Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study finds that female teachers give male students lower marks

From the liberal UK Independent.

Excerpt:

A key reason why boys lag behind in the classroom is revealed for the first time today – female teachers.

Ground-breaking research shows that boys lower their sights if they think their work is going to be marked by a woman because they believe their results will be worse.

It also shows their suspicions are correct – female teachers did, on average, award lower marks to boys than unidentified external examiners. Male teachers, by contrast, awarded them higher marks than external examiners.

The findings, published by the Centre for Economic Performance today, could have immense repercussions for boys because of the dearth of male teachers in the profession. Only 15 per cent of primary school staff are men.

The findings were yesterday described as “fascinating” by one of the country’s leading academic researchers, Professor Alan Smithers, of the Centre for Education and Employment at the University of Buckingham.

He said the research, carried out among 1,200 children in 29 schools across the country, had shown a possible reason for the glaring gap in performance between girls and boys right through schooling.

I wonder if feminism and misandry (antagonism towards men) has anything to do with the results of this study?

Where are the male teachers?

Another contributing  factor causing men to underperform in school is that there are almost no male teachers and also that boys don’t learn well in co-ed classrooms – they get distracted by girls. The curriculum is not suitable for boys, who learn better with different materials that focus more on things that boys like, like wars, guns and adventures. Boys learn better with male teachers and all-male classrooms because they need male role models in order to succeed.

Consider this article on male/female teachers.

Excerpt:

The organization MenTeach, a Minnesota organization dedicated to increasing the number of males working with young children, posted a survey on its Web site showing that males constitute less than 20 percent of America’s 2.9 million elementary and middle school teachers. The 2008 survey, based on source data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed even more drastic differences among different grade levels:

  • 44 percent of America’s 1.2 million secondary school teachers.
  • 18.8 percent of America’s 2.9 million elementary and middle school teachers.
  • 2.4 percent of America’s 685,000 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers.

No wonder women are earning 60% of college undergraduate degrees and men are struggling to find jobs.  Most women want men to be strong husbands and fathers, so they’ll need to make sure that men have jobs. In order for men to have jobs, they’ll want to oppose feminists who discriminate against men in the education system.

The War Against Boys

An excellent book on this topic is Christina Hoff Sommers’ “The War Against Boys“. You can read a summary of her argument here.

Excerpt: (links removed)

By the late 1990s the myth of the downtrodden girl was showing some signs of unraveling, and concern over boys was growing. In 1997 the Public Education Network (PEN) announced at its annual conference the results of a new teacher-student survey titled The American Teacher 1997: Examining Gender Issues in Public Schools. The survey was funded by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and conducted by Louis Harris and Associates.

During a three-month period in 1997 various questions about gender equity were asked of 1,306 students and 1,035 teachers in grades seven through twelve. The MetLife study had no doctrinal ax to grind. What it found contradicted most of the findings of the AAUW, the Sadkers, and the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women: “Contrary to the commonly held view that boys are at an advantage over girls in school, girls appear to have an advantage over boys in terms of their future plans, teachers’ expectations, everyday experiences at school and interactions in the classroom.”

Some other conclusions from the MetLife study: Girls are more likely than boys to see themselves as college-bound and more likely to want a good education. Furthermore, more boys (31 percent) than girls (19 percent) feel that teachers do not listen to what they have to say.

At the PEN conference, Nancy Leffert, a child psychologist then at the Search Institute, in Minneapolis, reported the results of a survey that she and colleagues had recently completed of more than 99,000 children in grades six through twelve. The children were asked about what the researchers call “developmental assets.” The Search Institute has identified forty critical assets—”building blocks for healthy development.” Half of these are external, such as a supportive family and adult role models, and half are internal, such as motivation to achieve, a sense of purpose in life, and interpersonal confidence. Leffert explained, somewhat apologetically, that girls were ahead of boys with respect to thirty-seven out of forty assets. By almost every significant measure of well-being girls had the better of boys: they felt closer to their families; they had higher aspirations, stronger connections to school, and even superior assertiveness skills. Leffert concluded her talk by saying that in the past she had referred to girls as fragile or vulnerable, but that the survey “tells me that girls have very powerful assets.”

The Horatio Alger Association, a fifty-year-old organization devoted to promoting and affirming individual initiative and “the American dream,” releases annual back-to-school surveys. Its survey for 1998 contrasted two groups of students: the “highly successful” (approximately 18 percent of American students) and the “disillusioned” (approximately 15 percent). The successful students work hard, choose challenging classes, make schoolwork a top priority, get good grades, participate in extracurricular activities, and feel that teachers and administrators care about them and listen to them. According to the association, the successful group in the 1998 survey is 63 percent female and 37 percent male. The disillusioned students are pessimistic about their future, get low grades, and have little contact with teachers. The disillusioned group could accurately be characterized as demoralized. According to the Alger Association, “Nearly seven out of ten are male.”

That was all written in 2000 – the problem is much worse now.

Sommers’ book is must reading for any parent of a boy. It would also be a good book for pastors to read, so that they have an accurate understanding of the problems facing men, and can mentor them so that they can succeed.

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