EdReformer Interviews Maria Voles Ferguson, Alliance VP of Policy
November 30, 2010 09:02 pm
Maria Voles Ferguson, VP for Policy at the Alliance for Excellent Education, stopped by EdReformer’s Blog on the Spot at the Excellence in Action National Summit. Below is one issue on the top of her mind.
You have remarked that boys face unique challenges in school. What are they?
I am sure my perspective on the challenges boys face in the public system is not a universal truth, but anyone who has both a male and female child knows that they develop differently and respond differently to instruction and expectations. In our high performing school district, the expectations for organization, attention, and self-direction seem wildly unrealistic, especially for young boys who tend to be very physical, very fidgety, and not terribly focused on organizing themselves. There is plenty of brain research that shows the timeline for when these abilities — what is referred to in schools as “executive function” – develop in kids is not in sync with the expectations of most high-performing schools. Also, the drill-and-kill worksheets we see so much of these days and the limited physical activity kids get before, during, and after school really impacts the boys. Something is wrong when you have five boys in a class of 30 kids on medication for ADD or ADHD.
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