The Private Man

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The Classroom Is Bad For Boys

We need men to be teachers. Imagine a classroom where students are scored fairly, where boys and girls are treated equally. Those are the classrooms where the men are doing the teaching. According to this article, a survey in the UK shows that female teachers are bad for the business of gender equality in the classroom.

I remember my days in the classroom, from both a student and teacher’s point of years. Yes, I am a certified high school teacher but have not taught in years. During my student teaching days, I felt the undercurrent of misandry over 20 years ago in a large public highschool. The female teachers made no secret of “teaching the boys a lesson” with their unequal grading.

It should be noted that the American public school system is far more about indoctrination than actual education. Our public education system is modeled after the Prussian system of education.

Seeking to replace the controlling functions of the local aristocracy, the Prussian court attempted to instill social obedience in the citizens through indoctrination. Every individual had to become convinced, in the core of his being, that the King was just, his decisions always right, and the need for obedience paramount.

Yeah… you read that correctly. Yes, I know that the source is Wikipedia and may not be trusted. But looking at how much indoctrination is involved in public education here in the United States, it’s easy to see how the Prussian educational model became the standard. There’s more:

American educators were fascinated by German educational trends. In 1818, John Griscom gave a favorable report of Prussian education. English translations were made of French philosopher Victor Cousin’s work, “Report on the State of Public Education in Prussia.” Calvin E. Stowe, Henry Barnard, Horace Mann, George Bancroft and Joseph Cogswell all had a vigorous interest in German education. In 1843, Mann traveled to Germany to investigate how the educational process worked. Upon his return to the United States, he lobbied heavily to have the “Prussian model” adopted.

Google up some Horace Mann for more information on how much influence he had on creating the American public education system. It’s elucidating.


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24 thoughts on “The Classroom Is Bad For Boys

  1. You’ve read this right?

    if not, have fun.

  2. I passed this along in my blog today. Good catch, PM.

    • I am always very concerned about how young men are treated in the classroom. Having a teaching certificate and some experience in the educational trenches gives me some more in-depth knowledge.

      Public education in the United States hates boys.

      Thanks for the link love.

      • It isn’t just from the students’ end. A male teacher also has to deal with misandry from his fellow female teachers.

        A little over ten years ago, I worked for a time as a substitute teacher in my hometown while I was regaining my bearings and making plans for my next move out of there to the bigger city (which turned out to be DC). For the most part, being a male teacher in the public high schools was much better than in the elementary and middle schools. There tend to be more male teachers at the higher grades and less at the lower grades. I met some very competent and agreeable female teachers who knew their subjects and cared about the kids. I also met some nasty and bitter bitches who obviously shouldn’t have gone into education, but had invested too much time in the system and were just counting the days until retirement. My run-ins with these women included taking their seat in the teachers’ lounge (when I didn’t know it was THEIR seat); complaining to them that they never left out complete or coherent lesson plans, where I had to fend for myself in making up subject matter to cover for the day when I didn’t know the subject; and not saying hello to them in the hallway when they didn’t say hello to me. Petty stuff. And, don’t get me started about the black female administrators in the nearly all-black schools. They were some of the worst, trying to make a mark in two minority categories: black and female.

  3. I do psycho-educational evaluations for schools. During grad school, we were taught that never use grades as a basis for academic achievement.

    They are statistically unreliable. That was somewhat shocking to me but as I’ve worked in the schools, I have learned how that statement is so true.

  4. just visiting on said:

    I remember reading about the Prussian model a few years ago and seeing the similarities. Chilling. Let’s not forget the trend in the last 20 years to medicate boy’s into compliance.

  5. susanawalsh on said:

    Excellent post, Private Man! I wound up pulling two kids out of public school in the 90s and putting them into private schools we could not afford. Living in the backyard of the Harvard Graduate School of Education made for particularly heinous experiences in the public school, which served as laboratories for Harvard’s misandrist ideas. This is a cause near and dear to my heart.

