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ERIC Number: EJ799887
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0882-4843
Why Jimmy Isn't Failing: The Myth of the Boy Crisis
Okopny, Cara
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v18 n3 p216-228 2008
A recent flurry of reporting in mainstream media argues that boys are drowning in a female-centered U.S. education system. According to proponents of the boy crisis argument, boys are just biologically and developmentally different from girls, and it is educators' responsibility to teach to this perceived difference. The U.S. education system, they contend, is failing boys by failing to recognize innate differences in the way boys and girls learn. Boy crisis advocates argue for the adoption of boy-friendly strategies that promote "boys' ways of learning," and propose single-sex education as a potential remedy. In this article, the author presents two analytical constructs that may serve to assist feminist teachers in the deconstruction of the boy crisis argument. Using these constructs, the author explains that boy crisis ideology may influence the decisions of policymakers and parents, altering the ability of teachers to create an equitable classroom climate. In the Individual or Student-Based Model, the author deconstructs the argument that boys are struggling academically because their brains are biologically different from those of girls--resulting in poor grades and low male college enrollment. Using an Educator-Based Model, the author counters the argument that boys are struggling academically because schools have become overly feminized. Finally, the author addresses Policy Changes, outlining potentially misinformed and simplistic policy formulations which may result from public advocacy of a boy crisis. The author addresses the suggestion that single-sex education is the best way to ameliorate a boy crisis. In rebuking the major boy crisis arguments, the author hopes to provide feminist teachers with the tools necessary to combat these arguments from colleagues, parents, and administrators, and encourage the power of daily feminist activism.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A