Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This story makes my eyeballs burn. I'd bet serious money that this "research" they are using is seriously flawed. It's a myth I have no patience for-- this idea that boys and girls have different brains are therefor learning styles. So girls should sit quietly at desks (non-competitive atmosphere) and boys should run and play in the sunshine (cause sitting in a desk is too hard for them).
It's school-sanctioned sexism and it's bogus. Of course if you interview a young girl or boy they'll think the opposite sex is 'yucky' and want to have their own space. But when you teach children that they are different because of what's between their legs, you set a dangerous precedent.
Girls may be more socialized to sit still and be quiet. Boys may be socialized to be more aggressive. This does NOT prove that our brains are all wired by gender. There are thousands of hardcore female athletes that will tell you this.
My best friend's sister is 14 and has been a competitive athlete since she could walk. I bet she'd rather be outside running and learning too but because she's a girl, she'd be sitting at her desk. Don't tell me girls aren't competitive or aggressive ... she could kick my ass and I'm 24.
More importantly, we need to expect more from our boys. Fifty years ago schools had all students in desks, facing the teacher, listening quietly to lectures. Go even further back when education was something strictly for young men, do you think professors had them outside running relays? NO. They sat quietly in a desk.
Now, I'm not knocking these educational methods that are outside the box. I think it would be great if they took the whole class outside and had them run and play in the sunshine while learning. But acting like we have to do this because they're boys and they can't sit still is insulting!
What are you setting these children up for? In adult society, they may have to:
A) Sit at a desk and work (not always but in a great many jobs)
B) Work with women as equals. Women have PROVEN themselves qualified to work alongside men in every field - whether quiet desk work or physical work like construction.
If we teach children differently, we put them all at a disadvantage and set them up (especially the girls) for sexism.