Categorized as: Boys’ Learning and Education

Reading Captain Underpants

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.38.38 AM

I used to hear a lot about Captain Underpants during lunch in the schools where I worked. You learn a lot about the lives of your students at lunch table duty! But I have not read Captain Underpants myself in years, so I stopped by the Concord Bookshop the other day and picked up a copy of the first book in the series and sat down and read it. Can I just say that I was laughing out loud? None of this ubiquitously hollow LOL stuff that peppers the internet. I mean, I was truly guffawing.  If I were in 3rd or 4th grade, especially if I were a boy, I would not be able to stop turning the pages. As a 47-year-old woman, I could not stop turning the pages! Read more…

Why Boys are Failing in an Educational System Stacked Against Them

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.47.47 AM

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang that we should teach our children well and feed them of our dreams, but for millions of parents of sons, dreams are only that, and boys are falling behind educationally at an alarming rate in this country.  Richard Whitmire, author of Why Boys Fail, Michael Gurian, author of The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and in Life, and many other authors and educational experts proclaim that we have a crisis in the education of boys in this country. The media attention to this topic has been extensive in recent years, yet I do not see the systemic changes that are needed. Read more…

Boys, Breast Cancer, and the Magic of Boys’ Schools

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.07.07 PM

I write this post for two reasons. I write in honor of the women in my life who have fought breast cancer, as this is Breast Cancer Awareness month. And I write in response to the September 23, 2011 study in Science Magazine titled “The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling.” I challenge its incendiary and unsubstantiated claims that “segregating” boys and girls by gender is similar to the racial segregation of African-American children in the southern schools of decades ago, and that it “increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes institutionalized sexism.” Here is a small window into my life in a boys’ school, and the transformation I observed, not just in the boys themselves, but in myself as a woman. Read more…