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Young Boys Face Serious Discrimination in Schools

Recent studies are revealing that young boys are being discriminated against in schools and being graded unfairly because of how their active nature is perceived by teachers.

It is no secret that boys tend to be very hyper active at a young age. While most girls are happy doing whatever task is handed to them, boys often can’t focus unless they are given the opportunity to run around a bit and let out all that built up energy.

While their active nature is perfectly innocent, researchers believe teachers are discriminating against them unfairly.

The problem appears to be that teachers are interpreting being active as being “bad” and punishing young boys for not cooperating or behaving well in a classroom environment.

If you’re thinking this only impacts how much candy or recess time he gets, you’re wrong. Teachers who perceive the active behavior as being bad are also grading the young boys more harshly.

Boys who tended to be very rambunctious in class received lower grades in the class even after they scored the same or higher test scores as girls. In other words, your little boy may be getting graded more harshly simply because he couldn’t be quite as still as little Mary despite the fact that he retained the same amount of information as she did.

Now before you assume that every boy is getting his grade marked down, research is also revealing that boys are being given way too many “brownie points” if they can sit still.

Some young men shared the same enthusiasm to sit still and please the teacher as their female counterparts in class. Once again, both the boys and girls earned the same score on the test but their grades in the class didn’t match up.

Are teachers praising little boys too much when they match a girl’s performance in class? Experts think so.

Time reported that researchers believe “teachers may be overcompensating when they encounter boys whose behavior exceeds expectations.” What makes this even more problematic is that the expectations for boys are often already set way too low.

In other words, a young boy can perform the way an average student should in class but be rewarded as if he has done something extraordinary and excelled beyond the rest of his classmates.

Back to the other side of that same coin is the fact that a young boy can also perform better than everyone else in his class on a test, but if he is an active young man he will receive lower grades in class.

So what needs to be done to correct the discrimination issue?

Unfortunately, gathering the research and the facts was the easy part… figuring out what to do about it is where things get complicated.

Some experts believe that some boys may learn better in gender specific schools. Statistics show that learning disabilities are found most commonly in young men so by placing boys in the same school, the school itself can become specialized in working with learning disabilities and can help the young boys overcome their adversities.

While that may sound find and dandy on paper, it may not be the end all solution. What about boys who have no learning disability at all and they truly are just active little boys? Having counselors and teachers specialized in learning disabilities wouldn’t really help them much. Or what about the idea that it isn’t the children at all who need helps, it’s the teachers who are unrightfully knocking a few points off the child’s score for wanting to go outside and play?

I mean seriously, I’m a mature woman and even I find myself tempted when I look out the window of the office and lay my eyes on a beautiful sunny sky and a swing set across the street.

So if separating by gender isn’t the solution what is?

According to Time, it may be separation by learning type. Some children (mostly boys) are very extroverted and need activities that will allow them to mingle and be active while learning. Other students (mostly young girls) can be a little more introverted and may want to keep to themselves in the class room rather than take on group projects.

The problem with this plan of action, however, comes in when you remember that the classroom plays a major role in the socialization of children. What will happen when an introverted child enters the work place and suddenly needs to hone some major social and networking skills? Or what about the child who grows up with only extroverted children and doesn’t learn how to communicate with other children who aren’t quite as talkative and social? School – even at the elementary level – needs to have some similarities to the real world and unfortunately splitting kids up into learning groups is the farthest thing from a real world experience.

Perhaps the only real course of action would be to do away with the stereotype that boys just don’t perform as well in school as girls do. In order to do that, research takes a plunge in the world of advertising.

An article by Ron Parlato revealed that most advertising for educational programs are specifically geared towards female students. This lays the foundation for a society that raises their children on the basis that their son will be problematic in school while their daughter will be just like the successful girl in the commercial who just graduated high school and is on her way to college.

With so many factors as to why boys are expected to perform poorly in school, and so many different theories to inch our way towards a solution progress may not happen for several more years. For now, however, parents need to understand that their little boy’s grades might not exactly be a true reflection of how much they learned that day – it may just be telling you if they were able to sit still or not.


What people are saying

One thought on “Young Boys Face Serious Discrimination in Schools

  1. Dan Moore says:

    Gee, could the fact that the overwhelming majority of teachers are female have anything to do with it? Or the fact that men are actively discouraged from teaching younger grades, so they won't appear too pervy? Or that men are well advised to always keep the door open to their office, since, unlike female teachers, male teachers are often prosecuted for 'sex crimes'….even when they didn't commit them?

    You are skirting around way too many issues here to be unaware of them. Next time, try telling the WHOLE story.

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