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Boys don't read unless it is gory?

1235

Posts

  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    tbloxham wrote: »
    But 'footballers are stupid' is just a subset of 'men are stupid'. Footballers are successful people, they earn a lot of money and children view them as role models. By saying 'Footballers are stupid' you say to all the young boys who idolize them that school isn't important, and that if they are dumb and just bumble along then they will score with sexy smart girls.
    Not really, if anything the "footballers are stupid" stereotype comes from holding intelligence as a desirable trait. The idea is that even even though you may not be as successful, at least you aren't thick as shit like they are.

    evilbob wrote: »
    How pretty am I?
    Geth roll 1d10
    Geth wrote: »
    /me rolls 1d10 -> 10 (sum:10)
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    Where the fuck are people getting this idea that somehow the male gender somehow encompasses the idea that "school is for girls"?

    To be fair, I assumed that when "school is for girls" was first brought up, that it was tongue in cheek. I am still on the fence as to whether they were definitely serious with that.

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    evilbob wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    But 'footballers are stupid' is just a subset of 'men are stupid'. Footballers are successful people, they earn a lot of money and children view them as role models. By saying 'Footballers are stupid' you say to all the young boys who idolize them that school isn't important, and that if they are dumb and just bumble along then they will score with sexy smart girls.
    Not really, if anything the "footballers are stupid" stereotype comes from holding intelligence as a desirable trait. The idea is that even even though you may not be as successful, at least you aren't thick as shit like they are.

    I guess so, but still, Smart Girl - Dumb Guy is the media perspective on these things as you can see from all the other articles I posted. When someone succeeds academically, then get a photo of some happy girls, or maybe an Asian guy if we can't find any. When someone fails, get me a photo of some guys looking disheveled and loutish.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    taeric wrote: »
    Where the fuck are people getting this idea that somehow the male gender somehow encompasses the idea that "school is for girls"?

    To be fair, I assumed that when "school is for girls" was first brought up, that it was tongue in cheek. I am still on the fence as to whether they were definitely serious with that.

    As you can see from all the articles I posted that I am 100% serious on that. This isn't some urban myth, girls expect to do better, proceed to do better, and are encouraged more by their parents and teachers at all levels of academic achievement.

    Boys think that school is for girls.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    Honestly I don't know enough about the UK or where to start researching so there's nothing more I can say. I'm not going to try and argue across the ocean. Just keep in mind that we were (as far as I could tell) talking primarily about the US, and discussing a fixture of the US government's stances and other US scientists and studies, so I'm not sure how much of yours is immediately applicable as a general stance and how much is applicable instead only to the UK. Your post, as it is, is phrased as a direct response though to questions asked of what was then only the US -- so like, I don't know. The UK's far away. @_@

    words
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Oboro wrote: »
    Honestly I don't know enough about the UK or where to start researching so there's nothing more I can say. I'm not going to try and argue across the ocean. Just keep in mind that we were (as far as I could tell) talking primarily about the US, and discussing a fixture of the US government's stances and other US scientists and studies, so I'm not sure how much of yours is immediately applicable as a general stance and how much is applicable instead only to the UK. Your post, as it is, is phrased as a direct response though to questions asked of what was then only the US -- so like, I don't know. The UK's far away. @_@

    The problem exists in the US too, to a similar or even greater extent.

    http://www.ocfamily.com/t-education_boysvsgirls_0408.aspx

    some quotes...

    "Only 42% of the bachelor’s degrees from UC or CSU colleges went to males in 2004, while 58% were awarded to women. In 1981, it was a 50/50 split, while back in 1976, men earned 55% of the UC and CSU bachelor degrees.

    Nationwide in 2003, women earned 60% of all associate degrees, 58% of all bachelor’s degrees and 59% of all master’s degrees, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics."

    The article itself isn't so pro the idea as I am, it's actually quite interesting to see the explanations for why this huge split in the number of degrees is fine, or in fact an indication of the system failing girls. After revealing these shocking statistics (girls get ~50% more degrees in California than boys) she goes on to say how the system could do more to help women.

    Yes boys still remain ahead (in the US) in maths and science. Yes programs should be enacted to encourage and assure women that they can be hugely successful in even the most technical field, however this is a distinct second priority behind making sure we do not end one shameful period of gender bias with another. In every measure except maths and science boys do worse, and their lead in those fields has been eroded to nearly nothing in the last year. In fact looking at higher qualifications in both these fields, girls are again doing better.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    What you're basically showing though is that cultural stereotypes of the genders are incredibly harmful (duh). I don't exactly see how this is bias in the education system though. This sort of discrepancy is a direct product of the "girls can't do math and science" attitudes working in the opposite way. It's a direct product of this "boys don't read unless its gory" idea that started this thread.

    Education does not need to be tailored to either gender, what we need is to stop teaching people from a young age what they're strengths and weaknesses are supposed to be.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    At this point I'm statistic-saturated and I don't know anything.

    Also, this is a far cry from the original topic of disparities in grade-school things. How do you justify a grade-school disparity in one direction with a college and post-grad disparity in the other? :|

    EDIT: wait ELM got it

    words
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Oboro wrote: »
    At this point I'm statistic-saturated and I don't know anything.

    Also, this is a far cry from the original topic of disparities in grade-school things. How do you justify a grade-school disparity in one direction with a college and post-grad disparity in the other? :|
    My first thought was The Cat's previous comment on trade schools and apprenticeships - boys essentially have an out of the college system through that.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Oboro wrote: »
    At this point I'm statistic-saturated and I don't know anything.

    Also, this is a far cry from the original topic of disparities in grade-school things. How do you justify a grade-school disparity in one direction with a college and post-grad disparity in the other? :|
    My first thought was The Cat's previous comment on trade schools and apprenticeships - boys essentially have an out of the college system through that.

    Except for the vastness of the effect, and how early it sets on. In the UK at least boys aren't quitting to take up well paid jobs with a future, they are quitting school to do nothing. The UK has an enormous shortage of the trade skills (as does everywhere else in western europe).

    My point is that we do need to acknowledge the differences between the genders, we quite simply cannot force parents and society to abandon all its ideas about men and women and children will already be boys or girls from the moment they arrive. Neither gender learns in a bad way. Either can show huge skills in any area with equal potential, it's just that we need to produce a system which gets boys involved. They fail at reading from an early age, they aren't involved by their coursework, their teachers are overwhelmingly female and favor female students, their parents favor their sisters, society tells them its OK to be dumb, and they proceed to do worse in nearly every measurable aspect of academic success.

    This is all the same problem, and it can be fixed in the schools. Laugh all you want at the 'silly' attitudes of classic schooling but the average boy responds well to stricter discipline, different course content and presentation and above all male teachers. The only area where boys excel nowadays? Being proscribed ADD, ADHD, and Autism drugs and enrolled in remedial courses.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm incredibly wary of anything prescribed on the basis of the average, especially when it comes to the genders because it has the one net effect of tending to fuck everyone no matter where on the bell curve they fall.

