Ontario board pushes for all-male school to fix decline in male achievement

Story from the leftist Globe and Mail. (H/T Andrew)


Boys left behind by Toronto’s public schools are about to feel a firm force pulling them forward: the strong hand of Chris Spence, the Toronto District School Board’s new education director, who is calling for an all-male school and more “boy-friendly” classrooms to address male underachievement.

Boys’ disengagement at school not only leads to poor grades and unproductive lives, but also can lead to the kind of violence Toronto schools have struggled to control in recent years, Dr. Spence told reporters before presenting a sweeping vision document, his first since becoming director this year, to the board’s planning and priorities committee last night.

“The real objective is to cast a critical eye on how we reach and teach our boys,” said Dr. Spence, whose 2008 book, The Joys of Teaching Boys , makes the case that boys learn differently from girls and have suffered under a “unisex model for child rearing and teaching.”

In Toronto public schools last year, boys were 3.5 times more likely to be suspended. They underperform compared with girls regardless of age, socioeconomic class or ethnicity, and are more likely to need learning support programs.

[…] [Spence] has long advocated for strong role models for boys, to offset what he calls a “fatherless world” for youngsters. A decade ago, he pioneered a mentoring program called Boys 2 Men, which remains popular among Toronto and Hamilton students.

His new vision calls for a significant extension beyond that, to include the boys-only academy that would open for kindergarten to Grade 3 students next September and add a grade with each successive year. It would operate as a “school of choice” for interested families.

[…]Dr. Spence pledged to extend a sampling of a male-focused curriculum across all his schools. Within existing co-ed schools, he wants to set up “demonstration classrooms,” some all-male and others using “boy-friendly” teaching techniques that recognize their different learning style.

He hopes the initiatives will also lure more male teachers to work in elementary schools, where they are underrepresented.

“Boys really thrive in environments that are hands-on; they thrive in environments in which there is structure, but also where they’re empowered” to move about the classroom, he said. Under the traditional unisex approach, “When every bone in a boy’s body is telling him to get up and move around, we’re usually telling him to sit down and be quiet.”

Read the whole thing. Highly recommended. This is what I would love to do in my second career after I retire from computer science – but I refuse to join a teachers union! Especially not one like CUPE, which is notoriously leftist. Like, “Van Jones” leftist.

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