The gender debate in schools continues to gain fire.
My wife is an all-womens' college alumnae so this NYTimes article caught my attention in particular, but the following stats should catch anyone -- regardless of gender -- and at least raise a few eyebrows along the way.
From "At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men In the Dust" (7.9.06)the following figures were quoted:
- For every 50 girls enrolled in elementary school, there are 53 boys similarly enrolled
- For every 50 girls enrolled in high school, there are also 50 boys enrolled
This is where it gets interesting:
- For every 50 girls who graduate from high school, only 48 boys do the same
- For every 50 girls who are enrolled in college, there are...gulp...only 39 boys also enrolled
- For every 50 girls who earn a B.A., there are 37 boys earn the same degree
- For every 50 girls who earn a Masters degree,...only 31 boys manage to get the same
Easy to get caught up in the #'s. Interesting, but like all stats they are easy to draw too much from.
From the same article, they begin to talk about the distinction between 'playing school' well and getting great grades (girls win here in spades) and 'succeeding' in the 'real' world (where boys seem to still present a firm handshake and a confident demeanor in order to be put in a successful professional situation). It only took a fraction of the total article, but frankly for better or worse I sense that if schools continue to be about grades in the traditional manner, boys will be less and less engaged and girls will do brilliantly in comparison but may not be taught the 'other' skills for moving up the professional ladder.
Am I wrong to notice this?
Read the article and tell me. Love to see if this is a minor point that I'm exaggerating...or tied to the on-going "think:lab" questions about where the future of learning is headed.