Monday, August 4, 2008

Here the review from Booklist. Yeah!

Issue: August 1, 2008


The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and
What Parents and Educators Must Do.
Tyre, Peg (Author)
Sep 2008. 320 p. Crown, hardcover, $24.95. (9780307381286). 371.8210973.
While the nation’s schools worked diligently to improve the academic performance of girls—including closing the achievement gap in math and science between girls and boys—few noticed the slow and steady decline in the academic performance of boys. The reading and writing achievement gap between girls and
boys continues as boys also stack up unfavorably in every measure from school discipline, to graduation rates, to grades, to college admission. Newsweek reporter Tyre examines troubling statistics that detail the
academic decline of boys and cites psychologists, sociologists, brain researchers, and others to explain the reasons behind the numbers. Tyre examines how schools—and broader society—have changed in ways that shortchange boys and how gender politics is affecting reactions to the dire statistics. She focuses on boys' specific problems—fidgeting in school, scattered attention, reading problems, and a shortage of male teachers. Through vignettes, Tyre offers advice to parents concerned about their sons. Most important, Tyre asks the ultimate question: how to help boys without jeopardizing the advances of girls.

— Vanessa Bush

2 Comments:

Anonymous Charlie Moss said...

I am a former high school and college teacher. I taught at an all boys high school over 30 years ago. Anecdotally, in conversations with parents, physicians and educators, I have noticed these disturbing trends. The % of boys vs. girls on medication; the per cent of boys vs. girls diagnosed with ADHD; the per cent of boys diagnosed with austism; the drop in the enrollment of young men in college; the drop in their graduation rate. Parents frustrated, stymied and stressed. the number of disaffected boys.
Something has changed in the environment in a fairly short time. I do not believe that these trends are genetic or brain chemistry in origin. I think parents, educators, psychologists, physicians need to look at their practices. This is a systemic problem that needs to viewed as a high priority. Without overgeneralizing, I think this is a nature vs. nature problem. Obviously, I am very concerned. I am glad someone has begun to analyze it in a systematic way.

September 10, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are part of the statistics. We have two boys and two girls. Both of our boys seem to be struggling with school, each in their own way. Our youngest still likes it and wants to do good. I think our oldest has given up; he's conceded. Learning is a chore. School is no longer fun for him except the social aspects.

The review states, "She focuses on boys' specific problems—fidgeting in school, scattered attention, reading problems..." These "problems" sound exactly like our youngest son's teacher's comments at conferences last year! I say he seems fine at home and he just has "boy" tendencies. He WANTS to be active, he NEEDS to be active. However, we have talked to our pediatrician about this, but refuse to medicate him (not that the diagnosis has gone this far), but have opted for chiropractic as a more natural way to help him stay focused and be less fidgety.

Our oldest son in in high school and it seems no matter how much we beg, nag, or try to help, he really isn't all that interested in school. He started losing interest in middle school...when gym became about the theory more than the activity and recess went away! He even commented at the time that gym just wasn't that much fun anymore. "I just want to play" when we questioned why his gym grade was a C instead of his usual A. He is very athletically gifted, but has chosen to drop out of a few organized sports because it is too much of a commitment (his words) and he would rather just skateboard with his friends. He is a fairly active kid and just sitting in a classroom with a teacher just lecturing at him all day is definitely not his idea of fun. We fear that he is throwing his future away if we can't get him to apply himself. I don't see college in his future, which is rough for me since I am such a huge believer in education (note I did not say our education system). I struggle to help him, because as a female, I did very well in school...I fit the mold of who they were teaching to. My husband and I have talked often about pulling them out of their schools and putting them in a different setting where it is geared more toward the individual than a large class of "averages." Let us know if there is anything we can do to advocate for boys and help "the cause."

September 10, 2008 at 8:35 PM  

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