crucial context, showing how children’s lives have changed over time. But the field of childhood studies, which blends a strong historical perspective with critical assessment of the evolution of attitudes and ideologies around childhood, is full of interesting theoretical approaches to the kinds of paradoxes above.

Here are ten books that can help you figure out how we came to be so confused about childhood.

PLACES TO START

Steven Mintz, Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood (2004).

This is a synthetic history of childhood that surveys a lot of finer-grained historical work on the social, political, and cultural changes that have affected American children’s lives between the colonial period and the present. Huck’s Raft is a great starting point if you want to know the historical basics—What was it like to be an enslaved child? What kinds of protections did children working in industrial workplaces have? When did a majority of American children gain access to public school?—and offers a solid bibliography with leads to the foundational work in the field.

Ann Hulbert, Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children (2003).

Another broad history, this one of American parenting advice in the twentieth century, amplifies some of the discussions in Huck’s Raft. Hulbert traces the influence of religion, psychology, and social science on American ideas about the proper shape of a good childhood. The sources Hulbert taps—infant-care manuals, government pamphlets, the famous Dr. Spock—are invaluable in revealing how concepts about childhood manifested themselves in pragmatic advice to those directly responsible for children’s care. Raising America, which is a trade book written by a journalist, is also very fun to read.

Viviana Zelizer, Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children (1985).

A book by a sociologist that you will find cited in almost every history of American childhood, Pricing the Priceless Child has a simple and irresistible thesis: just as American children were removed from the workforce in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, becoming what Zelizer calls “economically useless,” they were sentimentalized—made “emotionally priceless.” Zelizer looks at life insurance rates and the outcomes of wrongful death suits, showing through the seemingly impersonal records of courts and actuaries how children’s lives took on new significance.

Carolyn Steedman, Strange Dislocations: Childhood and the Idea of Human Interiority, 1780-1930 (1995).

When I took a graduate seminar in childhood studies with Julia Mickenberg at the University of Texas at Austin, she assigned this dense book, which initially terrified and then deeply engaged everyone in the class. Steedman looks at the way the figure of Mignon, the child acrobat character who appears in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s novel Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (1795-6), popped up across genres in the nineteenth century. But Steedman also taps archives of performance, medicine, science, law, and psychology, drawing connections between Mignon’s various appearances in literature and on stage and new ideas about what it might mean to have a self. I’m including this as a “Places to Start” book, despite its high level of difficulty, because it is a book that shows how ambitious childhood studies can be.

DIGGING IN

Karen Sánchez-Eppler, Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (2005).

Most of the books on this list are about the twentieth century, but Karen Sánchez-Eppler’s Dependent States is (like the Steedman) an inspiring example of how to write about the theory of childhood within a specific historical period. Sanchez Eppler shows how nineteenth-century American adults thought through ideas about dependence, freedom, and citizenship by using children—real and fictional—as exemplars. The author is also great at writing about the way we can, or can’t, hear the voices of children while writing the history of childhood—another theoretical question that will pop up in most childhood studies books.

Kenneth B. Kidd, Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale (2004).

Starting at the end of the nineteenth century, psychologists and self-appointed “boy workers” at organizations like the YMCA, the Boy Scouts, and 4-H conversed among themselves regarding the correct conditions necessary for the production of an “upstanding” American boy. There are other histories of the Boy Scouts that are more complete, but Kidd’s book explores the way that ideas about ferality and domesticity, stemming from psychoanalysis and literature, shaped the pronouncements of those put in charge of “making boys.” Kidd makes it clear that the normative ideas about gender and age that still govern our conversations about growing up had deep roots in this era.

Nicholas Sammond, Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960 (2005).

More work on constructed ideas of normality, but in this case intertwined most fascinatingly with a history of Disney. We commonly think of media as a corrupter of children, but Sammond shows how, in the early evolution of the American children’s media marketplace, developmental science was a key player. Disney’s ability to market itself as Better For Children was made possible by its alliance with social scientists who claimed knowledge of children’s minds, and its evocation of ideals of patriotism that focused on the child as the symbolic American. Read along with the Hulbert for maximum impact.

Marta Gutman and Ning De Coninck-Smith, eds. Designing Modern Childhoods: History, Space, and the Material Culture of Children (2008).

A collection of essays about twentieth-century purpose-built environments for children, ranging across the United States and the world. Each essay, whether by a social historian or a historian of architecture or design, keys into the idea outlined in John R. Gillis’s epilogue on “The Islanding of Children”: kids in Western cultures have been increasingly sidelined in “mythical landscapes” of their own. Essays on postwar “adventure playgrounds” in the UK, children’s hospitals in Canada, and birthday parties in the United States offer scope for imagination.

NEW MOVES

Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004).

This book left blisters on the hands of my grad school reading group when we tackled it while preparing for oral exams. It’s probably the most abstract of the titles I have recommended here (it’s not really a history). Many books in childhood studies explore the way children come to stand in for “the future”—especially white, middle-class children—and talk about what that has meant for the shape of American politics and literature, and for children themselves. Edelman looks at that common association and shows how it’s been deployed against queerness. The argument turned everything we had been reading about on its head, in a most satisfying way.

Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (2011).

