let boys be boys

Dr Tony Sewell will argue at the NASUWT conference today that the feminisation of education offers an explanation for the differential in educational performance between boys and girls. His formula for change involves a shift back to final exams, encourage more competitiveness and leadership roles, more outdoor adventure as part of the curriculum and a more pro-active policy to recruit male teachers. He believes that the frustration of masculinity in education is contributing to the growth of gangs.

  • Miss Fitz

    Oh please….

    Just accept girls are smarter.

  • Alan

    . . . or is a feminised education system less conducive for the development of boys?

    It’s interesting that, if you talk to teachers, the biggest gainers out of the Harry Potter phenomenon have been boys and their return to reading. If there is a problem, it has to be tackled.

    I don’t see a return to authoritarianism and competition as an answer, but the system should be able to better reflect the interests of the child.

    We also need to look at developing career paths for teachers, with opportunities for re-training built into the system in order to attract people, including men, into the system. Instead of teachers getting stuck avoiding eye contact with others in the staff room, we should be balancing their contribution to education with access to advancement within and without the profession.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Miss Fitz,
    You asked for this … 🙂

    It’s fairly well known among the scientists who work in the field that males are much more likely to be very intelligent than females. See this for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_intelligence . If you search on Google you’ll get lots more links and also this subject has come up in scientific publications like New Scientist. There is little or no controversy over these findings among the experts, unlike the debates over race and intelligence for example.

    I must also point out that males are also more likely than females to be very stupid. Basically, males are more likely to be at the extremes, with females in the middle. For any given intelligence level, high or low, there will be males and females at that level; it’s just that at the extremes males far outnumber females.

    So simply comparing averages among the two sexes is only part of the story.

  • Miss Fitz

    “It’s fairly well known among the scientists who work in the field that males are much more likely to be very intelligent than females.”


    Need I say any more?

  • SlugFest

    Occassional Commenter:

    “also this subject has come up in scientific publications like New Scientist.”

    Please cite issue, volume, date, and article title. It would also be great if you could copy and paste the key elements of the article, but if not i’ll settle for my first request.

  • Miss Fitz

    Well, once I read the first line of the comment, I rested my case, as I couldn’t follow it….. lol

  • Occasional Commentator

    The Wikipedia article has plenty of references, including this one.

    I’m quite happy to retract the mention of New Scientist because I don’t have the issue handy but the rest of my comment still stands. I will try to find the New Scientist details later, but I have to work now!

  • Miss Fitz

    Do you really stand by the grammar and content of your first line?
    …..much more likely to be very intelligent than females…….

    OK then, well, I guess that says it all

  • Crataegus

    “males are much more likely to be very intelligent than females.”


    I am utterly surprised that you have difficulty grasping such an obvious fact! But then suppose have to make allowances.

    Boys like to enjoy themselves, so whilst the girls are in with nose in the plate tectonics boys are out making whoopee. A game of football or Shakespearian jokes; no contest really? Life is short so enjoy and obviously a sign of high intelligence.

    Not convinced walk into any house, who washes the dishes, does the cleaning, the cooking, the shopping, the men? Do they heck too intelligent for that!

  • Occasional Commentator

    Miss Fitz,
    I stand by the grammar and content of my first line. If you have a problem with my statement you’ll have to actually make an evidence-based argument, and not simply assume that I mistyped and didn’t actually mean what I typed.

    It might be best to just end this discussion? Miss Fitz’s first comment was a joke and I unnecessarily changed the subject.

    Here’s a quick recap of what I said, just to avoid confusion…

    For a wide variety of tests, the averages among males are pretty much identical as the average among females. But the variation among the male results is greater than among the females and the effect of this is magnified as we look further to the extremes of high and low intelligence.

    If I said “men are much more likely to be very stupid than females” there are a lot of people who would happily agree, and the interesting thing is that it is actually true. So why the shock if I say another correct statement about the other extreme?

    And most importantly, why do some people assume that I said something to the effect of ‘average IQ among females is lower than that among males’? If I was being really nasty I would question their IQ!

    Occasional Commentator [has a high enough IQ, but not much wisdom 🙂 ]