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Antares

A male-oriented educational model

35 posts in this topic

I've been reading a series of articles about gender gaps, not just female<male, but also male<female. As we move into post-industrial society, men seem to be losing out- desk jobs and the classroom are both more suited for girls, and 60% of undergraduates are women. The motto used to be: what's good for women is good for all of us. The opposite is also true: What's good for men is also good for all of us. If we were to design an educational model that keep boys in school, what would it look like?

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Being a lazy person, I despise this new emphasis on course work which was introduced because males do better in exams. I rarely bothered to attend any lectures at all thus never handed in any coursework. Clearly it depends on the subject. Yet if you are presented with a set of mathematics problems, you either solve them, showing your working, or you do not. If you learned that from a course or from a book is of no importance, only that you know the material. I can see how educators like coursework. It forces you to pay to sit their course rather than just paying for the exam. After all, there never was a self-taught patent clerk.

The question can be addressed by looking at how single sex schools operate. What is it that the best of each of these do that differs. Once that is established, move to mixed schools. Do boys act like apes to impress the girls? Do the girls act girly to impress the boys?

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There is one very interesting anecdote about education:

Man asks his friend,

-My boy is yet 6 months old now, but its not too far from the time when he will go to school, so when do you think is the best time to start his education?

-It's already late my friend !

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Being a lazy person, I despise this new emphasis on course work which was introduced because males do better in exams.

If all boys were like you, autodidacts, then we wouldn't have a problem. But the fact is that you are you; most boys are not nearly as intelligent nor intellectually-driven. When learning is in direct competition with video games, it doesn't stand a chance. Boys also do not universally test better. As if to confirm the age-old hypothesis that men are more likely to be either geniuses or idiots, the top and bottom of the SAT pool are predominantly men.

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If all boys were like you, autodidacts, then we wouldn't have a problem. But the fact is that you are you; most boys are not nearly as intelligent nor intellectually-driven. When learning is in direct competition with video games, it doesn't stand a chance. Boys also do not universally test better. As if to confirm the age-old hypothesis that men are more likely to be either geniuses or idiots, the top and bottom of the SAT pool are predominantly men.

What if learning were more like video games?

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When learning is in direct competition with video games, it doesn't stand a chance.

Then make education based on video games !!! YaY !!!

OR

just educate your child starting from his childhood, when he/she is not yet corrupted by the television, mass advertising and bloody video games !

Edited by ManWithNoName
8. Post Legibly: Please do not use crazy formatting in the dicussion based subforums.

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Then make education based on video games !!! YaY !!!

OR

just educate your child starting from his childhood, when he/she is not yet corrupted by the television, mass advertising and bloody video games !

True this. As a kid, I was locked out of the house and told to 'go play' as soon as I got home from school. Now, I love video games as much as the next twenty-something, but I spent many, many hours playing them during college. My coursework didn't suffer, and I had a part-time job all the while, but I look back and realize what a colossal waste of time it was. I had some fun experiences, met some interesting people cross-country online, but I could have spent that time learning or doing something useful and productive. Now that I no longer play those games with the same intensity, I realize with a bit of chagrin that I have very little to show for it. I don't regret it, lesson learned and all that, but part of me wishes I could have that time back.

I have a nephew who is--out of his two siblings--quite brilliant mathematically, but he has been glued to his Nintendo DS since the tender age of 6. I'm not his parent, and it's obviously not doing him any harm (in the end, kids just want to play), but if I were blessed with a child whose mind had so much potential, I'd probably home-school him, or invest serious amounts of time teaching him things outside the classroom while making them fun.

Anywho, regarding test-taking, here's an interesting article.

He relied on research (similar to this) which showed that the distribution of scores on apptitude tests was wider for men than women. That means that even though there might be no difference between average test scores, men tend to score both better, and worse, than women at the top and bottom of the distribution.
...the effect of female professors on female students is largest among students with high math ability. In particular, we find that among students in the upper quartile of the SAT math distribution, being assigned to a female professor eliminates the gender gap in introductory course grades and science majors. We also find that professor gender has minimal effects on male students’ outcomes.

Which suggests that in general, aptitude at 'test taking' is more of a psychosocial thing. Elsewhere we see a consensus that males perform better in competitive environments (test-taking or otherwise), which I suppose indirectly supports the assumption* in this thread that 'video games' are the way to a male's hear--er...mind?

*An assumption that seems kindasorta sexist, but I'd have to see what kind of studies have been done on male predilection for video games. :rolleyes:

Edited by ManWithNoName
Editing out formatting in quoted post

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I've been reading a series of articles about gender gaps, not just female<male, but also male<female. As we move into post-industrial society, men seem to be losing out- desk jobs and the classroom are both more suited for girls, and 60% of undergraduates are women. The motto used to be: what's good for women is good for all of us. The opposite is also true: What's good for men is also good for all of us. If we were to design an educational model that keep boys in school, what would it look like?

I predict that INTJ males are predominantly autodidacts (probably females, too?) so the responses here will be severely biased, but this probably is an important topic.

