Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Homeschooled Boys On Par With Girls

Seems that homeschooled boys do just as well as girls in English, unlike their PS counterparts:

Educational consultant Joe Manthey, who led a workshop through the Napa County Office of Education about educating male students, cites the almost nonexistent gender gap for home-schooled students in English as proof that schools are part of the problem. The reason that home-schooled boys score as well as their female counterparts in English is twofold, said Manthey. First, they are more likely to be given a choice in their reading material. Second, “they’re less likely to fall through the cracks,” he said.

A couple of observations to make here. First, this is further evidence that the public school system, despite what the cranks at AAUW say, is optimized for girls at the expense of boys. Second is that this is also more evidence that sending children, particularly boys, to a public school is tantamount to signing a death warrant on their educational achievement.

I--as well as Dr Helen--also couldn't miss noticing this howler:

Clinical psychologist Dr. Daniel Peters, who practices in Napa and San Ramon, said the reason for the contrast has to do with brain development. Girls have larger hippocampuses, he said, the part of the brain that aids in learning and, in particular, language arts. Girls also use more cortical areas of the brain for verbal and emotional functioning, said Peters. Conversely, boys use more cortical areas dedicated to spatial and mechanical functioning, he said. The result is that, neurologically, girls are better wired for language skills than boys, said Peters. But while the neurological differences between boys and girls are generally accepted in the scientific community...

That's funny, doesn't saying that women's lower performance in mathematical and spatial tasks is a function of biology give women scientists the vapors and (if you are a man) could get you fired? Why is blaming boys' lack of verbal skills on biological predisposition any different?

The only thing that's "generally accepted" in the scientific community is that you can't speak certain truths about women and girls that you can about boys. Which to me speaks a lot about the "science" that is practiced by "scientists" these days.

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