I recently finished the book Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind, published 2010. DR recommended it after he saw it on the New York Times Bestseller List.
As a teacher I saw many boys disinterested in school including my own brothers and as I a parent I don't want Yip and Yap to come to despise school in their teen years or even earlier.
The author, Richard Whitmire, begins with a number of statistics found worldwide, not just in the United States.
- 1 in 4 boys who have a college educated parent can't read a newspaper with understanding.
- College graduating classes are roughly 60 % female and 40% male, with male enrollment constantly falling.
- These gender gaps show up in all races and classes.
These, along with other statistics, suggest boys are falling behind and failing at an alarming rate.
The authors conclusion is, The world has gotten more verbal; boys haven't.
Throughout the book Whitmire cites how poor boys literacy skills have become. Many make it to middle school with poor reading and writing skills and can't comprehend the content in other disciplines; science, history, etc.
Whitmire goes on to look at likely causes of reading lapses. For example; lack of good reading instruction programs and lack of books that boys want to read, not enough writing assignments given or topics that are unimportant to boys.
The book continues by addressing what gets unfairly blamed for the gender gaps, possible solutions to get our boys caught up in literacy, why these gender gaps matter (ex: marriageable mates) and what actions need to be taken.
Whitmire concedes that he is not an expert on this issue but numbers don't lie. The reason he wrote this book was to get the attention of the federal government to put the time and money into getting our boys, and our nation, back on track globally.
I've only briefly touched upon the content of this book and the major points Whitmire covers. As a mother of boys I would recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the education and future prospects of their sons, grandsons or nephews.