    But moreover, how different can you intend to make the course content without effectively enforcing what you're trying to correct for. How accurate do you think you can possibly be with such a broad, ill-defined target audience. Particularly since the numbers you cite are not that out of whack - not to the point that I see it as an easy claim that this is a gender discrepancy, and not perhaps a cultural problem that becomes significant in a particular region of some other factor (socioeconomic status being my nominated candidate).

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm incredibly wary of anything prescribed on the basis of the average, especially when it comes to the genders because it has the one net effect of tending to fuck everyone no matter where on the bell curve they fall.

    But moreover, how different can you intend to make the course content without effectively enforcing what you're trying to correct for. How accurate do you think you can possibly be with such a broad, ill-defined target audience. Particularly since the numbers you cite are not that out of whack - not to the point that I see it as an easy claim that this is a gender discrepancy, and not perhaps a cultural problem that becomes significant in a particular region of some other factor (socioeconomic status being my nominated candidate).

    A 10 % difference in results between girls and boys with a sample size of hundreds of thousands of students isn't enough for you? root(n)/n electricitylikesme. These results are statistically significant. Boys are failing compared to girls in any subject area you define. They are failing compared to girls at all levels of academic achievement from grade school to masters degrees. In the university of california, 58% of undergraduate degrees go to women, which means 42% go to men. I believe the university of california gives out more than 10 degrees a year, meaning that these results cannot be dismissed as part of the noise.

    The UK numbers are for all exam results, in every region, across all schools public and private in the UK. More women are enrolled at UK universities, ~33% more young women attend university in the UK than men, as a fraction they do better receiving more top degrees.

    This isn't a 0.1% effect in a limited study. The US one was for all degrees awarded by the University of California system. The UK one was the nationally compiled results for every student in every exam in the UK. It is published each year in mid august, and always accompanied by front page images of celebrating girls. Our current system is failing a whole generation of boys, leaving them believing that education is not for them.

    I do not believe that the way boys learn is a bad thing. If they require discipline, more exam focused work and course content which focuses on different areas to that which is best for girls then so be it. We cannot change the attitude of two entire genders as to what is good and interesting. We can provide boys with content that enthuses and interests them in learning, just as we are currently doing to girls.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Which was not the main challenge of my point, the main challenge was what practical alterations to course curriculums do you think would correct for deficiencies in the culturally significant areas which would not just be different for the sake of different. Take say, English as a case study.

    Because to make some obvious points: children require discipline regardless, so what exactly do you think would change in a practical environment? Standardized testing is rampant in the US already so what exactly would you plan on changing (for our hypothetical English course) and what changes to course content exactly would make sense? Kids in school study 2-3 texts in an English course per semester, exactly what would be your criteria for choosing them?

    EDIT: Presuming, of course, that we are going by the idea that we are going off the idea that boys are different to girls etc. as you seem to imply.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Which was not the main challenge of my point, the main challenge was what practical alterations to course curriculums do you think would correct for deficiencies in the culturally significant areas which would not just be different for the sake of different. Take say, English as a case study.

    Because to make some obvious points: children require discipline regardless, so what exactly do you think would change in a practical environment? Standardized testing is rampant in the US already so what exactly would you plan on changing (for our hypothetical English course) and what changes to course content exactly would make sense? Kids in school study 2-3 texts in an English course per semester, exactly what would be your criteria for choosing them?

    I can only speak to changes I would make in the UK system, boys need more male teachers, more focus on final exams rather than coursework, and more mutual competition. I'm not an English teacher however, so I have no idea what texts should be chosen. Boys however should be studying texts they are interested in. I've actually spoken to quite a few English teachers about this and they confirm my point that the national curriculum includes very little of interest to boys.

    It is strange that the UK system and the US system for all their differences are both failing boys. Indicating that lack of male teachers, over prescription of drugs and society viewing boys being stupid as acceptable is a major factor. And honestly I imagine the differences in literacy rates between young girls and boys (due to the violent and gory books being banned from the school libraries) also plays a major part. If boys want gore, then give them Horrible Histories, don't say "Action and excitement isn't to be found in books, here, read this book about the history of maypole dancing"

    edit - And I think the statistic clearly proove boys are different to girls. If they were the same then there would not be enormous, and blatantly obvious differences between the two groups performance in the same system. Perhaps boys do not have to be different to girls. However I am not willing to spend 50 years changing the entire attitude of our society and rebuilding it from the ground up, then wait another 18 for the boys to get through school, failing 3 generations of male students while I fix that problem. I'd rather deal with it now.

    The simple fact is that male students, in all boys schools, given more male teachers close the gap to girls in similar single sex institutions enormously. This effect is very hard to quantify, since all boys schools tend to be private and thus have better teachers, however all boys schools are equally 'better' than all girls schools, so if the boys weren't simply responding to a male focused curriculum and atmosphere then you would expect each sex to see the same improvement.

    In all honesty, can you really say that if you had a child today you wouldn't be more worried about its future if it was a boy? I know I would. We have created a failed generation of boys, and this is just going to make the problem of "its OK for guys to be stupid" even worse.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    See, what we're seeing at best from those statistics is a preferential binning of the genders based on cultural influences, but it does not follow that using the biological sex of people makes any sort of sense in trying to equalize the discrepancy.

    The discrepancy, at 10%, implies that still a very large minority of boys do simply fine in the education system compared to their female counterparts and that our real problem is that they are over-represented at the bottom end of the bell-curve. This does not make it logical or rational to try and solve the problem by taking a grab bag of gender stereotypes and applying hamfisted solutions when the very categories we're using have enormous overlaps of behavior, learning and process for the large part.

    Instead what it suggests is that, yet again, we should actually be looking at what's going on with the bottom end and how we can do more to get them generally interested and educated. This is the larger problem. There is a huge number of students in the education system for whom it simply does not work - stereotypes and averages of large numbers don't tell us anything about why this is the case.

    Fucking a big minority doesn't strike me as a rational approach to addressing gender discrepancy, especially when there are an enormous number of competing factors involved as well as heavy cultural effects. Not to mention endemic discrimination at all levels - men more easily achieve higher pay levels then equivalent female colleagues, since money is a pretty damn good motivator to go and achieve educationally looking at degree issues alone is certainly not giving us a picture of what is actually going on.

    If I wanted to do anything to try and equalize the differences in achievement in education between the biological sexes, then the first thing I'd do is ignore that difference and focus helping those in the lower end achieve more - since it's highly likely the comments of more discipline and altered coursework are going to apply equally well regardless of gender if one has fallen to that point (since the system will have clearly failed in a rather multilateral way).

    I would not take a grab bag of stereotypes, pretend cultural selection pressures might not apply to the statistics, and try to "fix" a 42% minority, knowing full-well that the difference within my target groups is fare greater then the difference between them. It is not a small minority.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    tbloxham wrote: »
    *snip*

    :^: awesome post. There's clearly a problem in the UK, going by that information. However, its not a globally universal one, and I'd argue that the UK's cultural issues are a major player. Given that females dominate teaching in areas where boys aren't doing nearly so badly (like here), I don't think its something you can pin on teachers - and anyway, its bloody insulting to claim that female teachers are somehow magically incapable of handling boys (that's up there with claiming that mothers are bad for boys, come on), or that the pedagogy is at fault - it hasn't changed much since the inception of the prussian-model schooling system, except in regards to teacher authority.