The paradigms of performance studies come to bear on childhood in Bernstein’s book about violence, innocence, and race. The idea of childhood innocence—another through-line in the literature of childhood studies—was crafted in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Bernstein shows how the quality came to adhere to white children rather than black—trying to illustrate everyday attitudes by analyzing material and visual culture, and making arguments about how their uses transferred these qualities of innocence to their users. You will never look at a Raggedy Ann doll the same way again."
books  booklists  rebeccaonion  history  childhood  children  stevenmintz  annhulbert  vivianazelizer  carolynsteedman  karensánchez-eppler  kennethkidd  nicholas  sammond  martagutman  ningdeconinck-smith  leeedelman  robinbernstein  race  gender  queer  queerness  feral  boys  us  culture  society 
december 2015 by robertogreco
The Real Cultural Explanation for School Shootings | Al Jazeera America
"Teenagers raised in relentlessly competitive environments are learning a dangerous lesson"



"The problem isn’t video games per se but a particular narrative about power, violence and domination. In one of their better insights (cribbed from their son Eric), the Singulars look at two hit movies released in 1999: “The Matrix” and “Fight Club.” These movies were never really bugaboos for cultural conservatives or nervous parents; the popularity of “Fight Club” built slowly, and “The Matrix” had artistic merit and a positive message about thinking for oneself. But both stories — along with that year’s “The Boondock Saints,” which completes the dorm room poster trilogy — are about white men transforming the world according to their will, using their hands (and guns). Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) don’t have to abide by stupid rules or unfair structures. They can transition from nobodies to earthly gods through aggression and will. The most exciting parts of both movies are when the heroes remake the world like a painter with a canvas.

One 26-year-old did a good job describing for the Singulars the culture from which these fantasies are an escape: “Follow this one path all the way and you win. Follow another path and you’re nobody. The pressure to win is everywhere. It’s on top of us pushing down, from grade school on. It feels like you’re in a struggle for your survival, even if you have financial resources. My friends and I constantly talk about this. It’s a part of our daily reality.” In a society that pits each kid against the whole world for a shrinking number of success slots, shooting up your school seems like a misunderstanding. You’re only supposed to figuratively kill all your classmates.

By the time I got to high school, we were participating in active-shooter drills. At the time, teenagers in my hometown stuck to killing only themselves — as they still do — but the school wanted to be prepared. As students, we thought the drills were ridiculous, and we had plenty of time to talk about it while filing around. Teachers were supposed to put colored cards in the window to signify whether there were safe or injured people inside. (“Why, so the shooter knows where to go?”) Then we were all supposed to go to the field near the parking lot. (“If it were me, I’d put a bomb under the bleachers.”) We understood something the adults still couldn’t fathom: If someone was going to shoot up the school, they were learning the emergency procedures along with the rest of us. They were the rest of us.

A lot of young Americans have practiced being hunted by our classmates, and during the drills it’s not clear how many kids are imagining themselves on the other side of the gun. We have been asked to identify with the shooter or the victim, the exceptional individual or the sheep marching toward the bleachers. It’s not much of a choice.

The young people in “The Spiral Notebook” are ultimately asking why competition is so important and why we always have to fight one another. Those are questions that stories like “The Matrix” and “Fight Club” seem to encourage, but they are also questions that get you immediately kicked out of a “Halo” game. It’s all part of the same school-shooting culture.

The baby boomer generation of peace, love and understanding — the Singulars’ generation — is lost. Their book was inspired in large part because they couldn’t understand how a son raised by former hippies like them could understand this kind of violence. “People your age don’t know anything about this or why these shootings keep happening,” he tells them. “No offense, but you’re too old.” If America is truly prepared to change the culture of mass shooting, then we need to listen to the people who at least have some idea of what’s going on."
2015  malcolmharris  violence  generations  thematrix  fightclub  videogames  culture  society  gender  boys  schoolshootings  us  competition  children  youth  education  schools 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Group Projects and the Secretary Effect - The Atlantic
"In one study from the late 90s, researchers interviewed students in London about the attitudes of both students and teachers in their classrooms and found that both genders felt girls put more effort into their work. "I think girls spend too long over their handwriting and presentation and things and the boys just scribble it down but have got all the answers right and just sit around mucking around for the second half of the lesson," one student said. A male head teacher at that same school noted the same thing, saying, "If the boys can do the minimum they will, whereas girls will devote much time to writing it up."

Deborah Tannen, a linguist at Georgetown University and the author of You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, has found similar social dynamics between boys and girls. "When girls get together in groups, nobody likes to stand out, girls don’t like the girl who stands out," she said. "Boys in contrast are actually trying to stand out; they’re trying to get center stage to attract attention." She pointed me to another study from the 90s on groups within a science classroom. When there were three girls and one boy, the girls would make the boy the center of attention. If the ratio was flipped—three boys and a girl—the boys would either make fun of, or ignore, their female teammate.

This isn’t necessarily because boys are greedy attention seekers, or because they consciously want to keep women down. Often, Tannen said, it’s because they’re not sure what else to do. In her own class, she recalls a 1985 incident in which she had students work in small groups and then asked one member to come up in front of the class and present their work. Most of the presenters were boys. When she asked the students to reflect on their roles in their groups, Tannen was surprised to hear that in some cases it wasn’t that the boys necessarily wanted to present; rather, nobody else in the group stepped up, and they felt obligated to do so.

Tannen says that this kind of expectation—that women will fill in behind-the-scenes, secretary-like roles while men step into the limelight—is reflected in how women are typically treated later on in their careers. She recalls one evening in the late 80s when a male student continually came into her office asking to borrow things: whiteout, pen, paper, and so on. It eventually became clear that the student assumed Tannen was a secretary, not a professor at Georgetown. Tannen might have otherwise written this off as a one-time fluke, but when she told the story at a conference of college presidents, the women in the room nodded and shared stories of similar experiences.

And women in all sorts of fields are likely to nod at Tannen’s story. Technology is a prime example, an industry in which men continue to dominate and women continue to fight to break in. Sergey Brin and Elon Musk get to be innovative and off the wall, while Marissa Mayer is described in the Wall Street Journal as overly detail-oriented, according to "people who have worked under her."* These people say "she has an obsessive attention to detail, often micromanaging details down to the shade of colors in new product designs," the Journal reported. Women who don’t step back and let their peers take the spotlight are often docked in performance reviews. Men, on the other hand, are typically praised for taking initiative.

