Yesterday, I wrote about the speculation regarding why fewer males are enrolling in universities than females. There seems to be a performance malfunction for young males these days. The solution is not taking a pill.
Males just seem to be more hands-on learners. They generally do not do well sitting for hours in class, followed by sitting for hours doing homework. There is a tactile, spatial element of male learning that is missing. I would guess that the ratio of avid video game players is roughly 9:1 male versus female. Oh sure, call it a macho thing. Sure the games are macho themes for the most part... war, racing alien-invasion... but guys love the interactive, hands-on aspect of the games. It's just a whole lot different from Jeopardy.
Perhaps that's why so many guys gravitate to computer and high-tech stuff. It's a hands-on challenge. They guy who daydreams during English literature is a prodigy when it comes to wireless interconnectivity. Jane Eyre doesn't have that mixture of visual-tactile that really intrigues and interests so many young males. Years ago, the high school day was a combination of math, science, language and literature, punctuated with wood-working or automotive or metal shop. A sedate environment all day just puts boys to sleep. At least that's my opinion.
The local high school website had an interesting section on scheduling classes which include the following:
I know their intention was not to connect their latest education approach to failure... well, maybe it was... but it does reinforce my own perception that maybe schools are now focusing on female learning approaches to the detriment of the males. The way classes are scheduled is a red herring to me. It might reside more in those "varied instructional strategies based on best practice research."
- The majority of students and staff believe that block scheduling is beneficial.
- A calmer teaching and learning atmosphere has been achieved.
- Teachers report increasing use of varied instructional strategies based on best practice research.
- Increased community involvement has been achieved through the use of SMART and extended classroom time.
- More students are successfully taking AP courses.
- Students have access to broader curriculum offerings.
- ACT scores remain stable.
- Percentage of students with A's and B's has remained stable.
- Teachers are growing more confident in adjusting curriculum, instructional and assessment strategies.
- Students report higher satisfaction with school atmosphere and delivery of services.
- Slight decrease in grade point averages has occurred.
- There is some concern over a one-year drop in SAT math scores.
- Freshman transition to the high school appears to be challenging.
- Lower achieving students appear to need stronger guidance in their use of SMART time.
- In general, lower achieving students have not done better in a block schedule.
- The community needs continuous education on the appropriate use of data and the reasons for block scheduling.
Or maybe mothers really are dumber this generation.