I’ve ordered the book already! I’ve noticed this too in the classes I’m teaching and observing, and I’d love a good resource, even being a boy myself, on how to reach young males.

Posted by Nick on January 24, 2009, 11:49 PM

OMG – You are a boy! LOL (sorry could not resist)

Actually – it’s funny that we (we being teachers) believe we can teach all kids the same. Hello – we’re all different. The book really points out the obvious, we’re all different and we learn differently.

Glad you ordered it, can’t wait to discuss it with you.

Posted by Doris on January 25, 2009, 11:54 AM

I have always been concerned that Hogwarts did not apparently have a Learning Support Base. If it had, then perhaps the twins would have been diagnosed as having wizard’s version of dyslexia. This would explain their creativity, innovative spirit and underachievement at school.There lack of qualifications didn’t hold them back in the end though did it?

Posted by Ruth on January 29, 2009, 02:50 PM

Ruth you are so correct there! The twins would have needed something that didn’t come in a traditional school. While they had love and friendship they stayed, but were only minimally successful. They are the poster boys for creating a more hand on classroom.

Posted by Doris on January 30, 2009, 03:17 PM

Good post, and thanks. F&G still had love and friendship at Hogwarts when they ‘did a bunk,’ though ~ what they didn’t have, and what precipitated their decision to leave, was incompetent teaching à la Umbridge.

I’m all for elevating regard for the teaching profession in the U.S. by increasing salaries, to start, thereby raising the quality of teaching via competition for coveted spots.

It’s hard to get highly-qualified applicants for the teaching pool of tomorrow without raising the expectations of our under-served students today.

Posted by elly2.0 on January 30, 2009, 04:09 PM

In the case of Fred and George, I personally think that they just didn’t want to put any effort into their classwork. As for boys in general, this is certainly something I have noticed both in and out of the classroom. While video games may be the case, I agree with the positive role model idea. People always focus on positive role models for girls that I feel boys are, occasionally, left in the wayside. Like a reverse form of sexism, we are neglecting boys while helping girls.

Posted by TheCrogePodge on January 30, 2009, 05:30 PM

I’ve frequently used F&G as examples of people who get “left behind” in an atmosphere of heavy standardization. Only certain types of knowledge “count” for anything, and F&G’s brilliance didn’t fit the model.

It’s no coincidence that Rowling had them leave school during the year she most heavily satirized government-imposed standardized curriculum.

Posted by Travis Prinzi on January 30, 2009, 07:33 PM

Interesting, I have a little boy who is incredibly intelligent but unmotivated. It sounds like I should read this book.

Posted by crushonlupin on January 30, 2009, 07:41 PM

This is really interesting. I have a little (ha, he’s 15 years old and 6 inches taller than me) brother who is very intelligent and witty, but he really doesn’t get good grades in school. The doctors tried to give him medication for ADD, but my parents have a firm disbelief in it (they tried to get me on it, too, and I turned out just fine.) We went to a school that was very much academically oriented and small (grades K-12) where everything was standardized with a certain curriculum that nobody changed, and coincidentally, never had a male valedictorian in our 55 year history. My little brother and sister just transferred to a different school in the area, and coincidentally, getting much better grades. At the last school, my brother decided that he was too stupid to go to college, but now he wants to go to tech school to be a nurse. This sounds like a very interesting book, I’ll pass it along to my mother!

Posted by BrianaTheBard [FTC!] on January 30, 2009, 09:01 PM

I’m sorry, but I don’t completely agree with what you are saying. I feel like I did not belong in school all through my life and I’m a girl! Feeling demotivated is not limited to boys only. Although I can agree that perhaps there is more boys than girls finding school difficult or unsuited for their personality and needs, I wouldn’t limit this research to them only. What you are saying here could also apply to many girls that I know have struggled with school, me included.

Other than that little comment, I’m definitely interested in reading this book! There seems to be a lot working against school life in present time, such as “more interesting things to do” like video games and things on the internet. These distractions and the things that you’ve mentioned, as well as many many other problems can all play a part in lowering enjoyment and performance in schools. It’s a very interesting topic…

Posted by Sophie on January 30, 2009, 09:05 PM

Great entry! I’m definitely going to check this book out as soon as possible and let my friends w/children know about it.

Posted by Amikia on January 30, 2009, 09:59 PM

I think that poor diet could be added to your list of things that are limiting the potential of boys (and lots of girls too) in the classroom.

Posted by purplekim on January 31, 2009, 12:26 AM

My experience with ADD, and while I’ll admit the experience is only that of a couple of boys, while I have read a lot and heard a lot, is that the signs portrayed by the Weasley twins are most commonly those associated with ADD, so perhaps there is something there that hasn’t been pointed out by Jo.

This really made me think, I hadn’t thought about the twins that way before and I thank you :)

Posted by Casey [LoE] on January 31, 2009, 07:08 AM

Okay, maybe all of that’s true, but I think video games would affect boys and girls (of course, maybe I’m one of the few girls who plays video games obsessively)

Posted by Olivia [Phoenix] WBM! on January 31, 2009, 07:39 AM

Great comments guys -

PellegrinoSophie I think you are correct that many girls do feel a disconnect when it comes to the school system and how it fits into their lives, but statistically speaking boys have a higher drop out rate then girls, that is why the book is geared to boys in the classroom. I also think we need to look at all students and how to improve our classrooms to fit the needs.

The book does address diet and video games, and how many of our boys don’t learn in a linear manner. (the way school is taught) If this is true then we as educators have to address this if we’re going to do what is best for our children.

Thanks everyone,


Posted by Doris on January 31, 2009, 09:08 AM
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