Challenges of teaching kindergarten boys.
Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels
They say boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog’s tails, an old idiom reflected in the daily life and trials of educating young boys. While female counterparts are usually calm and organized, boys tend to push boundaries and get dirty, always striving for the next adventure no matter their environment. This can create problems in the classroom, especially once timetables become the norm.
Why do boys struggle in organized education?
Of the children held back in kindergarten, boys represent a whopping 61% of these kids. Boys remain almost twice as likely to get suspended in the future, five times as likely to be expelled and statistically, more often require special education, but it’s important to see it isn’t through lack of intelligence but rather, a struggle to adapt to organized education.
But what makes a boy more prone to floundering? Here are some possibilities:
It’s scientifically proven that boys and girls develop differently. Girls’ brains mature earlier, leaving the boys less likely to cope with the structure. Coupled with the sudden implementation of strict behavior expectations and extended focus, boys can be left behind where girls excel.
Boys are wired to explore and discover, searching out excitement and learning with their hands. They’re full of energy to burn and organized education provides little opportunity to express it, leaving boys frustrated and likely to act out simply to expel the excess energy.
School budgets are less focused on the children and more on teachers and resources, including literacy, technology and assessments. All these activities require attention and focus, so the boy’s need to learn in a tactile manner is neglected. Instead, they act out and are labeled ‘problem children’ because they cannot conform.
Having strict expectations and an education readiness mindset has skewed the education system towards girls who can conform. This may be because of the predominant female presence in teaching and class assistant staff.
“All children are different, even between genders. To expect all kids to act and react to the classroom, in the same way, is setting up those with even a minor development delay with a severe disadvantage. Boys are unlucky enough to be most of this category,” says Tiffany Lester, a parenting blogger at Origin Writings and Brit Student.
Improving organized education for boys and girls
Structured education has existed for hundreds of years and is thoroughly ingrained in American Society, but we can look to other countries and even past observations to change how we teach children, how we perceive boys, and may even improve education for both boys and girls if done effectively.
Developmentally appropriate practices
The easiest thing to implement would be scaling back classroom expectations to fit the developmental level of the whole class. Combining a traditional organized education approach with classes specifically tailored to a child’s age and ability would make school less stressful, potentially leading to less disruption.
Include tactile learning
Boys in particular struggle with classroom focus. Including a class developed to teach through action and creation – especially outdoors or in an open hall – gives boys a chance to burn some every and learn with their hands, a natural way for kids to learn new skills and assimilate information.
Variety is the spice of life
All kids are different. Embrace their variability and enjoy seeing how each child learns and grows through different activities. Let them explore and learn, indulge in favorite activities, and move onto harder ones naturally, rather than forcing their development in a strict classroom setting.
Be more boy-friendly
Employ more male teachers and classroom assistants and include a variety of toys for all genders in the play area. Avoid gender stereotypes with activities too; boys and all kids need to explore their environment, mimic adults and develop character in their own way. They’ll learn better if they’re comfortable!
“Stress is the biggest obstacle to success, especially in children. Making sure boys are happy and feel comfortable at school is paramount,” says Timothy Lees, a writer at 1 Day 2 write and Write my X.
Final thoughts: keep it balanced
Boys and girls both need different things when learning, but there’s plenty of overlap to make use of that will benefit boys, and make the whole class more comfortable and benefit learning. With the above tips and changes, boys in early education will find it easier to develop and excel in a school setting until they’re developed enough to respect and adapt to traditional organized schooling.
Regina Wheeler, a writer for Coursework writer, loves discussing management, marketing, and finance. An e-learning consultant for Dissertation writing services and PhD Kingdom, she has been involved in many projects across the country.