    Its also worth pointing out that young boys often aren't taught to respect adult women as having the same power as adult men - at best the subject is skipped over, at worst their families exhibit the traditional contempt for and suspicion of females in power that you see threaded through the Times's and the Daily Mail's editorial line, which are pretty good barometers of the national character. In consistence with what I've been arguing, the solution to this is not to bilk dedicated and highly trained female teachers out of work, its to teach our young men a more positive model of masculinity, one not based on the concept 'at least I'm not a fucking woman, I'm better'.

    My arguments here would rest on several things. The first is common to most modern schools - teachers have had their authority to discipline eroded to a ridiculous degree while at the same time they're expected to play roles that used to belong to parents. Kids know they can get away with fucking around and not be failed, or held back, or expelled. There are no penalties in the system. The second point is, I'd say, a broader UK-centric problem. The welfare state is too extensive in the wrong areas, and it disincentivises education as a goal. There's a culture of anti-intellectualism among males that's entirely separate to the school system too, and that also exists in the US. You see manifestations of it in beer commercials and the like, that hurf-durf-real-menz-eat-meat-and-have-fights kind of stuff. And the last, of course, is what I talked about in the last paragraph - rampant sexism. Hatred of females. Maybe you don't notice so much, living in the UK, but the culture there is backlashing like wow. As someone living in a pretty contentdely egalitarian place, its really icky to watch.

    If you want education to be a priority in men's lives again, they need better role models outside of school. Like I said, Ray Romano must die. Mr. Simpkins the maths teacher can't compete with his impact, you know?

    tmsig.jpg
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    See, what we're seeing at best from those statistics is a preferential binning of the genders based on cultural influences, but it does not follow that using the biological sex of people makes any sort of sense in trying to equalize the discrepancy.

    The discrepancy, at 10%, implies that still a very large minority of boys do simply fine in the education system compared to their female counterparts and that our real problem is that they are over-represented at the bottom end of the bell-curve. This does not make it logical or rational to try and solve the problem by taking a grab bag of gender stereotypes and applying hamfisted solutions when the very categories we're using have enormous overlaps of behavior, learning and process for the large part.

    Instead what it suggests is that, yet again, we should actually be looking at what's going on with the bottom end and how we can do more to get them generally interested and educated. This is the larger problem. There is a huge number of students in the education system for whom it simply does not work - stereotypes and averages of large numbers don't tell us anything about why this is the case.

    Fucking a big minority doesn't strike me as a rational approach to addressing gender discrepancy, especially when there are an enormous number of competing factors involved as well as heavy cultural effects. Not to mention endemic discrimination at all levels - men more easily achieve higher pay levels then equivalent female colleagues, since money is a pretty damn good motivator to go and achieve educationally looking at degree issues alone is certainly not giving us a picture of what is actually going on.

    If I wanted to do anything to try and equalize the differences in achievement in education between the biological sexes, then the first thing I'd do is ignore that difference and focus helping those in the lower end achieve more - since it's highly likely the comments of more discipline and altered coursework are going to apply equally well regardless of gender if one has fallen to that point (since the system will have clearly failed in a rather multilateral way).

    I would not take a grab bag of stereotypes, pretend cultural selection pressures might not apply to the statistics, and try to "fix" a 42% minority, knowing full-well that the difference within my target groups is fare greater then the difference between them. It is not a small minority.

    <3

    tmsig.jpg
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Which was not the main challenge of my point, the main challenge was what practical alterations to course curriculums do you think would correct for deficiencies in the culturally significant areas which would not just be different for the sake of different. Take say, English as a case study.

    Because to make some obvious points: children require discipline regardless, so what exactly do you think would change in a practical environment? Standardized testing is rampant in the US already so what exactly would you plan on changing (for our hypothetical English course) and what changes to course content exactly would make sense? Kids in school study 2-3 texts in an English course per semester, exactly what would be your criteria for choosing them?

    I can only speak to changes I would make in the UK system, boys need more male teachers, more focus on final exams rather than coursework, and more mutual competition. I'm not an English teacher however, so I have no idea what texts should be chosen. Boys however should be studying texts they are interested in. I've actually spoken to quite a few English teachers about this and they confirm my point that the national curriculum includes very little of interest to boys.

    This entire paragraph is just you saying the same thing you said before and not saying much at all. And I can tell you why - because it's an impossibly huge and varied category for which you cannot prescribe solutions.

    Boys texts? How, exactly, do you define this? How do you generalize this? How about instead, do what my high school did which is offer 3 English class streams and let the students (boy and girl) choose the one with the texts that appeal most to them? Wouldn't this in fact be a much more sensible approach to the problem, seeing as how we're not trying to pretend we can categorize people's interests by their genders in any meaningful way?
    tbloxham wrote: »
    edit - And I think the statistic clearly proove boys are different to girls. If they were the same then there would not be enormous, and blatantly obvious differences between the two groups performance in the same system. Perhaps boys do not have to be different to girls. However I am not willing to spend 50 years changing the entire attitude of our society and rebuilding it from the ground up, then wait another 18 for the boys to get through school, failing 3 generations of male students while I fix that problem. I'd rather deal with it now.
    It doesn't. If, as you've acknowledged, their are cultural influences accounting for the difference then it also stands to reason that their are quite possibly cultural influences binning the bottom end in a selective way. Basically, if you're male, there are excellent depths you can crash too while still somehow surviving.

    Nonetheless, I don't trust your statistics in the first place - they're degrees. Show me the socioeconomic breakdown, show me the dispersal of profession after the sexes leave high school (where do those not going to university actually end up?)

    There are so many things wrong with using gender binning to prescribe solutions to a gender discrepancy, chief among which it is almost in no way possible to establish if there's actually any meaningful difference in the influence of every fucking other influence on the situation.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    tbloxham wrote: »
    edit - And I think the statistic clearly proove boys are different to girls. If they were the same then there would not be enormous, and blatantly obvious differences between the two groups performance in the same system. Perhaps boys do not have to be different to girls. However I am not willing to spend 50 years changing the entire attitude of our society and rebuilding it from the ground up, then wait another 18 for the boys to get through school, failing 3 generations of male students while I fix that problem. I'd rather deal with it now.
    No, you just want to shove gender relations in the too-hard basket and take us back to the bad old days. Insitutional large-scale separation of education by gender always leads back to girls getting fucked over. Its time to suck it up and move forward, and if you really think it can't be done in less than "three generations", you're part of prolonging the problem :|
    The simple fact is that male students, in all boys schools, given more male teachers close the gap to girls in similar single sex institutions enormously.
    Yeah, because of sexism.
    This effect is very hard to quantify, since all boys schools tend to be private and thus have better teachers,
    oh really!
    however all boys schools are equally 'better' than all girls schools, so if the boys weren't simply responding to a male focused curriculum and atmosphere then you would expect each sex to see the same improvement.
    I wonder about that. I don't think you've got the statistical rigour there to argue that its not simply a result of better funding and higher socioeconomic class families. As in the US, the problem with boys lagging is strongly exaggerated in non-anglo, poor populations. Rich white boys are doing just fine.
    In all honesty, can you really say that if you had a child today you wouldn't be more worried about its future if it was a boy? I know I would. We have created a failed generation of boys, and this is just going to make the problem of "its OK for guys to be stupid" even worse.
    no, but then I'm prepared to put in whatever effort is required. My male contemporaries are doing just fine, too. Raising successful boys isn't magically impossible, even in the face of a shitty broader culture. For all the problems out there, I think you're still far too negative.

    tmsig.jpg
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    Cat is the best poster in the world. For the record, yes.