    • The public schools in the Boston area are a petri dish for all the latest educational fads coming from all those universities. I pulled myself out of public schools and finished high school in a private school. My parents approved even though my step father was on the school committee for my local public school system. He fought political correctness at every turn and wound up being unelected.

  6. “Schools were designed by Horace Mann and Barnard Sears and Harper of the University of Chicago and Thorndyke of Columbia Teachers College and some other men to be instruments of the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.

    To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic – because the community life which protects the dependent and the weak is dead. The products of schooling are, as I’ve said, irrelevant. Well-schooled people are irrelevant. They can sell film and razor blades, push paper and talk on the telephones, or sit mindlessly before a flickering computer terminal but as human beings they are useless. Useless to others and useless to themselves.”-John Taylor Gatto NYC/NY state teacher of the year

    Here are some links to a few excellent reads/videos concerning public schools by John Taylor Gatto.

  7. Quite a lot of people where I went to university (Oceania), wanted to become teachers because it was one of the easiest degrees to earn (others were psychology, social sciences, sports and leisure, management).
    They didn’t have any actual interest in children, and would refer to them as “monsters” or “ankle biters”. Despite the fact, that to my untrained eye, they seemed to share many of the traits so I thought they’d see something in common.
    These same people of course were the ones bedhopping, being irrational and getting drunk. But of course they always wanted to be right (even if they weren’t).
    And these will be the ones bringing up the next generation.

  8. I went to Catholic school ’til the middle of the 5th grade and would never send my son to one. I heard of a new torture imposed, not at mine but at others. Unruly boys were made to wear girls’ first Communion gowns in class. I never saw it but have no doubt.

    The women who taught me (I started 1st grade in 1958) are gone from the educational establishment. They are professionals, business execs, etc. We have the dregs for the most part, not entirely. They think, act and respond like a union i e extract as much money as possible for as little work as possible. I think any self-respecting teacher should watch “Waiting for Superman” and draw “the necessary conclusions”. Fat chance.

    At the University of Idaho (granted, no Harvard, although don’t tell the alumni that) it turned out that 95% of the grades given in the entire School of Education were “A”s. In defense of that the department head said “Well, they’re education majors, getting an education, so one would expect that.” You might as well get your degree out of a cracker jack box. Pay them more? Well yes, if parents could choose who they got and remuneration adjusted accordingly. No, union says a teacher-is-a-teacher-is-a-teacher, and they are all great. BTW we haven’t fired a single teacher in Boise in a decade. Name ANY other profession, business, calling that has that retention rate.

    • DC Phil on said:

      One very trenchant criticism of American teachers that has been going on for years is that they’re woefully unprepared in their subjects. It’s a crying shame when you have math or science teachers, especially, who didn’t major in math or science. Instead, they had to take all kinds of bullshit “education” courses for their major.

      I remember distinctly one time when I was subbing and subbed for a math teacher. It was 4th grade and they were doing fractions. After taking the textbook and mentally reviewing the ins and outs of fractions (had to clear out the cobwebs after not doing them for many years), I was able to get through the lesson and do some things to help illustrate to the kids how to get a firmer handle on the tricks with fractions. One kid asked, “Are you a math teacher?” I replied, “No, I just paid attention when I did this years ago.” Silence.

      Now, how is it that I could recall this years later and not be a math teacher, but an inner city math teacher couldn’t do the fractions him or herself? Criminal.

      • When the same people at UNIVERSITY have problems with fractions … you wonder how the education is going to proceed.
        Which is why the “license” to teach is guarded so zealously … so that those who have any skill but may be suffering through this economic turbulence, can’t be allowed to menace the livelihood of the unskilled (_many_ new teachers of this generation, shouldn’t be).

