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Male Adolescent Educational Issues

Uploaded by tmjsnbrd95 on Oct 27, 2011

This essay discusses the gap between boys and girls in academic achievement and what might be done to help boys without harming the girls.

Boys’ Educational Issues

I Introduction

Jane Kenway, a respected Australian educator, is concerned about the connection between perceptions of masculinity and the problems that some boys have in school. In 1997, she wrote “institutionalized masculinities and masculine identities are at the core of many of the problems some boys have, from suicide to literacy, and that addressing the issue of masculinity will also begin to address these problems.” (Kenway, 1997, p. 60).
Kenway’s observations, not surprisingly, have sparked debate as to what issues boys face in the classroom setting; how those issues relate to the idea of masculinity, and what (and whether) schools can do to insure that their male students succeed both in the classroom and in life.
This paper analyzes some of the findings with regard to these interconnected issues.

II Masculinity and Boys’ Education

There are many different issues currently being explored with regard to gender and education. They include such topics as why boys seem to do worse in school than girls; the ways in which schools perpetuate gender stereotypes; the ways in which schools perpetuate gender inequality; and the ways in which the gender inequality fostered by the schools contributes to the continuing masculine dominance of society as a whole.
More narrowly, school is one of the places where boys learn what it means to be masculine. They learn from competitive sports that are forbidden to girls; from rough play at recess; and they sometimes learn from bullies. Society is very hard on women, confining them to narrow expectations that are deemed “suitable”; no one can argue that women are still second-class citizens. (If you can make that argument, you haven’t been paying attention.) But we sometimes forget that society is equally hard on men, demanding that they succeed, support their families, and be “rocks” of endurance and strength at all times. Men learn this in many ways, and their education in masculinity begins in the cradle. But from the protection of the family, they move into the schoolyard, where such cocooning ceases.
A study done in New South Wales suggests that boys tease, harass, and bully girls as part of learning their dominant role, undesirable though such behaviors may be, and that educators and others recognize this behavior for what it is....

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Uploaded by:   tmjsnbrd95

Date:   10/27/2011

Category:   Humanities

Length:   13 pages (2,997 words)

Views:   1542

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