November 8, 2009

Saving A Lost Boy

It is a too common story that some boys just can fit themselves into today's educational model. The standard response from "the system," is to make boys the problem and in too many cases, to medicate boys so they can "sit still and pay attention" (The DEA estimates %10- to %12 of all US boys have a Ritalin prescription). Hey it's easier than reinventing the system . . . unless you're a boy.

One of my heroes waving the flag about the need for flexible, adaptive, and boy relevant schools, teachers, and teaching models is Barry MacDonald. The statement of purpose at the top of his Boy Smarts website reads, "Mentoring Boys - To Become Caring, Courageous, and Ethical Men." His book Boys Smarts and the companion Boy Smarts Action Study Guide, together present a conservative, practical, path for creating an educational environment that supports boys and girls alike. On his website you can find samples of the content in these books. If you're a parent of a young male or an educator concerned about boys' and their success in school, this is a must read set.

In the Boy Smarts October newsletter is a story of an almost lost young skateboarder named Josh. The article describes how a boy-literate school and teachers can make a life-saving difference in the life of a boy. Read this story and if it inspires you as it does me, contact Barry MacDonald at to learn what you can do for boys at a school near you. He's a talented speaker and his program in your community is guaranteed to change and even save some lives.

1 comment:

  1. Paul McCoy6:27 PM

    Gender based education has been advocated for years, since the 1990s. When I was growing up, you could go to a public/co-ed high school, or a catholic, all girl or all-boy high school, a girls vocational school or a boys vocational school.

    In my high school, cafeterias were separated by gender. The problem with 'boy-focused' education is that the NOW opposes this every step of the way. Anything 'pro-boy' is immediately considered 'anti-girl'. We didn't step up, vis a vis the gender war or we will lose, if we haven't already.


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