The system is leaving boys behind ... Photo: Getty Images
Boys will be boys, they tell us, but how many of us actually take this adage to heart and embrace it?
I am the mother of four boys, now all adults. If I think back to their childhoods and adolescence, it’s a whirlwind of movement and physicality, adventure and injury, rough and tumble play, of fart jokes and stinky sports shoes, short and to-the-point communication, and lots and lots of food and Milo. (Actually, it’s not so different when we all get together now.)
This description of life with boys won’t surprise most people – and yet why is it that the one place where children spend most of their time, school, is so stacked against meeting boys’ needs?
A recent survey in WA found that girls are starting to outperform boys in maths and science, which hasn’t been the case previously. Fantastic news for our girls – these fields badly need some gender balance, but it’s a shame if it’s at boys’ expense. We are also seeing disturbing numbers of boys in remedial classes and in behaviour management units in our schools across the country.