I had worked in a couple of girls schools when I moved to my next job, this time in a boys school. The difference between the two was hugely eye opening for me. What engaged boys was markedly different than what had worked with my previous female students. This video sums up the differences and paints an accurate picture of why co-ed education in America and also I believe here in Australia, is not in my opinion, the best choice for boys.
If you’re interested in this topic I can also recommend the book ‘Boys Adrift’ by Leonard Sax. The book studies a number of factors contributing to boys becoming less engaged students and unmotivated adults. He looks at the way children are taught, as well as the role that video games, prescription drugs and environmental estrogens have to play. He is also a fan of letting boys start school a year later than usual, holding them back so they have more time to play and learn in a less structured and more experimental manner. I’m a keen believer that those early years of just generally shouting/climbing/running around like boys want to do, are exceptionally valuable in terms of their development of creative skills and general confidence and shouldn’t be traded too soon for the long years of sitting at a desk at school.
As the mother of two loud and rambunctious boys clearly this is a topic close to my heart. I’m currently reading about schools in Finland, where students don’t start until age 7! Their unorthodox education system is producing impressive results. Food for thought.