    Spoiler:
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    See, what we're seeing at best from those statistics is a preferential binning of the genders based on cultural influences, but it does not follow that using the biological sex of people makes any sort of sense in trying to equalize the discrepancy.

    The discrepancy, at 10%, implies that still a very large minority of boys do simply fine in the education system compared to their female counterparts and that our real problem is that they are over-represented at the bottom end of the bell-curve. This does not make it logical or rational to try and solve the problem by taking a grab bag of gender stereotypes and applying hamfisted solutions when the very categories we're using have enormous overlaps of behavior, learning and process for the large part.

    Instead what it suggests is that, yet again, we should actually be looking at what's going on with the bottom end and how we can do more to get them generally interested and educated. This is the larger problem. There is a huge number of students in the education system for whom it simply does not work - stereotypes and averages of large numbers don't tell us anything about why this is the case.

    Fucking a big minority doesn't strike me as a rational approach to addressing gender discrepancy, especially when there are an enormous number of competing factors involved as well as heavy cultural effects. Not to mention endemic discrimination at all levels - men more easily achieve higher pay levels then equivalent female colleagues, since money is a pretty damn good motivator to go and achieve educationally looking at degree issues alone is certainly not giving us a picture of what is actually going on.

    If I wanted to do anything to try and equalize the differences in achievement in education between the biological sexes, then the first thing I'd do is ignore that difference and focus helping those in the lower end achieve more - since it's highly likely the comments of more discipline and altered coursework are going to apply equally well regardless of gender if one has fallen to that point (since the system will have clearly failed in a rather multilateral way).

    I would not take a grab bag of stereotypes, pretend cultural selection pressures might not apply to the statistics, and try to "fix" a 42% minority, knowing full-well that the difference within my target groups is fare greater then the difference between them. It is not a small minority.

    OK then, then how about this. "There exists in both sexes, however preferentially in boys, a significant group of students who are being fundamentally disengaged or not realizing their potential under current education policies. This statement is backed up by overwhelming statistical evidence in terms of comparative performance."

    These students represent around 30% of boys (58% of degrees to women, 42%*1.3 ~ 58%), and an unknown but smaller fraction of girls. There also exists the possibility that a far grater fraction of boys is disengaged in this way and simply performs worse rather than failing outright. This statistic exists in both the US and UK universities . In fact, it exists in Australian universities too (this link isn't fantastic, but I am forced to accept its statistics because I couldn't find a better one for australia)

    http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20071115135648209

    a quote

    "To give just one example: 56% of the 13,000 students who obtained tertiary entry scores of 80 and above in the 2005 Victorian Certificate of Education were girls. Overall, the girls achieved a score of 63 compared with 59 for the boys."

    and

    "Of the nearly one million local and overseas students enrolled in Australia’s universities this year, about 56% are women.

    And, as happens in school, it is the females who do better overall and have higher completion rates: among the 175,000 students who graduated from university last year more than 100,000 were women."

    and furthermore!

    "A key factor in the rise of women on campus appears to be marked differences between the aspirations of the two sexes. Successive studies have shown that no matter if a family is wealthy or poor, well educated or illiterate, many more of their female offspring hope to go to university than the males – and they do."

    Factors causing this disengagement are both social and due to teaching techniques, however it is demonstrated that boys in all boys schools significantly narrow the gap to girls in all girls schools (who also improve, just by not as much) Girls in all girls schools are just as rich as boys in all boys schools, thus their socioeconomic background is much the same. Comparatively boys in mixed private schools gain no ground compared to their female peers, as both gain a similar smaller amount.

    If I was teaching a physics class to boys, I would lead off with the exciting experiment, and then move onto the theory. If I was teaching girls, I would do the opposite. This goes beyond simple "Boys like stuff that blows up and gets stabbed" although that is part of it. This speaks to fundamental teaching techniques for groups of different composition.

    In every one of the three largest English speaking nations, boys are failing. In three different education systems they are failing. Under every statistic which can be presented they are failing. Common factors across the three nations include courses which are increasingly skewed towards continuous assessment, a politically correct curriculum, a huge bias towards female teachers especially at young ages, cultural acceptance (even expectation) of stupid men, increasingly lax discipline in schools, and mixed gender education being the primary form of education. Schools also tend to reward groups who can work together well without selecting a leader. Boys will always select a leader. Modern schooling views the simple idea of selecting a dominant leader as bad.

    I've worked with children in groups when I worked at a summer camp for many summers, and watched the way both teams of girls and teams of boys solve a problem. Ask a group of girls to solve a problem and they will sit down, arrange a basis for discussion where everyone can speak, listen to lots of ideas, and then enact the one which is mutually agreed to be best. Ask a team of boys to solve a problem and they will laugh and joke for a bit, establish which one of them knows the most about the problem, have him explain his solution to the one who is viewed as dominant, and then the leader will order the others to enact the solution. The girls want to have a discussion, the boys want to establish who is most likely to have the best answer and get to it. Neither technique ever really showed itself to be superior. And yes, there are girls who wanted a leadership structure, and boys who wanted a discussion. However if you placed a boy who demanded a leadership structure in a group of girls, it would always be a disaster, and if you placed a girl who wanted everyones views to be heard in a group of boys it would also commonly be a disaster. In the first case, the boy would just either place himself in charge, or explain to the dominant girl what his plan was and expect it to be immediately enacted, or just not do anything because noone ordered him to. In the second case the girl would either be placed in charge (at which point she would ask for input from everyone together leading to a huge argument), asked for her plan (which she would then present as a suggestion rather than the solution leading everyone to disregard it) or just get ordered around. Older children of course used more and more advanced and mutually intersecting strategies, however you could always sense that the male plan would be focused more towards leadership,experts and compartmentalization, whereas the female plan would tend to focus on collaboration and everybody understanding.

    I accept that cultural expectation of stupid men is a disaster. I accept that boys do not have it fundamentally written in their genes to like explosions and robots and lasers, or to do things in a certain way with a strong leadership mentality. However, they do. And I don't think we can change this fast enough to make a difference for the generations of boys we are going to fail, and then just dismiss as part of the statistics noise. 60% of degrees at all levels go to women. This is NOT a small effect, or the product of economic pressures or differing social backgrounds in any way. This is a failing of all of society, and the entire way we teach boys at every level of education. We don't have time to fix society, so we should fix education first and then get to work on society. If there was something wrong with lasers and leadership focused thinking then I would say, yes, society needs to change. However there isn't, neither group has it wrong, we just need techniques to engage both the collaborators and the leaders. Heck, there are girls out there who want to be leaders in any group they get in, and compartmentalize their strategies and I bet the current system is failing them too. Although at least they have the cultural expectation of smart, sexy, independent women on their side.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    I really can't be bothered to read very intently the latter half of your post because you're still calling minorities of 40-46% not worth consideration. Also, because of the terrible sexism and the fatalism you attribute in all instances to mixing the genders. My eyes go red with rage when you start talking about how the girls always went for communal problem-solving while the boys instated a pecking order.

