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The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do Paperback – August 11, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In a spinoff from her 2006 cover story for Newsweek, The Boy Crisis, Tyre delivers a cogent, reasoned overview of the current national debate about why boys are falling behind girls' achievement in school and not attending college in the same numbers. While the education emphasis in the 1990s was on helping girls succeed, especially in areas of math and science, boys are lagging behind, particularly in reading and writing; parents and educators, meanwhile, are scrambling to address the problems, from questioning teaching methods in preschool to rethinking single-sex schools. Tyre neatly sums up the information for palatable parental consumption: although boys tend to be active and noisy, and come to verbal skills later than girls, early-education teachers, mostly female, have little tolerance for the way boys express themselves. The accelerated curriculum and de-emphasis on recess do not render the classroom boy friendly, and already set boys up for failure that grows more entrenched with each grade. Tyre touches on important concerns about the lack of male role models in many boys' lives, the perils of video-game obsession and the slippery dialogue over boys' brains versus girls' brains. Tyre treads carefully, offering a terrifically useful synthesis of information. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
While the nation’s schools worked diligently to improve the academic performance of girls—including closing the achievement gap in math and science between girls and boys—few noticed the slow and steady decline in the academic performance of boys. The reading and writing achievement gap between girls and boys continues as boys also stack up unfavorably in every measure from school discipline, to graduation rates, to grades, to college admission. Newsweek reporter Tyre examines troubling statistics that detail the academic decline of boys and cites psychologists, sociologists, brain researchers, and others to explain the reasons behind the numbers. Tyre examines how schools—and broader society—have changed in ways that shortchange boys and how gender politics is affecting reactions to the dire statistics. She focuses on boys' specific problems—fidgeting in school, scattered attention, reading problems, and a shortage of male teachers. Through vignettes, Tyre offers advice to parents concerned about their sons. Most important, Tyre asks the ultimate question: how to help boys without jeopardizing the advances of girls. --Vanessa Bush --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
If you are a skeptic, read this book. I grew up with 2 sisters listening to "Free to Be You and Me" and graduated from Vassar College, a school very focused on women's issues. That boys are at some sort of educational disadvantage is the last thing I would have ever thought of (even though the ratio at Vassar was 60/40 women to men when I attended). I have no brothers, no sons, and I had no experience with young boys when I began teaching 5 years ago. Boys were a shock to my system. I wish I had read this book back then.
A warning: Peg Tyre tries hard to cater the book to teachers as well as parents, but it is clear that she sees a battle between parents and teachers of rowdy boys, and she sides with parents. There is one distasteful message to teachers at the end of the book (stating that teachers better love the irritating behaviors boys tend to exhibit, or else leave the profession)... but hopefully by then Tyre has gotten you to buy into the idea that there IS a problem and that we DO need to take responsibility for it and make a change...so hopefully you can take the statement as constructive criticism.
*It is also important to read this book if you have read the bogus book The Minds of Boys (by Michael Gurian). Once chapter in Tyre's book helps clear up ridiculous ideas that Gurian (who has NO background in science) has created about "teaching to boy brains."
Overall, a really important topic for teachers to be familiar with, and a good book to read.
However, this book is really just the opening salvo in what must be a deeper research into all the ways the world has changed for little boys over the past 40 yrs. A larger look into all the ways the social upheavals of the 1960's and 1970's have effected the male middle class would be interested and I think would shed more light onto the learning gap between boys and girls AND between boys today and boys in the early 1960's.
Overall, highly recommended reading.
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I was studying maths in the mid 1990's in the Australian state of NSW.Read more