Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I realize this is a provocative statement, but hear me out:

I believe the education system in the USA has become more orientated towards girls! Boys and girls are wired differently and use different parts of their brain for learning. Having been a school administrator at all school levels in two countries, I am making an educated statement.

Here are the reasons for my observations:
  1. There is a general lack of opportunity for boys in particular to let off steam. In many Education Districts in the USA, recess has been removed from our schools. Boys, especially, need recess to blow out some of their pent-up energy. Physical Education is usually available only a part of the week, semester or year. So, apart from the lack of recess, there are further restrictions to boys being able to get physical.
  2. Students sit still at desks nearly all day long. My experience is that girls are more able to do this for longer periods of time than boys.
  3. Most children learn better when they can use their hands as part of the learning process, especially when they manipulate items to reinforce their understanding. The more senses involved the better the mind has of retaining the information learned. High Schools have removed most technical courses from their curriculum. For example boys miss the hands-on experience of woodwork, engineering and motor mechanics which also begs the question, "Will there be enough able tradesmen around for the future?" There used to be practical courses for girls, too, and those skill-builders have been relegated to the schools' dumpster!
  4. Most teachers in Elementary and Middle School are female. When a child comes from a single parent family where mom is the provider, it might be High School before the child has a significant male in their lives. Because education, in my opinion, is geared towards females, most of the training of children is coming from a female perspective.
Please don't drop the guillotine on my head! This is not anti-female diatribe. It's what's happening out there in our public school system. I am so mindful how male-oriented education was for centuries, but I think the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

What can we do to try to counteract what our education system, and therefore society, has become?
  • Discuss the above with other parents.
  • Talk to education officials about making public education more boy-friendly.
  • Talk to your local politicians.
  • Ensure that your children get plenty of vigorous daily exercise and encourage play where they have to use their initiative. 
  • Limit children's daily exposure to TV and other technology devices and get them outside as much as possible.
  • If you are a single female parent, try to find a man amongst your relatives or friends who would be prepared to act in a modeling role for your son(s).
Does this imply that I'm not concerned about the education or welfare of girls? Not at all! They are being well catered for and my concern is that we work towards a balance, realizing that male and female needs and learning styles are different.

Written by Brian Burgess

1 comment:

  1. So True and very well put...from my small observations to many men are scared to become teachers