January 5, 2008

Boys Adrift & Pentecostal Church

I just love the comparison that Leonard Sax makes about how a boy's classroom really should be more like a Pentecostal church service than what exists today. In this very boy literate article from the School Library Journal, he explains why boys very much need a different kind of educational environment because their learning styles are so much different than girls. It's a great read if you care at all about this powerful influence in boy's early development.

Leonard Sax is the author of both Why Gender Matters (Doubleday, 2005), and his most recent book, Boys Adrift (Basic Books, 2007).) In this article, he goes on to describe the "five distinct and independent factors which have driven boys away from books over the past 30 years." If you care about boys, or want to consider what happened to you as a very young male, check out this article.


  1. I don't think everyone is convinced of the learning style differences you're talking about.

    I once introduced a Bringing Up Boys teaching topic by quoting from the book’s author, Dr. James Dobson. He had masterfully built on his teaching point with a clear and logical explanation. But I went straight to his punch line: “Elementary classrooms … are designed primarily by women to fit the temperament and learning styles of girls.”

    Now, because I had studied several resources supporting this idea, in my mind it made intuitive sense; or so I thought. In fact, I declared the point with a hint of humor, trying to set the tone for the rest of the class period. Boy did I set the tone; but not as I had intended.

    A few more minutes into the class a gentleman interrupted, “Excuse me, Jeff, I think you have a few ladies sitting back here squirming in their seats. I think they’re school teachers.”

    I immediately felt a warm sensation flush through my whole body. “Open mouth, insert foot,” I thought. How am I going to recover from this?
    The first words out of my mouth were, “Dobson said it! He explains it well.” Now would you believe I had an opportunity to tell this story to Dr. Dobson recently? He responded, “Oh sure, blame it on me.” But it gets worse. The next words out of my mouth to the school teachers were, “actually we homeschool.”

    Oops, not a good answer. Not only had I dug myself into a hole, I was burying myself in it! There was no recovering now.

    The following week, class attendance dropped a bit. Only those returning got the benefit of a better-prepared explanation of Dr. Dobson’s point. Two lessons relearned: First, know your audience; second, it’s all in the delivery.

  2. Good lessons to learn. But good for you for raising the issue at all! That discussion, how ever it gets started, is a good thing for everyone.


Your response to this blog post is appreciated and welcome.