    Get the statistics for those trends, too, and then I'll listen to your conclusion that mixing the two is a disaster (well, also get the statistic that attributes somehow the disaster to the fact we mixed boys and girls) and that there's some validity to simply separating the genders -- let's call that a 50/50 split of your population -- because one of the populations is edging out the other by the barest minimum of statistical significance.

    words
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    *snip*

    :^: awesome post. There's clearly a problem in the UK, going by that information. However, its not a globally universal one, and I'd argue that the UK's cultural issues are a major player. Given that females dominate teaching in areas where boys aren't doing nearly so badly (like here), I don't think its something you can pin on teachers - and anyway, its bloody insulting to claim that female teachers are somehow magically incapable of handling boys (that's up there with claiming that mothers are bad for boys, come on), or that the pedagogy is at fault - it hasn't changed much since the inception of the prussian-model schooling system, except in regards to teacher authority.

    Its also worth pointing out that young boys often aren't taught to respect adult women as having the same power as adult men - at best the subject is skipped over, at worst their families exhibit the traditional contempt for and suspicion of females in power that you see threaded through the Times's and the Daily Mail's editorial line, which are pretty good barometers of the national character. In consistence with what I've been arguing, the solution to this is not to bilk dedicated and highly trained female teachers out of work, its to teach our young men a more positive model of masculinity, one not based on the concept 'at least I'm not a fucking woman, I'm better'.

    My arguments here would rest on several things. The first is common to most modern schools - teachers have had their authority to discipline eroded to a ridiculous degree while at the same time they're expected to play roles that used to belong to parents. Kids know they can get away with fucking around and not be failed, or held back, or expelled. There are no penalties in the system. The second point is, I'd say, a broader UK-centric problem. The welfare state is too extensive in the wrong areas, and it disincentivises education as a goal. There's a culture of anti-intellectualism among males that's entirely separate to the school system too, and that also exists in the US. You see manifestations of it in beer commercials and the like, that hurf-durf-real-menz-eat-meat-and-have-fights kind of stuff. And the last, of course, is what I talked about in the last paragraph - rampant sexism. Hatred of females. Maybe you don't notice so much, living in the UK, but the culture there is backlashing like wow. As someone living in a pretty contentdely egalitarian place, its really icky to watch.

    If you want education to be a priority in men's lives again, they need better role models outside of school. Like I said, Ray Romano must die. Mr. Simpkins the maths teacher can't compete with his impact, you know?


    I won't rewrite my whole post to electricitylikesme, but boys are failing in Australia too, to a very similar degree. (citation quality not the best, I wouldn't write a thesis on it, but I think the statistics seem acceptable)

    http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20071115135648209

    I agree with you absolutely though. The anti-intellectual problem is the real issue. Boys need to look and see that smart men can have fun, succeed and get girls (lets not try and pretend you'll ever make that not be the aspiration of boys) better than some dumb thug can. Boys need to accept that collaboration can be just as good as team strategy as leadership and compartmentalization. Boys need to know that a girl succeeding does not make them a failure as a guy, just because say, your girlfriend or wife might be smarter or earn more than you doesn't mean you just shouldn't try at all (which I think is actually a big part of it, boys often think "Well, if I can't be #1 then why bother being the best #2 I can be?")

    However look at it this way. You're at the beach, and theres a big hole in the shark netting, and a shark is coming to eat you. The root cause of the problem is the poorly maintained shark nets, however the immediate solution is to get out of the way of the shark and get out of the water, then go and fix the shark nets. Just because something is the real problem doesn't mean you can fix it first if the consqequences of not acting now are disasterous. Heck, to take the analogy further, if you don't get out of the water and get eaten then who the heck is going to fix the nets?

    This speaks to the fact that if we keep letting boys fail, then the social problems of its OK to be stupid and don't even try because smart guys are all losers is just going to keep getting worse and worse until theres no way to fix it. All your good work in trying to make things better will be continuously undone by all these disengaged boys.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    tblox, can you give more specific examples of how you want to '[stop] letting boys fail,' and also stem 'the failure of all society' and all of the other incredibly broad failures you are drawing from this very small well, while working from your perspective of "fix the educational system before worrying about the cultural issues?"

    words
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Oboro wrote: »
    I really can't be bothered to read very intently the latter half of your post because you're still calling minorities of 40-46% not worth consideration. Also, because of the terrible sexism and the fatalism you attribute in all instances to mixing the genders. My eyes go red with rage when you start talking about how the girls always went for communal problem-solving while the boys instated a pecking order.

    Get the statistics for those trends, too, and then I'll listen to your conclusion that mixing the two is a disaster (well, also get the statistic that attributes somehow the disaster to the fact we mixed boys and girls) and that there's some validity to simply separating the genders -- let's call that a 50/50 split of your population -- because one of the populations is edging out the other by the barest minimum of statistical significance.

    The barest MINIMUM?? The UK statistics are for tens of thousands of young men and women. The error on the boys number and the girls number is abut 1% of the quoted value at absolute maximum.

    Boys attending university = 37% +/- 0.37%
    Girls attending university = 47% +/- 0.47%

    This is conclusive and absolute proof that boys and girls are achieving different levels of success in the system. It is an absolute guarantee of distinction between the two populations. Arguing otherwise is like saying "Antarctica is hotter than the gobi desert" on the basis that you only have 10000 days of data in which the Antarctic was vastly colder than the gobi desert. Girls are doing better than boys, find me a study which shows "Boys are getting more and better degrees than girls" or "boys are doing better at level X" in anything except maths and we'll talk. I agree, these studies do not say why boys are doing so much worse, only that they are. We are forced to actually think about what might be making them do worse, these statistics don't tell us that.

    And get angry all you want about boys having a pecking order and girls using communal problem solving. It's what happens. It's what almost always happens! This may irritate you, but it is the truth. Gather a group of 8 year old boys and try to get them to solve a project by communal decision making. I am willing to give strong odds that if you go away for ten minutes they will have picked a leader, compartmentalized the activities and enacted the plan of whomever the leader views as most qualified. I didn't just tell these groups to behave in this way, nor did I (as I said) notice one technique or another being better in terms of actual results.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    My beef isn't with the statistics but the fact you are using those statistics to justify massive, sweeping, regressive policy changes on a thought and a whim. Get to the other post and elaborate on why this calls for educational reform instead of social reform, or before social reform, or more-importantly-than social reform, and also how you will enact that reform with policy.

    Don't just say again "male students would perform better with male teachers" and think you're not going to create an entirely new suite of social problems while possibly not having make a dent at the problem you originally set out to solve. :/

    words
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Oboro wrote: »
    tblox, can you give more specific examples of how you want to '[stop] letting boys fail,' and also stem 'the failure of all society' and all of the other incredibly broad failures you are drawing from this very small well, while working from your perspective of "fix the educational system before worrying about the cultural issues?"

