Skip to comments.School is now just a 'girl thing'
Posted on 08/07/2002 8:08:16 AM PDT by pbear8
School is now just a 'girl thing'
By TED BYFIELD -- Edmonton Sun
Now that our liberal educators have spent at least 30 years softening, gentling and generally feminizing the school system, why are we so astonished to discover that boys are opting out of education?
We've gone to extraordinary lengths to assure them that they don't belong there, that unless they change and become more like girls, they aren't wanted. They don't change because, of course, they can't. More and more of them simply quit.
So why be astonished to see that 57% of bachelor's degrees granted by American universities this year went to women - 61% at the University of Calgary while 59% of those receiving graduate degrees were female?
Meanwhile, at the high school level, the male dropout rate soars high above the female, as does the male suicide rate and the male crime rate.
Officialdom is becoming alarmed. Something called the Business Roundtable, an organization of top American executives, has commissioned a study. "We simply can't afford to have half our population not developing the skill sets we are going to need," says a spokeswoman. Research teams are studying the problem from Harvard, the University of Michigan and the United Negro College Fund.
Heaven knows what conclusions they might reach. As with a great many other things, if the obvious explanation offends the politically correct, we aren't likely to hear it, and it certainly does.
The fact is that the elementary schools are run almost entirely by women. The junior highs aren't much different. The male-female teacher ratio in high schools is about 50-50. Why are we surprised to discover that a boy grows up convinced that education is a "girl thing"?
But it goes much deeper than that. At another conference last week, this one in Montreal, a British psychologist and researcher reported that studies show girls tend to fight with their tongues while boys fight with their fists. Thus was educational academe endowed with knowledge that could have been provided by any parent of both girls and boys since the dawn of history, but it's nice to know that our educators are discovering things.
They have yet to discover, however, that certain conclusions follow from this. Since boys are far more physical, their discipline must be more physical too. I taught for 10 years in a boys' school. The first thing you learn there is that for most normal males of a certain age three or four swats with a strap will accomplish more in 30 seconds than six weeks of heart-to-heart "counselling."
One also suspects that the mysterious disease known as ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, may be caused by a deficit of meaningful direction - meaningful, that is, in the sense of coercive. Over that 10-year stint, I could probably identify 50 boys, all suffering from what today would be called ADD. Every one of them was 'cured' when he found that if he didn't do the assigned work, things would become dreadfully unpleasant.
It is certainly odd that a disease that was absolutely unheard of before the schools were feminized has now become chronic. The favoured treatment is to hop up boys into educational acquiescence with Ritalin, a derivative of cocaine. Drugging children is seen as somehow more humane than spanking them.
Then too, boys easily assume that all the ancient human arts - song and verse in particular - are essentially 'girl things,' which of course is nonsense. But it's very difficult for a female teacher to overcome this bias, and one result is to render all the arts as something 'real men' aren't interested in.
Finally, boys more readily embrace what might be called absolutes. They're far more at home in a world of win-lose, pass-fail, good-bad than in a world of 'feelings' in the modern school.
Fix these things and you'll fix the problem of the opting-out male. But they won't be fixed easily because it means supplanting the whole philosophy of modern education - supplanting it, not with something new, but with something old.
For while what I've said here will appear extremist, radical, even demented to the modern educator, it is in fact the way human beings have been educated for every previous generation. He is the innovator, not I. And insofar as boys are concerned, his innovations are turning out to be catastrophic.
You see; it's perfectly ok to punch the crap out of another student, so long as you're not hitting back.
I had absolutely no respect at all for teachers after witnessing that crap.
Believe me, they SAW. They just turn a blind eye to it, becasuse they want to see if your kid will hit back. A coworker of mine had a son who beat up four kids who jumped him. The teachers admitted that they saw it happened, but were furious at the kid for defending himself. My coworker pulled the kid, sent him to the local community college and the kid got his G.E.D. 6 months prior to the high school graduation.
This worked for me. I was in the thrid grade and having a lot of problems with some of the other students. I eventually got into a fist-fight. My defense at the principal's office was "My parents told me to fight back if someone hits me." That was the end of it, and being my first offense, I was free to go. The other kid got a three-day suspension -- he had problems before. I also never had a problem with the other students after that day. (This was in 1988.)
Good for you!
Yep, learned that in the 3rd grade, only it was either a yardstick or a pointer stick...nun's choice.
Then when the Monsignor came in to hand out report cards, he always had a #1 wood driver. Rumor was if you got an "F" you would be counselled with said driver.
I never got an "F". Wonder why that was?
In my town we already are. Most of the town council are retired teachers. The last three mayors have been retired teachers. I don't mean to beat up on teachers, they are underpaid (to start) and overworked, but enduring these occupational hazards and having a teaching certifcate does not make one politically wise.
Anyway, our town is facing a budget deficit that is not totally the result of reduced revenues. You see the town "needed a Cultural Center" and a "Wetlands Contemplative Preserve" (its an old railroad yard that filled with water in winter). The local police are encourage to write traffic tickets that generate revenue for the towns treasury. The feminization of America may be thought of as a good thing. Soft and feely, but I think the examples of our national institutions failures to prevent the tragedies of the past year are are symptom of this phenomena.
If women in politics are desirable (and they are) we need more Maggie Thatchers, not Sally Jesse Raphael's.
Frankly, I didn't even know her name. She was a whack-nut.
Anyway, after I caught my wind, I got up and slugged her back.
Guess who got suspended.
Dog bites man, if you ask me. This is nothing new. It's been almost 50 years since I started elementary school, but in the small Iowa town where I grew up, almost all the teachers and principals at the elementary and junior high level were women. You didn't have a significant number of male teachers until you got to high school.
WAY more education than you would have gotten in class!
Great story. Thanks.
We recently had a reunion, and I asked the band directors who came if the band was still any good. Both said "sure, sure, at least to the degree we still have tools to work with".
What they meant was, they no longer could keep disipline with things like paddles, or yelling, or intimidation. The fact that this was mentioned by both of them (who now live in different states), during different conversations, means that the rules have significantly changed.
I can only imagine what its like trying to keep a room of 100 kids with noisy band instruments all in line and playing together without being able to get in their faces.
I shudder to think what my once excellent school choir has become.
Excellence, discipline, they really do go together.
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