A couple of months ago I received a letter from my son's nursery.
I am always excited receiving information about how I can help encourage my child's education, however, this was not the case yesterday. According to the leaflet, a report says boys aren't doing as well in schools as girls. The leaflet then goes on to tell parents how to help their boy, such as reading bedtime stories, talking about things you see etc.
After reading the leaflet, I felt sad for the behind boys and annoyed the blame was on the parents.
I do all the suggested things and more with my son and he is probably one of the children considered to be doing 'less well'. As a more demanding child, my son receives equal or slightly more attention, time, and encouragement then his younger sister who is assessed as 18 months ahead of her peers.
I have raised them the same and both were very earlier developers, so it is puzzling why he is now suddenly behind after starting preschool. I was recently talking to a mum of twin boys, who said one of her boys is on track and one is two levels behind. I struggle to believe that this mum may have treated her boys so differently that one has been affected academically. More likely, one just is more interested in school than the other.
Men are certainly successful career-wise, so it seems strange how boys are generally behind in school. Has this success in their careers been solely down to gender preference, and discrimination against women? Maybe partially, but I feel boys have obviously have got the key skills to be successful in school and not just in the world of business.
How can boys in general not do as well overall? The only conclusion I can reach is that the education system does not cater for both genders equally.
The leaflet I received suggested the underachievement with boys is down, largely to the parenting.
This puzzles me especially as my son has been provided everything suggested in the leaflet. I have however listened and paid attention to my son and understand it is not a gender that holds them back but how they are taught. My son doesn't want to sit and learn numbers or letters, he wants to physically see things work, to see letters and numbers in the environment. I believe boys do less well only because the education system is tailored for girls. This is not gender equality, boys should be given an equal chance and education should include a variety of learning, just as females should in other areas.
I also believe at such a young age it is vitally important just to get kids excited about school and education and the learning will fall naturally into place. Imagine being in a lecture about paint drying, it would be immensely boring. If you were given a tin of paint and told to express yourself and experiment it instantly becomes interesting. Boys will do better when they are interested and I think the leaflet reflects a failing of the education system, instead of supporting the way they learn.
Boys should not be classified in a category of doing less well than girls they should both be given equal chance, as with gender equality. If we can also provide an education that also motivates boys maybe we can teach them the importance of girls been an equal gender, setting up a better future of equality regardless of gender, race and ability.
I understand the leaflet may help some parents but it's not the real answer to a much larger problem. I also am aware funding may be short but I feel it’s important just to encourage schools to think differently about how to incorporate a different way of learning. We now live in an age of technology and many things that may be exciting to both genders, it is important we adapt and consider the future of education to benefit all.
I'd love to hear where you stand on this issue?