    From this enormous hugely statistically significant well. Seriously. These populations number into the hundreds of thousands, many are presented in raw data form from government agencies. You cannot disregard the numbers.

    However, you want me to present you with what I would do to stem the tide of failing boys long enough for us to enact societal changes to make boys not be afraid of failing compared to women or believe that smart men are all single losers?

    I would move to a system which is highly focused on individual final exams for each subject.

    I would reward both collaboration and leadership in the classroom, and not insist on either method of teamwork.

    I would encourage mutual competition for success, and laud academic achievement over achievement on the sports field, however clearly sporting success should not be swept under the table. It is simply that academic success should always be lauded higher in a school setting. The maths club trophy or student of the year award should be bigger and displayed more prominently than any Rugby or Cross Country trophy

    I would place more scorn on failure, and demand improvement rather than requesting it.

    I would highlight the benefits of university more, while also demonstrating that being trained for a skilled trade is a valid option. There is no shame in being a plumber, providing you are the best damn plumber you can be.

    I would hire more male teachers, even if I did have to raise teacher pay across the board to make it happen. I would not however offer to pay male teachers more than their female counterparts.

    I would increase investment in practical science labs, and move towards a more practical experiments to explain theory science course, rather than the current method in the UK which is moving more and more towards the theoretical due to cost and safety concerns.

    I would institute stricter, and more immediate, punishment for a lack of engagement in class. Disrespect towards teachers would also be a cause for strict discipline.

    I would mark based far more strongly on content from an early age. Current 4-8 year old teaching already disengages many boys because they don't make their presentations look as pretty as the girls do.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User
    edited August 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    Given that females dominate teaching in areas where boys aren't doing nearly so badly (like here), I don't think its something you can pin on teachers - and anyway, its bloody insulting to claim that female teachers are somehow magically incapable of handling boys (that's up there with claiming that mothers are bad for boys, come on), or that the pedagogy is at fault - it hasn't changed much since the inception of the prussian-model schooling system, except in regards to teacher authority.

    That's not the reason having 80% + of teachers at primary school level (5-11) is bad; it's because that naturally leads to kids thinking, hang on, why are only women involved with this teaching thing? Is it for girls? and everything that follows from that. I know you know that the predominance of women in particularly fields of work causes it to be undervalued by men (and underpayed), so why not the same for education?
    tbloxham wrote:
    Ahh yes, but they always go with pictures of girls celebrating.

    This phenomenon can be much more easily explained by the fact that the newspapers jump at any opportunity to put a nubile teenage girl on the cover.

    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    Some of those ideas are very good and I agree with, some others I'm unsure of the implementation of (again).

    "Mark based far more strongly on content from an early age. Current 4-8 year old ..." -> What?

    "... practical science ..." -> All of my science courses and every science course I have ever seen in an educational institution that was not a post-graduate or exceptional undergrad course necessarily focused on the practical. Even if you think this is pertinent, I don't see much merit in changing the lay of the land this late in the game, and especially because investigation of theoretical concepts is again necessarily the hallmark of that level and of those sciences at this point in time.

    "... stricter, and more immediate, punishment ..." -> What methods of discipline? What is 'lack of engagement?'

    How do you place more scorn on failure and demand improvement? Are you going to forcibly eject students from schools as a means of stemming those that veritably leave by loafing off? Is that really better?

    Do we already emphasize collaboration or leadership? How do you change those from a teacher's perspective, and at what grade levels can you actually broach this with children?

    Also, in America we have done nothing but move towards the 'emphasize the single exam [or standardized test]' and it's done nothing but lower marks globally. The facts show that students retain information better and longer if the coursework is consistent and constantly engaging. If you want to simply standardize grading behavior so that coursework is 'less' integral to a student's marks, I don't see how it justifies with your ideas of forcing students to be more engaged at the same time.

    words
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Oboro wrote: »
    Some of those ideas are very good and I agree with, some others I'm unsure of the implementation of (again).

    "Mark based far more strongly on content from an early age. Current 4-8 year old ..." -> What?

    "... practical science ..." -> All of my science courses and every science course I have ever seen in an educational institution that was not a post-graduate or exceptional undergrad course necessarily focused on the practical. Even if you think this is pertinent, I don't see much merit in changing the lay of the land this late in the game, and especially because investigation of theoretical concepts is again necessarily the hallmark of that level and of those sciences at this point in time.

    "... stricter, and more immediate, punishment ..." -> What methods of discipline? What is 'lack of engagement?'

    How do you place more scorn on failure and demand improvement? Are you going to forcibly eject students from schools as a means of stemming those that veritably leave by loafing off? Is that really better?

    Do we already emphasize collaboration or leadership? How do you change those from a teacher's perspective, and at what grade levels can you actually broach this with children?

    Also, in America we have done nothing but move towards the 'emphasize the single exam [or standardized test]' and it's done nothing but lower marks globally. The facts show that students retain information better and longer if the coursework is consistent and constantly engaging. If you want to simply standardize grading behavior so that coursework is 'less' integral to a student's marks, I don't see how it justifies with your ideas of forcing students to be more engaged at the same time.

    By "mark based on content from an early age" i mean to say that it doesn't matter how many shells and glitter and starfish you put on your report about the coastline, the report which gets the best mark will be the report about the oceans which has the most information presented about the coastline. (Sorry, reports about the oceans are a pet peeve of mine, it was my first experience of the feeling that "Why is the way I want to learn and report inherantly worse than the way the girls want to do so) It's not just my experience though, and I would like to agree with Æthelred's statement that just seeing that all the teachers are women makes the boys wonder why there aren't any men in this education thing...

    By "stricter and more immediate punishment..." I mean that there would be longer and more closely monitored detentions, including weekend detentions and the withdrawing of summer holidays. By "lack of engagement" I mean teachers noticing boys not working to their academic potential due to slacking off. If you got a B, and you could have got an A, then you need to be made to work to your potential. 50% effort is not good enough.

    And yes, I would eject people who refused to perform from school. Seeing other boys (and girls) loaf around and not pay attention is bad for the other students. The ejected students would be welcome to return once they agreed to participate to the best of their abilities. All students would be subject to academic and behaviour contracts, of which their parents would also be co-signatories. Classes would also be far more tailored to the skills of the best. Boys and girls can be inspired to perform better by mutual competition with exceptional peers and higher level content is quite simply more interesting.

    Currently in school the "prizes for all!" mentality which so dominates UK schools at least hugely emphasizes collaboration over leadership. Teachers seeing students attempt to compartmentalize a problem and simply select a plan based on expertise will often demand that the group has more discussion sessions, or distributes the decision making more evenly. Overly dominant leadership can be a bad thing, but it is not a bad thing to choose a leader and use the plans of the expert.

