My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Monday, August 28, 2006

Another reason why boys don't do as well....

It appears they learn better from men...but few men are teachers....
For all the differences between the sexes, here's one that might stir up debate in the teacher's lounge: Boys learn more from men and girls learn more from women.

That's the upshot of a provocative study by Thomas Dee, an associate professor of economics at Swarthmore College and visiting scholar at Stanford University. His study was to appear Monday in Education Next, a quarterly journal published by the Hoover Institution.

Vetted and approved by peer reviewers, Dr. Dee's research faces a fight for acceptance. Some leading education advocates dispute his conclusions and the way in which he reached them.

But Dr. Dee says his research supports his point, that gender matters when it comes to learning. Specifically, as he describes it, having a teacher of the opposite sex hurts a student's academic progress.

“We should be thinking more carefully about why,” he said.

Dr. Dee warns against drawing fast conclusions based on his work. He is not endorsing single-sex education, or any other policy.

Rather, he hopes his work will spur more research into gender's effect and what to do about it.

His study comes as the proportion of male teachers is at its lowest level in 40 years. Roughly 80 per cent of teachers in U.S. public schools are women.


Blogger jeff davidson said...

i guess my daughter's school is an anomaly. she's heading into grade 4 and has her 3rd male teacher. in fact, both of her former male teachers are openly gay.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I wonder if it is the actual gender of the teacher that makes the difference in and of itself, or if it is more that male teachers tend to favour teaching methods that work better with boys (because they remember these methods working best in their own experiences a students) and vice versa.

I would imagine that the more important thing is not what sex your teacher is, but if your teacher knows how to teach differently to boys than he or she does to girls (it works both ways of course...).

Interesting research. As the doctor says, "we should be thinking more carefully about why".

1:19 PM  
Blogger Canadi-anna said...

Personally, I think it's less to do with gender, than the generation during which the teacher attended university.
The older teachers, male and female, seem to understand the gender differences and not squelch the 'boy' in the boys -- while younger teachers, male and female, seem to favour girls and typically girlish behaviour.

2:04 PM  
Blogger jw said...

To find out if it is gender or teaching style someone should look at the results of boys & girls going to nun-teacher-only Catholic schools and the few brothers-only Catholic schools. Those should give a good indication of results.

I think that BOTH gender and teaching style apply. Teaching kids is a complex system and there will be multiple causes for boys' problems.

Part of the problem today is that so many men have been driven out of their family. Another part is the violence of anti-male attitudes. Those two together are hard to remove from a child's psyche: Male teachers probably help.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said...

"Part of the problem today is that so many men have been driven out of their family..."

Don't forget about all the men who ran away from their families.

I'm also not sure what you mean by the "violence of anti-male attitudes". Violent attitudes? Could you clarify a bit.

9:34 AM  

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