These are generalizations. There are girls who can’t keep track of their own shoes, and there are boys with great handwriting. There are girls who readily take on leadership roles in groups and boys who enjoy keeping track of the details. Again, this isn’t to say that secretaries aren’t important; without them most companies would fall apart entirely. And, of course, there’s a lot more keeping women from becoming CEOs than their middle school science projects. But it’s worth thinking about how teachers prime their students to accept certain roles later in life.

Stetson University's Piechrua-Couture says that teachers shouldn’t let kids divide the labor up themselves: "We really encourage you not to just give kids groupings, what you really want to do is give roles in the group and you make sure you rotate those roles." Tannen agrees, citing a study from the early 90s that compared two teachers who differed in their approach. One let the groups proceed as they pleased, while the other defined roles for each student. "The girls did better if it was described, because if the students were left to their own devices the girls would be ignored," she said.

Dale Baker, an education professor at the Arizona State University, wrote in an article for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching that it’s important for teachers to do more than just lump students into groups and let them divide up the labor on their own. "Group dynamics often reinforce stereotypes," she wrote. "Girls are often found in stereotypical roles, such as secretary, and they take a passive rather than active role in hands-on science activities."

In other words, avoiding the Secretary Effect is easy, really. But it first requires realizing that it exists."
education  gender  groupwork  groupprojects  collaboration  girls  boys  teams  2015  roseeveleth  deborahtannen  dalebaker  secretaryeffecy  kathyjopiechura-couture  conversation  creativity  obedience  organzation  howweteach  howwelearn  culture  society  stereotypes 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Proof That Comprehensive Sex Ed Classes Actually Help Kids Put Off Having Sex | ThinkProgress
"Comprehensive sex ed classes that emphasize healthy relationships and family involvement can encourage more middle school students to put off having sex, according to the results from a new study published in the Journal of School Health. The results have big implications for school districts that are trying to decide what type of health classes to offer to kids in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

The three-year study was conducted by researchers at the Wellesley Centers for Women, who wanted to figure out whether Get Real — a comprehensive sex ed program developed by Planned Parenthood — has an impact on middle schoolers’ sexual behavior. In order to do that, the researchers tracked a group of racially and economically diverse kids at 24 different schools in the Boston area, half of which implemented Get Real and half of which continued with their existing sex ed programs. Kids were periodically surveyed about their sexual activity.

The results were “quite strong,” according to the lead researchers on the project. The study found that 16 percent fewer boys and 15 percent fewer girls became sexually active by the end of eighth grade after participating in Get Real, compared to the kids who didn’t participate in that curriculum.

It’s particularly significant that Get Real helped both girls and boys delay sex. The previous research into other sex ed programs has been mixed, and hasn’t been able to demonstrate such clear results for both genders.

“It’s certainly a very important and positive contribution,” Sumru Erkut, one of the scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women who led the research team, told ThinkProgress. “People clap their hands over a program that can reduce HIV infections by four percent. So these numbers can be put in that context… If we can make it more likely that 16 percent and 15 percent of boys and girls will delay sex, that’s wonderful.”

Get Real relies on what’s called a “social-emotional learning approach” to teach kids how to navigate relationships, giving them opportunities to practice their communication skills both in the classroom and at home with their parents. According to researchers, that’s the key. Although many of the schools in the control group did have sex ed curricula in place, and some of them had pretty rigorous standards for their health classes, Get Real still had more of an influence on whether middle schoolers delayed sex.

“It is this particular intervention that made a difference,” Ekrut said. “It’s pretty unique in that it emphasizes relationship skills, and it also has a very strong follow-through for the family activity programs.”

Plus, the study found that the sixth grade boys who completed Get Real‘s take-home assignments, which have a big emphasis on getting parents involved with the subject material, were more likely to delay sex until after eighth grade. That’s because those family activities may help facilitate conversations that parents wouldn’t have known how to handle on their own.

“Research shows that parents tend to talk about sex earlier and more frequently with their daughters than their sons,” Jennifer Grossman, another Wellesley researcher and the lead author of the paper describing the study’s new findings, told ThinkProgress. Get Real may help start to shift that dynamic so boys are getting the same kinds of conversations. Grossman plans to further study the effects of family communication on teens’ sexual health behavior.

“The number one most critical takeaway is the fact that this curriculum works,” Jen Slonaker, the Vice President of Education and Training at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, said. “This is exactly what we want our middle schoolers to be doing, we want them to be delaying sex… It epitomizes Planned Parenthood’s commitment to reduce unintended pregnancies.”

That’s a sharp divergence from the way that social conservatives typically construe Planned Parenthood’s sexual health programming. As the national organization — which is the largest sex ed provider in the country — has become a flashpoint in the fight over abortion rights, anti-choice lawmakers have argued that Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be allowed to provide sex ed in public schools. Republicans in Texas and Louisiana have even suggested that Planned Parenthood is attempting to convince teens to get pregnant so it can perform their abortions.

And more broadly, comprehensive sex ed still remains controversial in some areas. More than half of states in the country don’t even mandate that sex ed needs to be taught in school, and school districts can encounter a lot of resistance when they try to move toward overhauling their health classes on their own. Proponents of abstinence education argue that teaching students about sex is inappropriate and will spur them to become sexually active at an earlier age, even though that’s not what the research demonstrates.

Parents in states ranging from Nevada to California to Kansas have pressured schools administrations to remove certain sex ed materials from the classroom. But Planned Parenthood officials say those adults represent a small minority, according to national surveys that have consistently found overwhelming support for comprehensive sex ed.

“It’s so important for educators, administrators, and parents to remember that 95 percent of parents support sexuality education in high school, and 93 percent support sex ed in middle school. If a parent is supportive of this, they are not alone — they are the vast majority,” Slonaker pointed out. “There’s something reassuring about that.”