The gamificaton idea is probably a good one in this regard.

So...should schools be segregated?

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Then make education based on video games !!! YaY !!!

Do you have a way to do this that would really work? There are several implementations of this idea already around for kids as early as first grade (that I have seen, maybe earlier). I can't tell that they effectively teach anything beyond maybe some very basic computer skills. The complaint from many parents at my kids' school is that these game assignments take up considerable time and no one can see real benefit out of them. When game time is over, no less time is required doing more "traditional" school work in order for kids to learn the concepts.

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While there are observable, average gender-wide differences in learning behavior, deciding which method is best for a child based just on their sex (as you would be doing with boy and girl schools), won't help those children who are not average. Especially since people outside of the "average" account for large percentages, such as 20% or 40%. Even 10% of a population falling outside of the average is significant when you're talking about large amounts of people.

Instead, I support different learning methods based on observation of the individual child. There are lots and lots of different school-models and learning methods out there. From the Sudsburry "no curricullium, learn-at-your-own-pace" model, to classic classroom lecturing. Having lots of different types of schools could realistically be implemented in densely populated areas, for rural areas, you might have to just have different classes and less options. But this "one-size-fits" all approach is proving to not work so well. Especially in a world where education is so important. In the old days, you could get away with bad teaching methods because all you needed to know was the 3 Rs. If you were still reading slowly by age 10 because you couldn't pay attention in class, no big deal. Now-a-days you need to learn quickly and efficiently because there is a lot to learn.

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I think, first, you have to re-establish the purpose of education.

To prepare for work? Many university courses no longer do this...

To endow general knowledge of the world?

To keep children busy while parents work?

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I predict that INTJ males are predominantly autodidacts (probably females, too?) so the responses here will be severely biased, but this probably is an important topic.

I can attest that as an INTJ female, I'm very much an autodidact. I've been on this forum since I was fourteen and no kidding, it helped me understand the world and the extremes of the human psyche (and we're an extreme bunch) better than AP Psych ever did. I also read widely outside of class, and see class time as a waste. In Pre-Calc, I could use five minutes to learn what the teacher goes through in an hour. If I could get away with it in college, I wouldn't go to class as often as I do. It's very tempting to say (and my INTP friend does say): "Screw these people. If they need others to keep them learning, they obviously don't deserve to learn." But as a society, we all bear the cost of this.

As to video games, I've addressed this in my iPad thread: I don't think it's a good idea to get kids hooked onto technology too early. Too often it becomes a crutch. I was recently in high school, and I remember vividly that some kids preferred to use a calculator to do 8+7; my friend devalues Calc 2: "Who needs to know how to integrate these functions? We have Mathematica! What it does is teach us a truckload of things we'll never use!" As well, it puts them in a high stimulation environment. What if instead of just using video games as play time, they do it in CLASS as well? Will they be able to get away from it? Will they be so hooked on their machines that they cannot properly function as a social animal?

Will they developed simulated ADHD, so that they can no longer properly control their attention? I was born on the cusp of Gen Y and Z (the so-called "internet generation"). I started using the internet as a third grader, yet its effect on me is apparent. The first thing I do when I got back to my dorm (five minutes ago) is get on the computer. It's such a force of habit, and this is coming from an ADHD'er who has trouble forming habits in any other aspect of life. It's rare that I ever leave my room without my phone, and when I'm away from my computer, I think about what e-mails I might be expecting or what posts might have been responded to.

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Yes I'm an autodidact as well. The thing I think that would've kept me more engaged in school is if they taught me something I could use in everyday life. I mean I was an Economics major in college and didn't even know how to write a check or how the banking system worked until I got out of college! Other useful things to know maybe how to do basic fixing around the house, or send us to work a little early so we adapt to the work environment.

For most men though, I think the problem is that when we hit our teens, we have a strong desire to compete and to have sex. That seems to distract us A LOT (chasing girls, playing video games, fighting, racing cars) as opposed to women at that age who seem to have a much easier time sitting still and reading books. I'm not really sure how to address that? I really didn't start teaching myself things until after I left college and saw how inferior my education was to where I wanted to be; I just felt like I was going through the motions and spewing out what I learned. Even though I did fine in school, I found it boring/non motivating and it really dulled my senses. In fact, after I left college, I think I had a few years of withdrawal of where I had to pull myself back to who I really was before I started teaching myself.

Even more upsetting was that I put up with that BS with the promise (from my parents' generation) that a good job would be waiting for me on the way out. I graduated in early 2000s and guess what? No jobs! So I put myself through that for nothing. What an effing waste of my time.

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Ummm, I'm not sure what it would look like. But I don't think we need a male-orientated educational model. What we need is an education system that is more catered to the needs of the individuals. Everyone is different and learn things in different ways. But the education system tries to put everyone in the same baskets and that's why it doesn't work for so many; besides the fact that so many students also come from messed up families or neighbourhoods which need to be fixed first in order to be able to teach the young.

