Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Keep boys and girls apart!

A report in the Daily Mail says that boys need to be taught separately from girls from the age of five to prevent them being damaged by the education system. Dr Leonard Sax argues that boys are "turned off" by starting formal education too soon when they are expected to sit down and keep quiet in class. And, because they develop at different rates to girls, they can be discouraged from learning while very young when sat alongside female classmates.

Dr Sax, a research psychologist in the U.S., claims this has led to an epidemic of unmotivated boys and under-achieving young men. He said: "With boys you have to start right away. If you wait until secondary school, you have waited too long. From the age of five, there are clear advantages in all-boys' education when teachers know how to take advantage of it."

At present, single sex education is concentrated in the independent sector. Dr Sax wants more state primary and secondary schools to offer single sex classes. He added: "Boys and girls' brains develop along profoundly different timetables. It might be appropriate to ask five-year-old girls to sit still and be quiet in class, but for many five-year-old boys it's not developmentally appropriate. The message they get at five is that doing well in school is something that girls do."
Young boys become afraid of being seen as "swots". However, in single sex classes they are more likely to see getting good grades as "cool"."

No comments: