Social engineering and how boys just don’t “fit” in schools

While he and I tend to fall on different sides in political debates, I have immense respect for David Brooks and his ability to articulate his point of view.  His recent article in the NYTimes caught my attention, as it addresses the culture of schools and how the traditional schooling model doesn’t “fit” for many students – disproportionately our boys.

I’ve seen this, to some degree as a teacher I tried to address this, but I’m increasingly sensitive to it as a mom of a young boy.  Because I see lots of this in my future:

Apart from the gender issue, Brooks points out that schooling has a culture, and if you don’t fit in the culture, you are often left out, and in turn, left behind.  It’s absolutely worth a few minutes to read and reflect.  In what ways do we meet students where they are?  In what ways do we seek to recognize strengths that may be undervalued in the traditional school setting?  How do our verbal and nonverbal messages convey that students are welcome – or unwelcome – in our schools?


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