Planned Parenthood has already partnered with ETR, an organization that offers science-based health and education products, to distribute the Get Real curriculum materials more broadly. Thanks to the results from the new study, ETR has a pretty compelling pitch on its website: “Research Shows It Works! Students who receive Get Real are less likely to have sex.”"
sexed  education  sexuality  teens  children  adolescence  2014  parenting  controversy  us  plannedparenthood  intervention  getreal  gender  boys  girls  socialemotionallearning  jennifergrossman  socialemotional  sex 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Why Girls Get Better Grades Than Boys Do - The Atlantic
[My tweet: https://twitter.com/rogre/status/512741051941924864 "“Why Girls Get Better Grades Than Boys Do” http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/09/why-girls-get-better-grades-than-boys-do/380318/ … Missing: Conscientiousness or deference? Innate or conditioned?"]

"This self-discipline edge for girls carries into middle-school and beyond. In a 2006 landmark study, Martin Seligman and Angela Lee Duckworth found that middle-school girls edge out boys in overall self-discipline. This contributes greatly to their better grades across all subjects. They found that girls are more adept at “reading test instructions before proceeding to the questions,” “paying attention to a teacher rather than daydreaming,” “choosing homework over TV,” and “persisting on long-term assignments despite boredom and frustration.” These top cognitive scientists from the University of Pennsylvania also found that girls are apt to start their homework earlier in the day than boys and spend almost double the amount of time completing it. Girls’ grade point averages across all subjects were higher than those of boys, even in basic and advanced math—which, again, are seen as traditional strongholds of boys.

What Drs. Seligman and Duckworth label “self-discipline,” other researchers name “conscientiousness.” Or, a predisposition to plan ahead, set goals, and persist in the face of frustrations and setbacks. Conscientiousness is uniformly considered by social scientists to be an inborn personality trait that is not evenly distributed across all humans. In fact, a host of cross-cultural studies show that females tend to be more conscientious than males. One such study by Lindsay Reddington out of Columbia University even found that female college students are far more likely than males to jot down detailed notes in class, transcribe what professors say more accurately, and remember lecture content better. Arguably, boys’ less developed conscientiousness leaves them at a disadvantage in school settings where grades heavily weight good organizational skills alongside demonstrations of acquired knowledge.

These days, the whole school experience seems to play right into most girls’ strengths—and most boys’ weaknesses. Gone are the days when you could blow off a series of homework assignments throughout the semester but pull through with a respectable grade by cramming for and acing that all-important mid-term exam. Getting good grades today is far more about keeping up with and producing quality homework—not to mention handing it in on time.

Gwen Kenney-Benson, a psychology professor at Allegheny College, a liberal arts institution in Pennsylvania, says that girls succeed over boys in school because they tend to be more mastery-oriented in their schoolwork habits. They are more apt to plan ahead, set academic goals, and put effort into achieving those goals. They also are more likely than boys to feel intrinsically satisfied with the whole enterprise of organizing their work, and more invested in impressing themselves and their teachers with their efforts.

On the whole, boys approach schoolwork differently. They are more performance-oriented. Studying for and taking tests taps into their competitive instincts. For many boys, tests are quests that get their hearts pounding. Doing well on them is a public demonstration of excellence and an occasion for a high-five. In contrast, Kenney-Benson and some fellow academics provide evidence that the stress many girls experience in test situations can artificially lower their performance, giving a false reading of their true abilities. These researchers arrive at the following overarching conclusion: “The testing situation may underestimate girls’ abilities, but the classroom may underestimate boys’ abilities.”

It is easy to for boys to feel alienated in an environment where homework and organization skills account for so much of their grades. But the educational tide may be turning in small ways that give boys more of a fighting chance. An example of this is what occurred several years ago at Ellis Middle School, in Austin, Minnesota. Teachers realized that a sizable chunk of kids who aced tests trundled along each year getting C’s, D’s, and F’s. At the same time, about 10 percent of the students who consistently obtained A’s and B’s did poorly on important tests. Grading policies were revamped and school officials smartly decided to furnish kids with two separate grades each semester. One grade was given for good work habits and citizenship, which they called a “life skills grade.” A “knowledge grade” was given based on average scores across important tests. Tests could be retaken at any point in the semester, provided a student was up to date on homework.

Staff at Ellis Middle School also stopped factoring homework into a kid’s grade. Homework was framed as practice for tests. Incomplete or tardy assignments were noted but didn’t lower a kid’s knowledge grade. The whole enterprise of severely downgrading kids for such transgressions as occasionally being late to class, blurting out answers, doodling instead of taking notes, having a messy backpack, poking the kid in front, or forgetting to have parents sign a permission slip for a class trip, was revamped.

This last point was of particular interest to me. On countless occasions, I have attended school meetings for boy clients of mine who are in an ADHD red-zone. I have learned to request a grade print-out in advance. Not uncommonly, there is a checkered history of radically different grades: A, A, A, B, B, F, F, A. When F grades and a resultant zero points are given for late or missing assignments, a student’s C grade does not reflect his academic performance. Since boys tend to be less conscientious than girls—more apt to space out and leave a completed assignment at home, more likely to fail to turn the page and complete the questions on the back—a distinct fairness issue comes into play when a boy’s occasional lapse results in a low grade. Sadly though, it appears that the overwhelming trend among teachers is to assign zero points for late work. In one survey by Conni Campbell, associate dean of the School of Education at Point Loma Nazarene University, 84 percent of teachers did just that.

Disaffected boys may also benefit from a boot camp on test-taking, time-management, and study habits. These core skills are not always picked up by osmosis in the classroom, or from diligent parents at home. Of course, addressing the learning gap between boys and girls will require parents, teachers and school administrators to talk more openly about the ways each gender approaches classroom learning—and that difference itself remains a tender topic."
gender  schools  boys  girls  education  homework  compliance  conscienciousness  angeladuckworth  2014  martinseligman  deference  authority  self-discipline  adhd  grades  grading  gwenkenney-benson  conditioning  goalsetting  persistence  lindsayreddington  connicampbell  disaffection  testtaking  timemanagement  studyhabits  learninggap  attention  distraction  academics  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  gendernorms  society  enricognaulati  assessment  standardization 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Toyin Odutola Studio Blog: We teach females that in relationships, compromise...
"We teach females that in relationships, compromise is what women do. We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments— which I think can be a good thing— but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. If we have sons, we don’t mind knowing about our sons’ girlfriends, but our daughters boyfriends? ‘God forbid!’ But of course when the time is right, we expect those girls to bring back the perfect man to be their husband. We police girls, we praise girls for virginity, but we don’t praise boys for virginity. And it’s always made me wonder how exactly this is supposed to work out because [laughs] the loss of virginity is usually a process that involves [laughs]….

We teach girls shame. ‘Close your legs!’ ‘Cover yourself!’ We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something. And so, girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up—and this is the worst thing we do to girls—they grow up to be women who have turned pretense into an art form."

—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

[Direct link to talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc ]

"We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. Masculinity becomes this hard small cage. And we put boys inside the cage. We teach boys to be afraid of fear. We teach boys to be afraid of weakness, of vulnerability. We teach them to mask their true selves. Because they have to be “hard men”."

[Quoted here: http://notgames.tumblr.com/post/77778358006/johnyzuper-we-do-a-great-disservice-to-boys-in ]
chimamandangoziadichie  chimamandaadichie  2013  girls  society  relationships  parenting  virginity  gender  sex  pretense  boys  masculinity  fear  vulnerability  weakness  manhood 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Rethinking manhood — What I Learned Today — Medium
"I wasn’t quite prepared, as a father, to question the role of masculinity as I was the role of femininity. Three years ago we had a son, Herbie. It was my own short comings that led me to believe that having a boy would be easier. We (the men) are the ones with power, right? The fight against sexism, misogyny and prejudice isn’t there. How stupid am I? The battle and burden of responsibility for changing equality has to be placed on the parents of boys. What follows isn’t a well thought-out critique of gender politics, it’s heart-felt concern from a father rethinking his notion of manhood and masculinity. Here’s a few things that have triggered my growing discomfort:

Herbie is an Alpha male

It feels ridiculous to say this about a three-year old, but all signs point to the fact that he will be one of those aggressive men with iron will, self determination and dogged ambition. He’s physically strong, intellectually determined and a charming little bugger. This scares me. Now, I know it’s my job to guide and advise him in how he tackles the world and manages relationships, but sometimes I feel like King Canute — fighting against a force of nature so strong it will crush me.

Herbie loves fighting, I’ve been told that this is normal ‘boy behaviour’, but I find it quite hard to relate to. I have a vague memory of wrestling with my friends during childhood, but he’s three and relishes rough and tumble with an almost manic delight. Sometimes, I’m woken up by him at the bottom of my bed demanding; “Daddy, FIGHT ME!”. I’m not sure where this physical aggression comes from, be it baked into our genes since the time of the hunter/gather or leant through the continuous exposure of media representations. What I do know is that I’m unsure of how to direct it; how to harness the power towards doing good in the universe."



"Years ago, in conversation with the wonderful Anne Galloway, I remember her recounting stories of her enjoyment playing with Barbies as a young girl. I was shocked, as a strident feminist I’d expect a different story, maybe some regret or rejection of her younger more foolish self. But she made a brilliant point; it was what she was doing with them where role identity was constructed, the stories she told through them was the important thing.

This has stuck with me. I now try hard to shift the roles and activities that Batman and his peers engage in. It’s a great place for parents to start; the power is in the stories we tell our sons, the games that we play and the adventures that we act out. Stopping Herbie playing with his favourite Batman toys isn’t really a desirable option, I’d prefer to hijack, subvert and add sensitivity to a framework that we both love."



"We’ve had an on-going argument with Herbie about the sex of Peso Penguin. Peso is a great role model, caring, sensitive and smart. He’s a great team player, and the Octonauts medic. However, due to his rather effeminate voice Herbie is convinced Peso is a girl. It quickly became obvious to us, that the characters that go out into the wild to ‘explore, rescue and protect’ are all male. Although Tweek Bunny, the mechanic and inventor of the team, is female — GOOD WORK! — she stays behind looking after the Octopod."



"It makes me so sad that people can still be so blind to the harms of these material and marketing decisions. Each of these thoughtless material acts damage and mould, in however a tiny way, the gender roles of our future generations. We need to ensure that they are progressive and allow the space for a complex identity to be formulated."



"On return, I discussed this with my Mum, she reminded me that it was only on holiday that my dad played with us. He spent most of our lives working, distant and too tired to engage. He made up for this on holiday. Because of the novelty of his presence, we behaved like angels and relished every minute of his time. It made me realise that I was not comparing like with like. I’m a different kind of dad, more engage, more there, but because of this also more fallible. Our generation’s idea of fatherhood and masculinity are changing, we are softer, we care more, we listen and we play, all we need now is the culture to reflect this change."
mattward  parenting  boys  girls  gender  power  media  medialiteracy  genderpolitics  annegalloway  manhood  fathers  masculinity  2013 
october 2013 by robertogreco
'Boys will be boys' in U.S., but not in Asia
"A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children -- one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia."
asia  culture  development  gender  boys  adhd  taiwan  us  southkorea  china  psychology  behavior  2013  self-regulation  self-control 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Constance Steinkuehler
"I research cognition and learning in online games. I’m especially interested in the forms of science, literacy, and sociocultural skills that young adults learn from online play. I am currently a Senior Policy Analyst at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President where I advise on policy related to games and learning/impact. I am currently on leave from my position as Assistant Professor [vita] at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I teach courses on videogames, research methods, and the “smart” side of pop culture.

