No child should struggle in school. Boy or Girl. There are differences between the sexes. Knowing those differences will help a teacher use various teaching methods to meet the various learning styles. Boys need to manipulate their environment, move around, and know they have some control. Most importantly, we have to include the parents; especially moms, helping them to see the need to hold education in high esteem to all their children; boys and girls.
My belief is, though there is a difference between the sexes, there is no reason why boys should be struggling in school. Boys need to manipulate their environment; on the other hand, what about girls who are, what we call, “tom-boys?” When we stereotype anything then we are making the first and biggest mistake of all. A boy can love to read and score high in reading, literacy, and writing as well as any girl. A girl can also score low in these areas as well as any boy. I believe the reason our young male children are struggling so much more in school is that we project our thinking of them as not being able to keep up with the girls onto them. If one teaches with high expectations of any student, then that student will rise to the occasion and believe anything is possible.
So we have the mindset of boys aren’t as studious as the girls. Part of this is because boys need to move more and need to be able to handle their environment and have some control. This can be done by making learning interesting and exciting. This can be done by letting boys have turns at the board while the rest of the class fills out their worksheets at their desks. Role-Playing by allowing boys to take turns teaching, making up problems or questions, and peer sharing. Girls should be allowed to do this also. The key is making sure everyone gets a turn if possible. No two students are the same. Using as many different methods of teaching as possible allows the boys to enjoy learning but a teacher has to work hard at knowing each child and his or her learning style. If any child’s problem is channeled correctly, then that child will find lessons interesting and exciting. Letting them have choices within strict and structured parameters will not only help the child enjoy school but will also allow the child some control and manipulation of his environment which also helps the girls; although, girls do tend to be more shy about taking the lead. Teaching is hard work. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication on the part of the teacher to see every child as an individual with his or her own learning style.
Now to add to all of this, is the parents. It is my thought that any kind of education begins in the home. Mothers, without meaning to, tend to baby their boys more so than their girls. Mothers want their girls to know what they know. They do this by teaching them how to perform all kinds of chores at home. This means a lot of adult terminology. When a boy enters pre-school or kindergarten or first grade the boy has not had as much interaction and adult terminology. Boys seem to be behind the girls because it is difficult for moms when it comes to helping them mature. Some of these moms happen to be teachers. We, as adults, bring to our job our own personality. These boys get to school and can feel the freedom. The freedom to begin to manipulate their world and have some control. This can be channeled and boys can be enthused and excited about learning.
With all the research that tells us how different boys are from girls when it comes to learning which are truly major developmental differences, boys do not need to be strugglers. A classroom which has various methods to teach the necessary curriculum will make learning interesting and exciting. A structured setting which allows for movement, manipulatives, and control will not only help the male learners but will also help those “tom-boy” girls.
School does not have to be “drill and kill.” It can be “drill and thrill” for any child, but especially for boys.