I will admit it…even though I am the mother of two boys…I read this book for a class. I had heard about it from this clip on Good Morning America, and I fully intended to read it, but I didn’t 100% buy the idea that there really was any plight in the education of boys in our country. I sort of resented the thought. Growing up female, I’d been more concerned with issues of the gap between boys and girls in math and science that favors boys, the lack of equal pay for equal work, etc. However, when I was tasked with reviewing how we educate our boys in this country for one of my grad school classes, I decided to give this a read as part of my research.
This book gives an excellent, thorough account of exactly how we are indeed “failing our boys” of this generation in our public schools. Through things as seemingly insignificant as focusing heavily on written expression as the main means of evaluation, curricula that favor fiction versus non-fiction texts, and a decreased frequency of phonics instruction, all come together to create a challenging school environment for boys. Combine these factors with the push for academics at younger and younger ages, when boys, who are slower to mature than girls, are not at all ready to sit and complete paper-and-pencil tasks, and the trends are concerning for parents of sons.
This book was doubly valuable to me as an educator and as a mother of boys. Whitmire’s writing is easy to read and well organized. If you have sons, or if you’re just interested in learning more about how our schools are preparing students for the future, check it out!