Gaps in Educating and Learning for Adolescent Boys

Do you believe boys learn differently than girls? This recent article seems right on point with the problems boys are experiencing – but what about the suggested solutions?

In cutting to the chase, Lon Woodbury asked today’s guest on his Internet Talk Radio Show: “Parent Choices for Struggling Teens” on LATalkRadio, “What is the status of boys today?” In response, Kelley King, Associate Director of Gurian Institute, shared an amazing list of considerable gaps that today’s boys are facing in education and learning. These gaps include: significant reading gaps, higher discipline reports, substance abuse, more D’s and F’s for boy’s, more drop-outs and a significant drop in enrollment in college (with girls at 60% and boys at 40%).
via Educating the Adolescent Male Brain.


6 thoughts on “Gaps in Educating and Learning for Adolescent Boys

  1. Yes, boys and girls learn differently. I can tell this already and my boy is 3 1/2 and my girl is 1 1/2. He is always running around throwing things around, taking things apart, seeing how things work, making messes, crashing things together, busy busy busy. He has been that way from the start. My girl likes to sit down and color, read, she likes to investigate and observe, but not running around everywhere and pull things apart. Instilling different teaching tactics is important for all children to succeed. We all learn differently and it isn’t just a boy/girl thing, it is a people thing. Some are more hands on, others are visual, others do better reading and doing things themselves, others have to be shown.

    • Thanks for the feedback – I agree that to some extent it’s a ‘people’ thing but are there common characteristics with the way girls and boys learn? If so, is it possible for a learning environment to appease both? or are there other options that work better for the different sexes? I’m curious and paying more attention the closer my child gets to being in grade school.

  2. I think another important point from the article is the loss of substantive classes. As long as the teaching is only about the theoretical, boys are going to have a harder time. It is how we are wired. Men are from Missouri…You absolutely need to show them most of what they learn.

    Whether it is science lab or applied mathematics (think about trajectory for throwing a ball), even the old-fashioned shop classes where they only learn useful bits like how to change oil (a money saving bit of knowledge), abandoning these studies is a travesty.

    Just as much as losing home economic type classes…which also benefit boys. I know far too many who haven’t an idea how to sew on a button.

    • I agree – I’ll be investigating this topic more – but I’m concerned, curious, and interested in how boys learn (since I have boys) and the best ways to keep them engaged – and who (what schools) are ‘doing it right’? For instance – all boys’ schools? charter schools?

      • Be careful in the all-boy arena. One would think the construction of the school would cater to boy-learning, but in most cases it does not. I had two cousins who went to all boy school (the same one). The teaching was standard “read from a book” fare.

        Boys generally are visual learners and need the hands-on application of what they learn. They profit from lab settings and physical interaction. I can think of four (hundred) dozen things my four boys have taken apart. My girls, who then read the directions, help them with the reassembly. The marriage of both techniques cannot be discounted, as it is both a meeting of the two types of learning and a social lesson as well.

        Keep reading. There is a load of information on the subject. If I remember correctly, NIH did a study on how children learn.


      • okay – yes good points! I will need to research further! I love that you pointed out the need for social interaction and the ‘marriage of both techniques’ – I wasn’t thinking about that … I’m going to write another post and you’ll know why this is on my mind 🙂 But I’m probably over-thinking it – again 🙂

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