Saturday, November 1, 2014

I'm back! It's only two years later, but here I am recommending another book for your reading pleasure and professional development. Why Boys Fail by Richard Whitmire is more than interesting, it is eye-opening. Admittedly, my inner-feminist did not want to even consider anything this book was purporting. I mean, just as females are beginning to lead in the classroom and the workforce, someone wants to claim that boys are being treated unfairly in the classroom? Nonsense!! However, as an educator, I knew had to atleast give Mr. Whitmire the opportunity to state his case, and he makes a really good case. In essence, Mr. Whitmire argues that the world is becoming increasingly verbal, and boys aren't. As a kindergarten teacher, I know that we are pushing our students to learn to read at increasingly earlier ages. Where formal reading instruction typically began in grade one, now students are being instructed to read in kindergarten. While girls are usually more verbal than boys, and can easily adapt to early reading instruction, young boys normally aren't. Just to illustrate, in my class this year, the top five readers were all female. If I expanded my list to the top ten readers, only then would male students make that list. Additionally, Richard Whitmire explains that boys are losing the edge they used to enjoy over females in math. These trends have been noted across the board; males, regardless of race or social economic status are failing in school. Why, and what can be done about this?

Another book in the same vein is The Trouble With Boys by Peg Tyre. This book is also an interesting read, and it pretty much corroborates Richard Whitmore's argument.
So, what are you waiting for? Go pick up these books and read, read, read! Don't forget to write a reflective summary for professional development credit. How will the data reported in these texts influence how you plan your classroom instruction? Will you differentiate your lessons to accommodate for how males learn best? Hmmm...that's some heavy thinking there. Happy Reading!
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