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Leonard Sax represents the essential-difference view, arguing that boys and girls should be educated separately for reasons of biology: for example, Sax asserts that boys don’t hear as well as girls, which means that an instructor needs to speak louder in order for the boys in the room to hear her; and that boys’ visual systems are better at seeing action, while girls are better at seeing the nuance of color and texture. Boys solve maze puzzles using the hippocampus; girls use the cerebral cortex. Boys perform better under moderate stress; girls perform worse.The social view is represented by teachers like Emily Wylie, who works at the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem (T. Many academics and progressives tend to find Sax’s views stereotyped and infuriating, yet Sax does not seem to mind.
Since the pros and cons arguments are the same for parents in Japan trying whether coed or single sex schools are suitable for their kids, I am posting it here.
Teaching Boys and Girls Separately n an unseasonably cold day last November in Foley, Ala., Colby Royster and Michael Peterson, two students in William Bender’s fourth-grade public-school class, informed me that the class corn snake could eat a rat faster than the class boa constrictor. Down the hall and around the corner, Michelle Gay teaches 26 fourth-grade girls.
The boys like being on their own, they say, because girls don’t appreciate their jokes and think boys are too messy, and are also scared of snakes.
In 1995, there were two single-sex public schools operating in this country. S.’s founder, Ann Tisch, did tell me pointedly, “Nobody is planning the days of our girls around a photograph of a brain.” The two camps face a common enemy in the A. The girls, just on the edge of puberty, sat utterly rapt, seeming to want to understand why their brothers, boy cousins, cute skater-dude neighbors and fathers were so weird. Among his early proposals was that boys should start kindergarten at age 6, a year later than girls, in order to ease the “sense of scholastic incompetence” that so many boys feel early on because they tend to develop later. “You need to engage boys’ energy, use it, rather than trying to say, No, no, no.
Currently, there are 49, and 65 percent of those have opened in the last three years. “anachronisms” — because, he says, they’re stuck in 1970s-era feminist ideology and they don’t base their pedagogy on the latest research. A few weeks after the lecture, Sax sent me a packet of color photocopies of thank-you notes he had received from the girls. Several friends quickly convinced Sax that American families would never go for this. So instead of having boys raise their hands, you’re going to have boys literally stand up.