Education, politics, and anything else that catches my attention.
Back in the 70's when I was in college I had to do research on the history of teaching reading. In the bad old days of the USSR it was discovered that boys do not develop the crucial reading skill of tracking until they are nearly seven years old. For that reason in the USSR, it was forbidden to teach any child to read before age seven the communist ideals being if all can't do it, none can do it. Fast forward to today and what used to be first grade word recognition, word chunks, letter recognition, writing and early numeracy learning is now in Kindergarten or earlier. The expectation now is that all kids will be fluently reading by the end of Kinder. If boys are simply not mature enough psychologically to decode, is it a fault of their nature or a fault of the schools artificially pushing skills into earlier and sometimes inappropriate ages? Data shows that boys are more likely to be labeled as learning disabled, behaviorally impaired or just plain problems. How many little boys, bored, stuck on computers, lacking access to physical activity are put on lists? How many boys are stuck in programs where collaboration trumps achievement? Our schools have become so female dominated that many boys feel unwelcome from the start. This Finnish study should be sounding alarms here. But instead we're worried about "fairness.'
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