My research lab named PopCosmo investigates the forms of cognition & culture that arise in online games such as RuneScape, World of Warcraft, and Dragon Age Legends. Our current team consists of 8 doctoral students and 2 undergrads, each specializing in their own interest area. Studies and publications include: science reasoning, digital & print literacy, computational literacy, collective problem solving, distributed apprenticeship, and pop cosmopolitanism.

This work is part of a larger UW-Madison program Games+Learning+Society (GLS) that designs and studies interactive digital media ranging from console games to mobile devices to fantasy baseball to YouTube to 3D virtual worlds. We total over 30 doctoral students, half a dozen faculty, and an emerging undergrad course of study. As part of this initiative, I chair the annual GLS Conference, hosted every summer here in Madison WI."
constancesteinkuehler  games  gaming  videogames  literacy  reading  writing  boys  science  play  popculture  sciencereasoning  problemsolving  collectiveproblemsolving  research  apprenticeships  distributedapprenticeship  cosmpolitanism  popcosmpolitanism  pocosmo  youtube  learning  society  mmo 
may 2013 by robertogreco
The End of Nintendo Power Magazine : The New Yorker
"In hindsight, reading so extensively about video games without owning is like poring over Rolling Stone without owning a record player. But there was a practical purpose: one of Nintendo Power’s great draws were its walk-throughs: step-by-step guides to beating especially difficult sections of games. I read the walk-throughs so that I would not embarrass myself when invited to play Nintendo by friends with cooler parents, or when a babysitter snuck a Nintendo console into the house under my parents’ noses, swearing my brother and I to secrecy, in the (correct) belief that the presence of the games would make her job much easier. My parents were not pleased when my grandmother purchased a Nintendo 64 in the hopes of luring us to her house more frequently. Suddenly we spent a lot more time with her, and by the time I reached high school, my parents gave in and let me and my brother buy our first Nintendo."
reeveswiedeman  youth  kids  boys  reading  2012  nintendopower  gaming  games  magazines  nintendo  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
An Introverted Boy Against An Army of Label Makers | A.T. | Cleveland
"I certainly still lie awake some nights worrying that I am in denial, that Simon has some gross deficiency not yet identified, and I am did him great a disservice. I worry constantly that I should limit his reading and solitary time and push him into sports and classes and social activities. But just when I am about to write that check for ice hockey classes I touch base with my instinctive sense of my son, this imaginative, overly verbose happy creature, and decide not to risk ironing out his uniqueness.  Until we can figure out more creative ways to educate and encourage introspective boys who are neither high achievers nor troublemakers—boys “in the middle,” like Simon–I will keep holding my ground, my breath and my tongue, and shoo away the well-intentioned label makers who cross our path."
males  boys  academics  introspection  nclb  productivity  howwelearn  unstructured  creativity  specialized  learningdisabilities  slowprocessing  add  dysgraphia  dyslexia  adhd  overdiagnosis  autism  schooliness  schools  learningdifferences  learning  parenting  education  teaching  introverts  susancain  2012  annetrubek  shrequest1  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Diversity Conversation: Ta-Nehisi Coates - YouTube
"GRCC English professor Mursalata Muhummad interviews journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Presentend by the Bob and Aliecia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College."
ta-nehisicoates  experience  writing  2011  journalism  storytelling  education  parenting  mentorship  learning  voice  audience  self  identity  influence  dungeonsanddragons  childhood  adolescence  geekdom  fiction  history  dropouts  boys 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Geography Department, Cambridge » The gender gap in education
"…many of the issues associated w/ 'under-achievement' are related to tensions btwn the culture of the school & images of masculinity held in the local community & wider society…

…commitment to process as well as outcome…Closely allied to this was an emphasis on relationships…The importance of time to establish trust and productive working relationships was crucial to the success of the project. Finally was the emphasis on the pupils themselves, which involved not just listening to them but engaging with them, being interested in them and helping to ensure that their perspectives were valued and taken into consideration in the schools' own evaluations of project initiatives."
via:lukeneff  teaching  education  society  gender  process  lcproject  relationships  culture  pedagogy  boys  masculinity  interested  engagement  trust  gendergap  learning  tcsnmy  schools  schooling  interestedness 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Are pink toys turning girls into passive princesses? | Kat Arney | Science | guardian.co.uk
"The colour-coding of toys – pink for girls and blue for boys – reinforces pernicious gender stereotypes, says Kat Arney"
katarney  color  stereotypes  gender  boys  girls  toys  play  pink  2011  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
The Daily What: Word Clouds of the Day
"Word Clouds of the Day: Crystal Smith @ The Achilles Effect (a site that examines how young boys’ understanding of masculinity affects their perception of femininity) culled a list of words from 59 toy spots directed at either boys or girls and plugged them into Wordle to produce a word cloud illustrating which words are used most often in ads targeting boys (top) versus words used most often in ads targeting girls.

“This is not an exhaustive record,” Smith says, “it’s really just a starting point, but the results certainly are interesting.”

