Kelly at Generation Cedar raises a good question originally posed in the Washington Post:
Is the Classroom Harming Boys and Society?
Need another reason to homeschool?
“…we’re not as concerned as we ought to be about the millions of young men who are floundering or lost.
But they’re there: The young men who are working in the lowest-level (and most dangerous) jobs instead of going to college. Who are sitting in prison instead of going to college. [My note: I would also add “instead of becoming entrepreneurs”, understanding the great opportunities that await and are not limited to those with college degrees.] Who are staying out of the long-term marriage pool because they have little to offer to young women. Who are remaining adolescents, wasting years of their lives playing video games for hours a day, until they’re in their thirties, by which time the world has passed many of them by.
Whether in the prison system, in my university classes or in the schools where I help train teachers, I have noticed a systemic problem with how we teach and mentor boys that I call “industrial schooling,” and that I believe is a primary root of our sons’ falling behind in school, and quite often in life.
Two hundred years ago, realizing the necessity of schooling millions of kids, we took them off the farms and out of the marketplace and put them in large industrial-size classrooms (one teacher, 25 to 30 kids). For many kids, this system worked — and still works. But from the beginning, there were some for whom it wasn’t working very well. Initially, it was girls. It took more than 150 years to get parity for them.
Problem With Industrialized Schooling
Now we’re seeing what’s wrong with the system for millions of boys…Beginning in very early grades, the sit-still, read-your-book, raise-your-hand-quietly, don’t-learn-by-doing-but-by-taking-notes classroom is a worse fit for more boys than it is for most girls. This was always the case, but we couldn’t see it 100 years ago. We didn’t have the comparative element of girls at par in classrooms. We taught a lot of our boys and girls separately. We educated children with greater emphasis on certain basic educational principles that kept a lot of boys “in line” — competitive learning was one. And our families were deeply involved in a child’s education.