    I agree that the single exam is my most shaky claim. However there is good evidence that boys respond well to "Here is epic challenge X, arriving in 3 months, be ready for it". I think that we just need to get well motivated and well paid teachers of both genders who can keep students interested without having to say "this is worth X% of your grade". Boys don't respond well to X%, they respond well to "It all comes down to this". In the UK the move to more and more coursework has occurred at the same time as boys doing worse and worse, so it's difficult to say for sure whether it is cause or coincidence.

    Really, if I could tell you what course content and style should be selected to engage the boys we are failing then I wouldn't be here, I would be trying to get educational establishments to enact the changes. Smarter minds than mine need to choose the actual content. However I refuse to accept that girls are just 33% smarter than boys.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2008
    Thanks for answering my questions, I can't formulate much of anything in the form of responses right now. My gut feelings are still too strong about most of what you said, I need to come up with the reasoned dialogues instead because it's not enough to say "I think most of these stray too harshly or are untenable."

    So, just wanted to thank you for being a fantastic debater and putting a lot of thought and effort into your responses while I mull this over myself. Your dedication shows. :)

    words
  • sarfsarf Registered User
    edited August 2008
    I'm from Sweden, and while I have personal issues with the school system I was brought up in, having both genders being forced to socialize is good in my opinion. Especially if we are aiming for living in a society with females and males working and living side by side later on in their lives.
    If you grow up segregated the other party becomes strange to you, and quite possibly through the wonders of human tribalism fearsome/bad/inferior.

    Unfortunately for everyone, the number of asshats (misbehaving children) who fuck it up for everyone is disproportionately male with teachers assigned increased responsibilities and reduced authority to deal with it. Having a lot of teachers, especially in the younger ages, being female might not help.

    That said, I would never want my society to go to a separated gender school system, simply because of how socially stratifying that is (judging from the accounts I have read and heard from people growing up in a segregated system). For the longest time, I thought "coed schoolgirl" simply meant "nymphomaniac young female" and thought that American higher school systems had conveniently (for everyone) created houses where those interesting women could hang out and where boys could come visit when needed.

    Hey, it seemed reasonable to a horny thirteen year old, and I got my information from BBSes, not Wikipedia... I doubt Google would have helped.

    My thoughts on the matter are that we should definitely try to help poor/bad students, but we need to also isolate the asshats from the rest of the population (bad) or give someone - preferably their teachers - the authority to deal with them. I don't like to give up on people, nor do I propose that smart people will not manage to get through the system academically otherwise, but it is really a matter of enforcing social restraints on behaviour.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The fact of the matter is there's been no effective way to deal with the asshats for a good long while. If the parents aren't really involved (or, I would say, if they don't really have a good relationship with the child) then there is almost no way to make any punishment the school can effectively issue actually matter.

    I mean I really don't know how you fix that.

    Also, I wanted to link this:
    This study is part of an on-going research project to assess differences in educational attainment when controlling for race, sex, and socioeconomic status. The National Educational Longitudinal Survey (NELS) 1988 of 8th graders and a survey of 10th graders, High School and Beyond 1980-82 (HSB), were utilized to obtain data that were then analyzed. This research found that socioeconomic status determined educational outcomes more than any other variable. This result is in keeping with the findings in previous research. In addition, the study found that the school performance of low socioeconomic status boys is not as good as that of girls from low socioeconomic backgrounds in the eighth grade sample. This finding was consistent across racial and ethnic groups. The finding did not hold true in the high school sample however. Although this result was due in part to the fact that many low performing boys may have dropped out, those boys who remained in school made considerable gains relative to girls as they approached graduation. Boys from higher socioeconomic homes did as well as or better than girls in both data sets. Nevertheless, girls expressed a greater interest in college, especially girls from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Black and Hispanic girls were more likely to take advanced placement examinations. This may reflect the better employment opportunities many boys have right after high school. Many Black young men and some Hispanics express interest in the military as an alternative to college. (DK)

    So it's exactly as I said - culturally selective binning of the bottom end of the bell curve.

    There is also the note at the end there that there are better and different employment opportunities for men without a college education - the military is one important point since that is incredibly selective for men over women, though I'd also comment we have many of the male dominated trades and the like.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The fact of the matter is there's been no effective way to deal with the asshats for a good long while. If the parents aren't really involved (or, I would say, if they don't really have a good relationship with the child) then there is almost no way to make any punishment the school can effectively issue actually matter.

    I mean I really don't know how you fix that.

    Also, I wanted to link this:
    This study is part of an on-going research project to assess differences in educational attainment when controlling for race, sex, and socioeconomic status. The National Educational Longitudinal Survey (NELS) 1988 of 8th graders and a survey of 10th graders, High School and Beyond 1980-82 (HSB), were utilized to obtain data that were then analyzed. This research found that socioeconomic status determined educational outcomes more than any other variable. This result is in keeping with the findings in previous research. In addition, the study found that the school performance of low socioeconomic status boys is not as good as that of girls from low socioeconomic backgrounds in the eighth grade sample. This finding was consistent across racial and ethnic groups. The finding did not hold true in the high school sample however. Although this result was due in part to the fact that many low performing boys may have dropped out, those boys who remained in school made considerable gains relative to girls as they approached graduation. Boys from higher socioeconomic homes did as well as or better than girls in both data sets. Nevertheless, girls expressed a greater interest in college, especially girls from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Black and Hispanic girls were more likely to take advanced placement examinations. This may reflect the better employment opportunities many boys have right after high school. Many Black young men and some Hispanics express interest in the military as an alternative to college. (DK)

    So it's exactly as I said - culturally selective binning of the bottom end of the bell curve.

    There is also the note at the end there that there are better and different employment opportunities for men without a college education - the military is one important point since that is incredibly selective for men over women, though I'd also comment we have many of the male dominated trades and the like.

    Your referenced study is from 1991 using data from 1980-1988. The statistics I am quoting are mainly from within the last 5 years, and this phenomena has only begun to be seen across all levels of education within the last decade, in 1991 the situation was very different and the levels of achievement were far closer to equal.

    Since this report was published the situation for boys has gotten worse every year. This is not a "bottom of the bell curve" effect unless you genuinely are stating that boys are less intelligent than girls.

    Even in the UK among girls only 47% of the population attends university, this is a study of the top half of the distribution, those with abilities in the bottom half aren't even involved at the top level of education.

    This is not random fluctuation, this is not a preferential binning effect, this is nothing more than the systematic failure of boys in the system. The only boys who continue to do OK are the elite with all the academic advantages of wealth, parental guidance and so forth, and of course they do well. They have many sources of motivation and information beyond school, both boys and girls of that calibre and background will often learn far more independently than they do in the schools.

    If this is a statistics effect, or caused by the availability of other trades to boys, then why has the effect become more and more pronounced at all levels of achievement year on year. How can a preferential binning effect know what year it is? How are more boys becoming plumbers and soldiers when in both the UK and Australia year on year the numbers of local people employed in the skilled trades or the army is falling?