      • Yes, indeedy. Early last year, I came across a 30 yr old who was taking basic math at a local community college as part of her degree requirements. She was majoring in communications (Gawd . . .), but what I found funny was that basic stuff like long and short division, fractions, etc. were all on PowerPoint slides. Now, how could someone be proficient in PowerPoint but not basic fractions, or the multiplication tables.

        And, so the girl said, “Why the hell do I need to take math? It’s not relevant to what I’m doing.”

  9. There were no private schools in the little burg where I grew up in the 1970s and 80s. Nearly all the teachers in the public school were women. There wasn’t a lot of misandry. But there was a lot of nascent feminism consisting of everyone being told that there were really no differences between boys and girls other than their sexual equipment. Boys and girls thought the same, processed information the same, learned and retained information the same, and would reach “correct” conclusions the same way and at the same rates. Since most teachers were women, the “correct” conclusions in history, psychology, social studies, writing, and English were whatever the women decided were correct.

    I was also in Boy Scouts and went all the way through it until I had to leave when I turned 18. All the leaders and committee members were men. Women could not be Scoutmasters. It was good for us boys.

    • DC Phil on said:

      I went to private school from 1977-1989, and the ratio of female to male teachers was almost 2:1. Most of the female teachers I had I respected, but mainly because they knew their stuff and cared about all their students. One that I remember very fondly was a 6th grade teacher. She taught us about South America in geography class and, as luck would have it, wound up there about 12 years later teaching the OPEC kids in Venezuela. She stayed there for 12 years and had a blast. Ah, such fun days coloring those South America maps!

      I didn’t really detect any nascent feminism in those days because I didn’t know what it was. The school was also a tight-knit community where the parents and teachers usually knew each other and the parents had a hand in their kids’ education. In a good way, mind you, and in no way like the “helicopter parenting” that emerged in the late 90s.

      • DC Phil: I didn’t know it was nascent feminism either. I know that only in retrospect. At the time we just believed what our teachers told us because, after all, they were teachers, and they were in authority over us, and they had our best interests at heart, and they wouldn’t lie to us, and they would know better because they were older and had been to school and stuff to learn about all this so they could impart it to us.


      • DC Phil on said:

        To a point, yes. But, they also grew up in a different time than ours, and so the societal expectations were different.

        Years ago, I gave up the blame game with my “elders” because it was counterproductive to me. For example, I once had a professor encourage me to transfer from my school to a larger school in the bordering state. He told me that, with my grade, I should have no problem. But, when I went to the school to inquire about admissions, they weren’t going to give me a dime in financial aid, no matter how needy I might have been. That was their policy — take it or leave it. At the time, I blamed this professor for giving me incorrect information. But, later on, I asked myself, “Since when did I think he knew anything about how financial aid worked?” Yep, he did — for our school. Not for the larger school.


      • I see my attempt at irony wasn’t lost on you, Phil.

      • “Helicopter parenting” can also be seen as an attempt to interfere with the destruction to a young mind wrought by an unqualified or biased teacher.
        Many teachers would prefer to give marks for assignments, without returning the marked sheets – that allows them to disguise their own incompetence and mask their favouritism.
        It’s a trend that even continues into university, and some teachers I’ve had the misfortune of studying under have said “Just because you pay for your education, does not mean you have a right to a return of marked assignments” and “All these hurdles that we put for you are so that you are equipped for the REAL world”.
        One can hope that such teachers are fired quickly, but too many (uneducated, ignorant or ineffectual) parents have this idea that a teacher should be granted automatic respect regardless of their conduct towards students.

  10. J Parker on said:

    It’s not just boys who suffer from the sorts of women attracted to K-12 teaching – girls do too. The women teachers are generally afraid of and incompetent in math and science – for many, that’s why they became teachers – but at least they expect boys to do well in these subjects. With the girls, they’re content to let them be incompetent, perhaps on the grounds that girls won’t have to know that stuff anyway.

    Bad teachers are bad for all kids, even if it looks like they favor one group or another.

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