Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Teachers, Diversity, and Boys

Diversity has long been a buzz word in education. Somehow, teachers and schools need to change everything and anything for each student on an individual basis.

Don't swallow the hype. Good teaching is good teaching. There is no need to change your good teaching techniques just because some college professor thinks you should. Be wary of so-called education research. Nothing beats the experience of a real world, in the classroom teacher. See the links below this article for tips on dealing with that.

On NPR yesterday, they did a whole story on how we do not allow boys to be boys. That somehow boys learn so differently that we are doing them an injustice. Again, don't fall for the hype. They say teachers need to give boys hands-on activities and keep them moving. If not, then we are forcing boys to act unnatural and being very unfair. And this unfairness leads to boys just not learning. One commentator even suggested that boys should always have something tactile to do in any learning situation. Again, don't fall for such hogwash.

Not only is that impractical for teachers, it's also silly when you think about it. It also makes boys seem like animals that need to be appeased. We do our boys (and girls) a disservice when implementing such nonsense.

If we toss up our hands and say, well, boys just can't sit still, we are sending them the wrong message.

They can't go to medical school, be lawyers, engineers, nurses, etc. How can they sit in boring college classes? People don't realize that college classes for the most part are an hour of lecture. Can you imagine a lawyer fiddling, pacing during a trial?

How funny it is we expect (and see) boys behaving in movie theaters in a two hour movie. Can you imagine if the theater allowed playing, fiddling, pacing? How about an airline flight? Don't put your boy on an airplane. They can't take it. Would you tolerate your male children not behaving for at least an hour on a car trip?

Forget about taking your boys to church. Our churches just didn't get the memo about boys.

Every aspect of life, people are expected to behave themselves and many times be still, patient.

Why should your classroom be any different?

Boys could never get a real job. Most jobs require you to work steadily for at least 2 to 4 hours without a break. Pity boys just can't handle that.

Teachers, when dealing with the "latest" research, remember it is research. Not real world teaching.

Don't give wrong messages to your students. They are catered to in classrooms, then expected to survive in a world that is diametrically opposed to such "research."

If you are not using good teaching techniques, then you do need to change.
>Read tips on dealing with diversity in the classroom.
>Read tips on teaching to engage your students.
>Read details of a teaching strategy to ask oral questions.

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