    How do you explain the fact that boys still remain behind despite the large minority communities in the UK who barely allow girls to be educated, and even then only because they are obliged to by law. Or the fact that teen mothers are quite common and supporting a baby while at university as a student is nearly impossible. Such effects as this would go a long way to counteract the claimed effect of boys leaving to become builders and soldiers. To put the 'soldier' claim into context, the UK trained armed infantry forces stand at 95,560. Nowhere near enough new recruits join each year to explain this effect. The army also actively encorages its soldiers into higher education after, or even before their tours of duty. Just as in the US the army is viewed as a valid path for some to pay college fees and so forth. Conversely in the UK 40000 women under 18 become pregnant each year. I would imagine that would suppress their ability to go to college a little.

    Your puny weapons are useless against me
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Ok, from 2004:
    Experimental data from the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration were used to examine (a) if moving from high- to low-poverty neighborhoods (via randomization) was associated with low-income minority children's achievement, grade retention, and suspensions/expulsions; (b) if moving minimized gender differences in these outcomes; and (c) potential mediators of observed program effects. Data on school-age children (mean age = 11.79 years, SD = 3.26) were obtained from standardized assessments and parent and adolescent interviews during the New York City site's 3-year follow-up evaluation (N = 588). Moving to low-poverty neighborhoods had positive effects on 11-18-year-old boys' achievement scores compared with those of their peers in high-poverty neighborhoods. These male adolescents' scores were comparable to females' scores, whereas male adolescents in high-poverty neighborhoods scored 10 points lower than female peers. Homework time and school safety partially accounted for program effects. From a policy perspective, the program benefited disadvantaged male adolescents at high risk for dropping out of school. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

    It's less specific, but the conclusions are the same: low socioeconomic status has a disproportionate effect on males compared to females, and there are various cultural influences we can see apply for this. As you move up the social ladder, the effect disappears.

    Look, the fact of the matter tbloxham is that you've displayed a marked disinterest in looking at causative effects for the discrepancy that don't fit with your overarching "boys are different!" viewpoint. Again, you find only a 10% difference in male:female university attendance for a population - so 44% or so of the population is still male. That is a massive minority which doesn't justify any of the sweeping ideas you keep talking about (which suffer from, as I have repeatedly pointed out - a complete lack of specificity because the target population is so variable).

    Yet - yet - even a cursory glance at the literature points clearly to the fact that educational outcomes are far more heavily influenced by socioeconomic status and that young males are disadvantaged by socioeconomic status in a statistically significant way.

    This makes even the very notion of gender selective learning differences laughable - it's clearly a cultural problem in the first place, and it's clearly socioeconomic in origin. In fact, pretty clearly, if we dealt with issues like youth culture in high poverty areas, not to mention poverty itself, the research indicates that we'd see the gender gap in educational outcomes close up. Of course, the research also indicates that we'd see drops in crime, reductions in poverty as a result and all sorts of other benefits.

    Dis' wrote: »
    Cancer is when cells stop letting the body mooch off their hard work - clearly a community of like-minded cells should isolate themselves and do the best job each can do, even if the rest of the body collapses!
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    Even if you were right, tbloxham, which as I've said, I don't think you are, there's still no valid argument for single-sex schools. Segregating individual classrooms by gender in subjects where marked differences were showing up might help on a temporary basis, but there are many problems with also separating the genders in the playground, or in classes where gender wasn't causing a marks difference. The impact on social development would be marked and negative, as sarf points out, and gender-segregated schools would become more stereotyped in the classes they offered over time, as the subtle social pressures reinforcing 'traditional' gender roles pushed girls further away from manual arts and boys away from performing arts. As someone who spent several years at a girls' school in the 90's, one which claimed to be super-modern and go-getting, I'm telling you that's a foregone conclusion. And yes, the social environment in that school was fucked.

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  • Psycho Internet HawkPsycho Internet Hawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The reason boys have been doing progressively worse school in recent years has nothing to do with some inherent difference and everything to do with the lack of a male/masculine social norm that reinforces classroom learning.

    Part of the problem is that masculinity is generally defined as not being "like a woman." In modern society, women have been defined as being as intellegent (more or less) as any man, but are still expected to remain more passive, obedient, etc. The problem is that those qualities are largely beneficial in a classroom environment, and the male gender norm is rebelling against what it sees as feminine qualities. Boys need a model of what it means to be "manly" that doesn't rely on berating the opposite sex.

    At least that's my two cents. All I know is I liked sex way more than gore in my youthful reading.

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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    It truly, honestly, hurts my head, right behind my left ear, near the back, that after all the years where men were treated as the only truly educatable beings, which persisted while they were attending school with girls, until society shifted enough that social changes altered the behaviors of students enough to change it, that anyone could think the issue is genetic, or that girls and boys are together.

    Even presuming some non-evident benefit from segregation, pretending that separate can ever be equal, the overall effect couldn't possibly make up for the damage it would do to society. If you want to help boys, you have to make society less asinine, so that they are more willing to live up to their potential, not give them some shoddy crutch that will damage their ability to function in human society.
    The only boys who continue to do OK are the elite with all the academic advantages of wealth, parental guidance and so forth, and of course they do well. They have many sources of motivation and information beyond school, both boys and girls of that calibre and background will often learn far more independently than they do in the schools.

    This is entirely a social issue. This is what happens when you treat people differently based on their gonads. Segregation would only enhance this problem.

    You want to help boys? Find out what girls are doing differently and then have the boys do that.

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  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    The reason boys have been doing progressively worse school in recent years has nothing to do with some inherent difference and everything to do with the lack of a male/masculine social norm that reinforces classroom learning.

    Part of the problem is that masculinity is generally defined as not being "like a woman." In modern society, women have been defined as being as intellegent (more or less) as any man, but are still expected to remain more passive, obedient, etc. The problem is that those qualities are largely beneficial in a classroom environment, and the male gender norm is rebelling against what it sees as feminine qualities. Boys need a model of what it means to be "manly" that doesn't rely on berating the opposite sex.

    At least that's my two cents. All I know is I liked sex way more than gore in my youthful reading.

    This. And the other main problem is that that oppositional model of gender norm is developed most strongly in pre-teen years and early puberty, and there's no one talking about it in schools. There's no talk of gender roles and how-to-be-a-rad-person stuff coming from teachers at that stage. So some people grow out of it, at least partially, but most carry that outlook into adulthood. And then post in here.

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  • Psycho Internet HawkPsycho Internet Hawk Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    This. And the other main problem is that that oppositional model of gender norm is developed most strongly in pre-teen years and early puberty, and there's no one talking about it in schools. There's no talk of gender roles and how-to-be-a-rad-person stuff coming from teachers at that stage. So some people grow out of it, at least partially, but most carry that outlook into adulthood. And then post in here.

    It's sometimes talked about in US schools (or was in my public school), but the focus almost entirely on eliminating gender barriers for girls, which largely makes sense given the progress of the feminist movements of the late 60's/70's. The assumption generally (if I remember how it was taught right) is that men have been capable of doing absolutely anything for most of history, and only until now have women been able to catch up. The problem is that there are still a number of traits that are considered socially unacceptable for men, namely stereotypically "feminine" ones such as sentastivity, pateince, etc, but these have largely been ignored because recent the feminist movements that started gender discussion have been about moving away from those qualities.

    Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why (some) modern feminism has ignored and often been downright hostile to transgendered issues, since transgender men are embracing the exact same norms that feminism has been trying to separate itself from.

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