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While there are observable, average gender-wide differences in learning behavior, deciding which method is best for a child based just on their sex (as you would be doing with boy and girl schools), won't help those children who are not average. Especially since people outside of the "average" account for large percentages, such as 20% or 40%. Even 10% of a population falling outside of the average is significant when you're talking about large amounts of people.

Instead, I support different learning methods based on observation of the individual child. There are lots and lots of different school-models and learning methods out there. From the Sudsburry "no curricullium, learn-at-your-own-pace" model, to classic classroom lecturing. Having lots of different types of schools could realistically be implemented in densely populated areas, for rural areas, you might have to just have different classes and less options. But this "one-size-fits" all approach is proving to not work so well. Especially in a world where education is so important. In the old days, you could get away with bad teaching methods because all you needed to know was the 3 Rs. If you were still reading slowly by age 10 because you couldn't pay attention in class, no big deal. Now-a-days you need to learn quickly and efficiently because there is a lot to learn.

And yet, schools are currently designed on the sensors model; when intuitives make up 25% of the population.

---------- Post added 05-09-2012 at 01:04 PM ----------

I posted a similar thread a while back; it went no where.

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I posted a similar thread a while back; it went no where.

Apparently this one is heading in to the same direction ?!?!?!? :confused:

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Step one: abandon the "herd approach" (teaching kids in large groups)

Step two: doesn't matter if step one is ignored.

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Step one: abandon the "herd approach" (teaching kids in large groups)

Step two: doesn't matter if step one is ignored.

Monte, what do you think of the Kahn Academy method of watching instruction at home, at your own pace, then coming to school and having the teacher help you with individualized instruction?

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If we were to design an educational model that keep boys in school, what would it look like?

Lets dispense with the male\female argument because I really don't see any logical reason why either sex is more suited to sitting behind a desk all day. It's a false premise.

So the next question is, why is keeping anyone in school a goal? Shouldn't people either attend to school or not according to their own desire to do so. And why do we need to tailor such to one's anatomy? Pardon me but I'm pretty sure anyone can read a book and parrot it back in the fashion required to gain useless bits of paper at great expense.

The world has literally gone crazy with this male\female issue. It's a physical anatomical difference ok. It's got nothing to do with ones capacity to perform a certain job or task unless that task is directly related to the anatomy.

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Lets dispense with the male\female argument because I really don't see any logical reason why either sex is more suited to sitting behind a desk all day. It's a false premise.

So the next question is, why is keeping anyone in school a goal? Shouldn't people either attend to school or not according to their own desire to do so. And why do we need to tailor such to one's anatomy? Pardon me but I'm pretty sure anyone can read a book and parrot it back in the fashion required to gain useless bits of paper at great expense.

The world has literally gone crazy with this male\female issue. It's a physical anatomical difference ok. It's got nothing to do with ones capacity to perform a certain job or task unless that task is directly related to the anatomy.

Read up on some Developmental Psych. Boys need more space during recess, and longer recess times, to burn off that excess energy. Women are doing better in college now for the same reasons. While we may need better overall teaching strategies, we definitely need to start dealing with how the current system is failing males.

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I recently signed up for some of the free online courses Stanford's AI class and the off-shoot Udacity

If this had been around when I was in school, I would have been a straight A student. I am learning material far faster than I ever have, and when I run into a tough spot, I can pause the material and look through the extra material, rather than get left behind by the rest of the class.

It's also great because they've built in little quizzes and interactive bits, which definitely keep you engaged. Often, they'll teach an idea, and ask a question which really makes you think. Then they'll explain how to get there. It's nice because you get instant validation of your understanding of an idea, plus you're not falling asleep.

This model of education is fantastic, I think this idea will really truly help the next generation reach their fullest potential. As it is, I'm just trying to keep up. The polymath of today is tomorrow's dimwit.

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I recently signed up for some of the free online courses Stanford's AI class and the off-shoot Udacity

If this had been around when I was in school, I would have been a straight A student. I am learning material far faster than I ever have, and when I run into a tough spot, I can pause the material and look through the extra material, rather than get left behind by the rest of the class.

It's also great because they've built in little quizzes and interactive bits, which definitely keep you engaged. Often, they'll teach an idea, and ask a question which really makes you think. Then they'll explain how to get there. It's nice because you get instant validation of your understanding of an idea, plus you're not falling asleep.

This model of education is fantastic, I think this idea will really truly help the next generation reach their fullest potential. As it is, I'm just trying to keep up. The polymath of today is tomorrow's dimwit.

That's interesting, Polymath20. I make my living from being an e-learning developer and I'm always keeping my ear to the ground for feedback.

The experience you described is exactly what we are going for. Unfortunately, it's a weakness in our field that evaluation isn't done more often than it is. Another weakness is to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach in the hope of maximising results and minimizing development so, to some degree, you're lucky that it suits you.

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I wonder how much of a truly comprehensive education is completely covered for free online? K-12 and college?

If it's quite a lot... what does that mean for public schools?

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