A complete breakdown of the facts and figures can be found here. A follow-up post with responses to common questions and criticisms can be found here."
classideas  wordle  advertising  toys  gender  femininity  boys  girls  words  language  comparison  masculinity  perception  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
more than 95 theses
"Whatever the reason for gender imbalance, college administrators across country have been going to great lengths to lasso boys—adding sports programs, building bigger gyms, expanding departments in engineering, math, & hard sciences, which are historically attractive to men. & presidents make sure their admissions directors are doing their best to ‘rectify’ the problem of gender imbalance by lowering the academic threshold for the (mostly white) boys who apply. Anyone who doubts the futility of human progress should ponder this. After several generations of vicious racism, followed by protest marches, civil rights lawsuits, accusations of bigotry, appeals to color-blindness, feminism, & eloquent invocations of the meritocratic ideal, the latest admissions trend in American higher education is affirmative action for white men. Just like the old days." —One more irresistible quote from Crazy U. As Mr. Burns says in The Simpsons Movie, “For once, the rich white man is in control.”
boys  admissions  crazyu  highereducation  highered  affirmitiveaction  whites  wasp  us  discrimination  meritocracy  gender  bigotry  history  racism  civilrights  2011  alanjacobs  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
So, What About Handwriting? «
"I definitely want to continue this conversation and, while I often write with a view or a position, I am really writing this with less of an opinion and with more of a question today.

I do come to the conversation with my own biases.  I don’t know how to handwrite.   I was slow to learn how to print and given how messy it was — and still is — I never really took to handwriting.  I don’t think I’ve missed out on not knowing how to handwrite. I can read handwritten work, sign my name but, beyond that, it has been a life of printing and, more recently, keyboarding.

I recently discussed this with several teachers in our district who suggested that handwriting is a huge hang-up — particularly for boys — and creates a level of stress that interferes with their learning.

The instruction of cursive writing is not simply teachers clinging to past practices, it is part of the curriculum."
writing  handwriting  cursive  tcsnmy  education  teaching  schools  curriculum  boys  learning  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Boys’ Self-Esteem Problems as Girls Move Ahead in Teenage Years - The Daily Beast
"for a growing number of boys across the country, school is creating what some experts consider to be real psychological trauma. “We’re seeing a massive effect not only on boys who are falling behind in school but also on those who seem to be doing fine,” said William Pollack, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “They’re hiding behind a mask, feeling an angst and pain that go very deep and that lead not only to a disengagement from learning, but also from the adults who provide it and the parents who care for them. There’s a silent sense of shame that some will eventually outgrow, but that others who are not as lucky will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”"
boys  gender  girls  adolescence  learning  education  schools  teaching  self-esteem  academics  selfimage  psychology  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Lord of the Flies: How Adults Create Bullying
"When Lord of the Flies is taught this way, it encourages the adults in school to continue to behave as they do, and blames children, and their inherently evil nature, for all that is wrong in society. This, of course, is the tack taken by administrators such as Anthony Orsini who claims to run the Lord of the Flies Middle School in Ridgewood, NJ. And it lies at the heart of how bullying is usually combatted in our schools.



In other words, what if these children were viewed as products of their society? What if what is being revealed is not the "nature of children," but the most trained behaviours. What if Ralph can be seen, as the story begins, as "natural childhood" - trusting, cooperative, believing in fairness, and what emerges later on is the British aristocracy - brutal, bullying, uniform in appearance, colonialist, and lacking empathy or even pity?

What might that suggest about school-based anti-bullying efforts?

...

So as you read Lord of the Flies with your students this coming year, ask them to ask different questions. And when you see bullies in your school, ask where they have learned that behaviour.

