Articles for Teachers
It has been a long-standing fact that girls do better in school than boys do. It was not until recent years, however, that experts have conducted studies to explain this phenomenon. The results show that it may be the changes in the school and the methods of teaching that may be adding to this situation.
Most children begin school at the age of five. While most girls are mature enough at this age, many boys are not. They have not fully developed their verbal and social skills and have difficulty adjusting to the school environment. These youngsters become frustrated and do not adjust to failures as well as their more mature counterparts. This may lead these boys to develop a dislike for school that will remain with them throughout their academic career.
Kindergarten has also changed in recent years. In the past, reading was taught at the first grade level. Today children start to learn to read in kindergarten. Due to their immature verbal skills, many boys are not ready to read at this younger age. As this is the time when the building blocks for reading are taught, many boys may just slip by without totally comprehending these basics which can lead to difficulty with reading that will follow them their entire lives.
Another difficulty that little boys have in school due to their lack of maturity is in the area of language skills. As the largest majority of elementary school classes are language-based, this can cause your son to fail in a number of different subjects which may cause him to consider himself to be stupid and to just give up.
Another change in the school structure that is challenging for young boys is the lack of physical activity. Many schools have cut down on recess and recreation time to enable the students to learn all the information that is required by most states. Boys are more active than girls, and may have difficulty sitting still for these extended periods of time. The fact that most of this sitting time involves your son doing written work that he is not equipped to do leads to frustration and a general dislike for anything to do with learning. This inability to sit still as also led to boys being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD much more often than girls.
Studies have also shown that boys learn much easier with hands-on activities than from written material. Due to the reduction of funding in many school districts, many of these institutions lack the money to include creative projects as part of the learning process.
Another factor that may lead to your son having difficulty when he starts to learn to read is the fact that more often than not his teacher is a female. While this statement may seem to be sexist, the sex of the teacher has been proven to affect her teaching methods. When choosing a book to read along with a kindergarten class, a female teacher may unconsciously choose a book that interests the girls in the class, such as one about butterflies, while ignoring books that are more male-oriented, such as those about robots or trucks. Boys tend to learn better when the subject matter is something that interests them and to tune out when it is a subject that does not.
Most people accept the fact that boys do not do as well in school as girls do. Knowing the reasons behind this situation can help you and his teachers to develop the proper learning program that will enable your son to be an academic success.
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