The process of putting together a speaker series often gets the CPO staff talking and thinking about an issue as we try to figure out speakers, respondents and our marketing pitch. Our next event, hopefully, will be on September 19 about the problems that boys are having in school. The stats are really striking: boys are the majority of students in special ed, they aren’t graduating at the same rates as girls, and are not attending post-secondary either.
Long term, an increasing gap in boys’ and girls’ achievement cannot be good for our society and it really can’t be good from a crime prevention point of view. Especially since the ratio of crime is about 90% boys to 10% girls and school failure is a major risk factor.
But why are boys not doing as well in school as girls? I’ve seen various pieces of research about school success, but the most interesting that I have read recently, is about self control. There are, of course, many social and economic factors that contribute to difficulties in school. But the attraction to me of looking at self control is the possibility that we can do something about it. Realistically, in the short term, we cannot make a child’s parents less poor or make his father re-appear, but we could, possibly help him acquire some skills for self-control.
Take a look at the research, you may find it as interesting as I did!http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer