We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
To some extent, yes. Every boy knew that when they were in school. On the other hand, some boys are natural, powerful scholars who are more driven by curiosity and competition than by pleasing teacher.
Co-education is a crazy idea. I am grateful that I was spared that for eight years, spared the social and sexual distractions which so dominated vacation time anyway. Most of our Masters were male, and each one had to coach a team on the side. The handful of lady teachers could never imagine what fantasies they were subject to regardless of their appearance. They did not coach: they worked in offices instead during sports time. I also hope the faculty wives were never aware of our terrible thoughts about them.
Yes, we had a couple of gay students and a couple of gay Masters, and everybody knew but nobody really cared. It was not a Big Topic in those days, just a subject of casual amusement. As far as I know, none of them acted on their desires on campus. However, I did know one prep school classmate who had a hot affair with a hot faculty wife. That did not end up well, for her or for her kids. He was the envy of all. Damn handsome, socially-precocious, rich, tall, blond Aryan quarterback. I still hate guys like that to this day. He went to Harvard, and made a ton of money after that and is still with wife #1. Big donor to the school, now.
It's not new. Just read Tom Sawyer, or Little House on the Prairie. Seated, classroom-style, pen-driven learning will tend to favor girls. Not that many boys can't do well at it. But it comes less naturally for them.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
Agreed. Elementary school has always had a preponderance of female teachers, and sit-down methods of learning have always favored girls. But there are some changes from schoolmarms of 40-50 years ago compared to those in charge today.
When I was in elementary school, and drew pictures of guns or other weapons- I drew a lot of swords- I was not sent to the principal's office. Today, federal cases are often made of that.
I have also read that in places recess has been reduced or eliminated in order to maximize at-desk time. I have no idea how prevalent this is. But I will mention that one memory of mine from elementary school is how miserable I was on days when, because of rain, we stayed inside the classroom for recess. Like a lot of other boys, I needed the running around during recess in order to better concentrate.
As a statistical measure of how things have changed, consider the relative positions of girls and boys in academic achievement, school discipline etc today compared to 40-50 years ago.
I think a lot of what we are seeing is new. I think teachers today are simply not prepared or supported in ways that allow them to maintain discipline so they prefer to eliminate the more challenging students in favor of the passive ones. I would argue that if a woman can sue for a unhealthy workplace why shouldn't parents sue because of a classroom environment that discriminates against boys?
What is worse is forcing smart children to move as slowly as their peers. There should be a special classroom in every school in America where, if your are selected by your teacher and approved by the principal, you are allowed to move at your own pace.
I grew up in the 70s. My elementary school was fooling around with the 'open classroom' idea, which benefitted someone like me immensely. I understand that for many kids it was an epic failure...but for kids who like to learn and achieve, it is a great environment. I could read harder and harder books at my own pace, receive harder and harder spelling lists at my own pace, do harder and harder math at my own pace. It was heaven! I was able to do this for 3 years (K through 2nd).
One of my children would've greatly benefitted from that type of classroom environment early on. The other one, maybe not so much. But to have the choice would've been nice. My youngest is a boy, FYI.