THE WAR AGAINST BOYS

Nog maar net schreef ik over ‘War against boys’, een boek dat enkele jaren geleden verscheen, en daar vond ik in de opiniestukken van de New York Times gisteren een artikel dat er recht tegen in ging.

Niks oorlog tegen jongens of jonge mannen.
Gewoon een kwestie van armoede.
Armoede treft zowel jongens als meisjes.
Verbeter dus de scholen, zorg voor goede onderwijskrachten, en daarmee – als de taxpayer het er voor over heeft- is die discriminatie opgelost

Daar kwamen 43 reacties op, meestal vanuit de ervaringsterreinen zelf.En die bevestigen allerlei malaises:

-de druk op jonge mensen is groot van uit het onderwijs.
-de angst van ouders wordt aangewakkerd door ADHD-verhalen, oog-handcoördinatie-tekorten, onvermogen tot abstraheren, en ga maar door wat er allemaal van je kind wordt verwacht wil het meekunnen in het hedendaagse onderwijs.

Ik pik er eentje uit:

There is simply no doubt that schools everywhere short-change boys, particularly when women teach boys.
White suburban schools must address the solutions to this problem: find more male teachers; eliminate grades for participation, attitude and effort; eliminate discipline policies that discriminate against boys; stop using special education as punishment for intelligent boys who “misbehave”; I could go on.

En ook deze is erg treffend:

As the mother of a bright, kind, loving and active 9 year-old son, I would definitely attest to gender discrimination in schools — at least in schools where class size is larger and the teachers are geared to getting students through the MCAS mill, i.e., public schools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My son was in a Montessori school until last September — when, for a number of reasons, we switched him to the local public school, which has a good reputation.
He started the school year with great enthusiasm, but was soon coming home with stories of how his teacher was humiliating him by scolding him in front of other students (for his forgetfulness, presumably); he was prohibited from wearing his Red Sox baseball cap to school (one his badges of identity!) because he forgot to remove it on a couple of occasions when coming inside the school corridors.
When another student threw his football over the school fence into a neighbor’s yard, school regulations forbade him from retrieving it, and no adult at the school was willing to help him get it back.

I find it greatly disturbing that his teacher and the school principal defended these ’school rules’ and practices, when they are punitive rather than instructive — they do not model caring, compassionate behavior. At my son’s former school, children having a conflict with each other, or having trouble focusing, were gently but firmly guided through positive alternatives.
At his current school — which I imagine mirrors the school experience of many/most American children –the punishment is the thing.
When at the end of the school year my son came home very upset about a clique of boys first telling him to go away, not to sit with them, and then that there was ‘no room’ for him to play a game with them either — I asked what the teacher had done about this.
The answer: nothing. For me, the most important part of my son’s education at this point is that he learn to be a compassionate, giving, contributing human being.
Given schools’obsession with test scores and ’school rules’, it’s not going to happen at school.

Herkenbaar?
In een land dat de vrijheid hoog in het vaandel voert en het grootst aantal gevangenen ter wereld telt?

En om een klankbeeld van deze tijd te geven waarin het eerder geciteerde beeld van de toeterende media meespeelt nog deze.

It is interesting that no one addressed the stress put upon girls and boys in our present culture.
This stress comes from parents who want perfection and who push children into so many activities that they rarely have kid-downtime much less meals together.
Throw in fears of kidnapping, terrorists, bird flu, meteors, weather disasters, failure and it is no wonder children are stressed. I vividly recall as a child being afraid of polio and the A-bomb. I don’t know how children do as well as they do in this nightmare time.

Slim in het hoofdje, dom in het lijfje, zorgt natuurlijk ook voor de nodige stress.
Een onderwijs dat louter op kennen en kunnen is gericht en zich ver houdt van emotie en filosofische reflectie, maakt geen mens gelukkig.

Wordt in de New York Times vervolgd, en wij sluiten het deurtje en zullen via allerlei andere beelden toch weer ramen vinden om in dat gesloten schoollokaal te kruipen.