Six years ago, I took one of my sons, who was then 10, to a bowling alley about 30 minutes from our home. It was a weekday afternoon and the alley had been reserved for homeschoolers. I was stunned when I walked in the door. The place was filled to the rafters with boys. And, from all appearances they were having a great time. That moment vividly brought home to me how serious the disaffection is with public education for boys. It is not these children who suffer from an attention deficit disorder, it is their schools.
In the previous entry, I discussed the issue of school for boys in response to a mother whose son works hard but never seems to please his teachers. Below are excellent comments from two readers in response to that post.
Put it this way. If you were running a vast industrial enterprise for educating children, which sex would you encourage more: the sex that is eager to please, precocious and content to play quietly or the sex that is rambunctious, drawn to danger, slow to develop and bored by cooperative learning? Boys are a problem. Many women teachers are mystified by them. Better to medicate and medicalize them, attach newfangled impressive-sounding disorders to their behavior, and in every way discourage their natural competitiveness, initiative and love of risk. Boys just don’t fit in.
By the way, girls don’t fit in either. Public education is the major engine in our society for turning little girls into aggressive men. Some girls are so exhausted by striving to be perfect in grades and extracurricular activities that they reach young adulthood emotionally unstable, unprepared to be wives and mothers, and headed for a crash.
It cannot last. Our state-run system for remaking human nature cannot last.
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