Children do learn, after all. And mostly, they learn by watching us."
empathy  lordoftheflies  williamgolding  teaching  education  behavior  modeling  society  irasocol  bullying  bullies  tcsnmy  brutality  colonialism  literature  classideas  naturenurture  nature  humans  children  boys 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The Atlantic :: Magazine :: The End of Men [Waiting for smart people to debunk or confirm.]
"Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way— and its vast cultural consequences"
2010  education  theatlantic  feminism  gender  history  men  psychology  society  economics  class  business  masculinity  equality  women  hannarosin  japan  korea  matriarchy  patriarchy  boys  leadership 
july 2010 by robertogreco
The Truth about Boys and Girls: Scientific American
"# Boys and girls are different, but most psychological sex differences are not especially large. For example, gaps in intellectual performance, empathy and even most types of aggression are generally much narrower than the disparity in adult height, in which the average man is taller than 99 percent of women.
biology  boys  girls  gender  culture  psychology  society  difference 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The Puzzle of Boys - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"common wisdom that teenage boys either can't express or don't possess strong feelings about friends...[but] boys in early teens can be downright sentimental when discussing their friendships...boys frequently said: "They [best friends] won't laugh at me when I talk about serious things." What has emerged from research is portrait of emotionally intelligent boys...might not sound revolutionary, but what boys told her & fellow researchers...runs counter to often one-dimensional portrayal of boys in popular culture. "They were resisting norms of masculinity,"...Note the past tense. At some point in high school, expressiveness vanishes, replaced with more defensive, closed-off posture, perhaps as boys give in to messages about what it means to be a man. Still, her research undermines the stereotype that boys are somehow incapable of discussing their feelings. "And yet this notion of this emotionally illiterate, sex-obsessed, sports-playing boy just keeps getting spit out again & again."
education  learning  children  boys  girls  parenting  psychology  generations  gender  men  roles  stereotypes  manhood  masculinity 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Guys Lit Wire
"Guys Lit Wire exists solely to bring literary news and reviews to the attention of teenage boys and the people who care about them. We are more than happy to welcome female readers - but our main goal is to bring the attention of good books to guys who m
boys  books  reading  literature  blogs  classideas  recommendations  reviews 
june 2008 by robertogreco
G4 - X-Play: "Doctors Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson speak with X-Play about their book, Grand Theft Childhood."
"It seems that playing video games for boys is a marker of social competence...Kids that don't play video games at all are actually at greater risk of getting in trouble."
games  research  gaming  violence  behavior  videogames  boys  children  books  society  politics  psychology  social 
may 2008 by robertogreco
The way to get your kids to read | csmonitor.com
"theories proliferate on why boys don't read – brains work differently, women teachers assign books that appeal to girls, boys like silly stories – I think answer is less complicated. Before..we must guarantee long stretches of time to revel in solitu
books  reading  boys  parenting  teaching 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Borderland » Blog Archive » Teaching Reading in the Contact Zone
"Reading, especially in school, is typically viewed as passive, private cognitive process, which are not traits boys are known for....maybe it’s time we put literature on back burner, begin to focus more on teaching strategies for content area reading."
reading  literature  literacy  gender  boys  learning  schools  curriculum 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Inside the Mind of the Boy Dating Your Daughter - Well - Tara Parker-Pope - Health - New York Times Blog
"The stereotype of the 16-year-old boy is that he has sex on the brain. But a fascinating new report suggests that boys are motivated more by love and a desire to form real relationships with the girls they date."
behavior  boys  teens  youth  relationships  health  psychology 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Children and Youth - Play - Development - Science - New York Times
"play is as fundamental as any other aspect of life, including sleep and dreams.’...One extra hour a day of play, which generally took the form of play-fighting during a critical early stage, sufficed to reduce hyperactivity.’"
play  learning  memory  well-being  life  happiness  playethic  games  children  adhd  psychology  behavior  animals  evolution  parenting  gender  boys  girls  health  brain  neuroscience  assessment  biology  social 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Boys, brains and toxic lessons - Times Online
"The gender gap in schools is all about the different ways children see and hear – and it’s no wonder that boys are unmotivated and uninterested, the psychologist and doctor Leonard Sax tells our correspondent"
behavior  boys  education  learning  schools  teaching  lessons  pedagogy  gender 
january 2008 by robertogreco
rodcorp: Various art and books
Michael Chabon on Solitude and the Fortresses of Youth: "It is in the nature of a teenager to want to destroy. The destructive impulse is universal among children of all ages, rises to a peak of vividness, ingenuity and fascination in adolescence, and the
children  youth  destruction  violence  umbertoeco  michaelchabon  play  learning  boys  rodcorp  guns 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Boys just want to shoot guns at Joanne Jacobs
"The Department for Children, Schools and Families has advised staffers at preschools and play groups to “resist their ‘natural instinct’ to stop boys using pretend weapons such as guns or light sabres in games with other toddlers,” reports the Da
boys  play  guns  learning  education  schools  politics  umbertoeco 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Let boys play with toy guns, ministers advise nursery staff | News crumb | EducationGuardian.co.uk
"Boys should be encouraged to play with toy guns at nursery school because it can help improve their academic performance, according to government advice issued yesterday."
children  boys  play  guns  politics  learning  education  schools  gender  umbertoeco 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Creating independent readers at Joanne Jacobs
"When my daughter was in school, they read very few books in class but read them intensively. It seemed to me they beat each poor book to death. Of course, Allison read voraciously on her own, as I did (and still do)."
schools  education  learning  reading  books  children  literature  curriculum  boys  gender 
december 2007 by robertogreco
How to Save the World - The Future of Education: A Conversation with Rob Paterson
'I think we have a complete mismatch between the education establishment and the kind of people we will need to get through peak oil, overpopulation, all those kind of things."
education  learning  future  schools  apprenticeships  children  students  deschooling  unschooling  johnholt  homeschool  society  lcproject  technology  knowledge  skills  business  colleges  universities  military  organizations  credentials  testing  social  socialnetworks  networks  learningnetworks  boys  peakoil  overpopulation 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Single-sex schools help children thrive | csmonitor.com
"Bleaching out gender differences hampers the education of both girls and boys."
schools  education  gender  boys  girls  children  learning 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Boys just want to be boys at Joanne Jacobs
"Boys are different from girls, writes Conn Iggulden, co-author of The Dangerous Book for Boys, in the Washington Post. A former teacher, Iggulden thinks boys fail in school when they’re taught like girls."
boys  girls  education  learning  schools  curriculum  collaboration  projects  projectbasedlearning  teaching  pbl 
june 2007 by robertogreco
See Those Fingers? Do the Math -- Holden 2007 (525): 1 -- ScienceNOW
"Boys with the longest ring fingers relative to their index fingers tend to excel in math, according to a new study. In girls, shorter ring fingers predict better verbal skills."
biology  boys  gender  genetics  girls  intelligence  language  math  psychology  medicine  science  research 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: The Dangerous Book for Boys: Books: Conn Iggulden,Hal Iggulden
"The bestselling book for every boy from eight to eighty, covering essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is."
books  children  boys  history  play 
april 2007 by robertogreco
Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - books: The wrong kind of reading lessons
"The fact that adventure stories for boys are selling well is seen as a good thing, but such old-fashioned books are also teaching them worryingly outdated attitudes."
books  boys  culture  gender  history  society  stories  reading 
january 2007 by robertogreco
10 is the new 15 as kids grow up faster
"ild development experts say that physical and behavioral changes that would have been typical of teenagers decades ago are now common among "tweens" - kids ages 8 to 12"
children  adolescence  development  parenting  physical  age  tweens  teens  trends  technology  consumerism  girls  boys  cognitive  science  biology  physiology  psychology 
december 2006 by robertogreco
The Little Men Who Love Little House - Why boys like girls books. By Emily Bazelon
"The real appeal of Little House for many boys probably isn't the narrative, but rather the precise and detailed descriptions of how to tap a maple tree for syrup or load a musket...boys read on a need-to-know basis: To generalize wildly, "They don't set
gender  reading  books  schools  boys  children  learning  education 
march 2006 by robertogreco
Kansas City Star | 12/05/2005 | Hard-wired to learn?
"See Dick think. He is not like Jane. Teachers see it — boys tend to fidget and flail in ways unlike a typical girl. Scientists see it, too — brain studies suggest boys process language and emotions less efficiently."
teaching  learning  schools  gender  boys  education  research  intelligence  homeschool 
december 2005 by robertogreco

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