“The sad truth is that the educational deficits of boys may be one of the least-studied phenomena in American education”
~ Sommers, 2013, p. 38
My growing focus and emphasis as an elementary school principal is to lead a concerted effort to address this deficit by formally instructing my teaching faculty in the unique character, learning style, and viewpoint of our uniquely male image bearers. By doing so I aim to give my staff the tools that will empower them to create more “boy-friendly” lesson plans and thus increase their male student’s participation in the learning process and thus improve boy’s overall motivation in school. Boy-friendly instruction includes lots of movement, hands-on learning and getting students out of their seats when possible. The fact is that boys are not well designed to thrive in traditional assembly-line school settings. Boys were built to move, to engage in the learning process, to make vital connections from what they’re learning to real life and to follow strong male role models.
“We have concluded that whether the boy in your life is high performing or low performing, he is at risk of being taught, managed, and guided in a system that may find him defective and may not know how to fix either him or itself.”
~ Gurian & Stevens, 2005, p. 25
Boys do not need to be fixed. They need to be understood.
“Inside every boy there is an educational hero who is trying to flourish.”
~ Gurian & Stevens, 2005, p. 10
So how do elementary school educators prepare the soil into which they will plant thoughts, ideas, wisdom and courage into the minds and hearts of young men so that their roots go deep? That is the focus and emphasis of my elementary school; Soil preparation.
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
~ Jeremiah 17:8, NIV
Gurian, M., & Stevens, K. (2005). The minds of boys. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Sommers, C. (2013). The war against boys. New York, NY: Simon and Shuster.