The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do [NOOK Book]

Overview

From the moment they step into the classroom, boys begin to struggle. They get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls; in elementary school, they’re diagnosed with learning disorders four times as often. By eighth grade huge numbers are reading below basic level. And by high school, they’re heavily outnumbered in AP classes and, save for the realm of athletics, show indifference to most extra­curricular activities. Perhaps most alarmingly, boys now account for less than 43 percent of ...
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The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do

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Overview

From the moment they step into the classroom, boys begin to struggle. They get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls; in elementary school, they’re diagnosed with learning disorders four times as often. By eighth grade huge numbers are reading below basic level. And by high school, they’re heavily outnumbered in AP classes and, save for the realm of athletics, show indifference to most extra­curricular activities. Perhaps most alarmingly, boys now account for less than 43 percent of those enrolled in college, and the gap widens every semester!

The imbalance in higher education isn’t just a “boy problem,” though. Boys’ decreasing college attendance is bad news for girls, too, because ad­missions officers seeking balanced student bodies pass over girls in favor of boys. The growing gender imbalance in education portends massive shifts for the next generation: how much they make and whom they marry.

Interviewing hundreds of parents, kids, teachers, and experts, award-winning journalist Peg Tyre drills below the eye-catching statistics to examine how the educational system is failing our sons. She explores the convergence of culprits, from the emphasis on high-stress academics in preschool and kindergarten, when most boys just can’t tolerate sitting still, to the outright banning of recess, from the demands of No Child Left Behind, with its rigid emphasis on test-taking, to the boy-unfriendly modern curriculum with its focus on writing about “feelings” and its purging of “high-action” reading material, from the rise of video gaming and schools’ unease with technology to the lack of male teachers as role models.

But this passionate, clearheaded book isn’t an exercise in finger-pointing. Tyre, the mother of two sons, offers notes from the front lines—the testimony of teachers and other school officials who are trying new techniques to motivate boys to learn again, one classroom at a time. The Trouble with Boys gives parents, educators, and anyone concerned about the state of education a manifesto for change—one we must undertake right away lest school be-come, for millions of boys, unalterably a “girl thing.”


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
American boys are in trouble, and it's not just their problem; it's ours. By every marker, boys today are failing: They like school less, do less well, and get expelled more often than girls. If they do finish high school, they are less likely to go to college and even less likely to graduate. To keep up gender parity (male college enrollment has slid to 43 percent), schools are rejecting teenage girls better qualified than many of the males they are accepting. Newsweek General Editor Peg Tyre understands the breadth of this crisis: This book was inspired by the almost overwhelming response to her magazine's cover feature on this ever-widening gap. In The Trouble with Boys, she addresses the causes (which include "No Child Left Behind" curricula) and cures including changing educational strategies. A welcome school bell alarm.
Dan Zak
Tyre presents years of research and reporting from schools around the country and arrives at a gut-punch of a conclusion: Education in the United States is not geared to boys. Teaching methods favor girls. Boys disengage as early as pre-school and never quite recover. Tyre has the numbers, studies and interviews to back it up. The Trouble with Boys is textbooky in style and form, but its conclusions are striking.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

In a spinoff from her 2006 cover story for Newsweek, "The Boy Crisis," Tyre delivers a cogent, reasoned overview of the current national debate about why boys are falling behind girls' achievement in school and not attending college in the same numbers. While the education emphasis in the 1990s was on helping girls succeed, especially in areas of math and science, boys are lagging behind, particularly in reading and writing; parents and educators, meanwhile, are scrambling to address the problems, from questioning teaching methods in preschool to rethinking single-sex schools. Tyre neatly sums up the information for palatable parental consumption: although boys tend to be active and noisy, and come to verbal skills later than girls, early-education teachers, mostly female, have little tolerance for the way boys express themselves. The accelerated curriculum and de-emphasis on recess do not render the classroom "boy friendly," and already set boys up for failure that grows more entrenched with each grade. Tyre touches on important concerns about the lack of male role models in many boys' lives, the perils of video-game obsession and the slippery dialogue over boys' brains versus girls' brains. Tyre treads carefully, offering a terrifically useful synthesis of information. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
"Striking ... Tyre presents years of research and reporting from schools around the country and arrives at a gut-punch of a conclusion: Education in the United States is not geared to boys ... Tyre has the numbers, studies and interviews to back it up."
—WashingtonPost.com

"Boys have their troubles and The Trouble with Boys so sensitively reveals them. Parents, teachers and others of us who work with kids will do so more effectively having read this vital book. Boys everywhere will be the fortunate beneficiaries of Peg Tyre's insights and suggestions."
—Mel Levine, M.D. author of the #1 New York Times bestseller A Mind at a Time

“A riveting, deeply thoughtful and encouraging book that leads the way to embracing the best in our boys.”
—Louann Brizendine, author of the national bestseller The Female Brain and the forthcoming The Male Brain

"Every once in a while a book comes along that offers us an opportunity to change the way we look at something we thought we understood. The Trouble With Boys offers just such an opportunity. It combines meticulous documentation with eloquent first person accounts in a way that good teachers know is the best way to present challenging ideas responsibly and persuasively."
—James Garbarino, PhD, author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them

The Trouble with Boys is a rarity--a page-turner about teaching and learning. It does a brilliant job of demonstrating the mismatch between what many boys need and what education, from preschool through college, gives them. Peg Tyre is a wise and engaging guide on everything from what's going on in classrooms to the impact of video games and the findings of cutting-edge neuroscience. Her nuanced treatment of the plusses and minuses of single-sex education as well as her critique of faddish brain-based education are especially eye-opening. This is a book for all parents, whether they're raising girls or boys, as well as for everyone who cares about how we're educating our kids--which ought to be all of us.”
—David Kirp, Professor, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC-Berkeley

"A new and insightful view of why boys are turning off from school and what parents and educators can do to bring them back…Brims with practical ideas as well as a sophisticated understanding of why boys have become the new underdogs from preschool through college."
—Judith Kleinfeld, Professor of Psychology and Director, Boys Project, University of Alaska Fairbanks

“A clear-eyed, wide ranging, deeply thoughtful book about what's going on with boys . . . and why we should care. This is the book about boys that could change our world.”
—Jon Scieszka, Library of Congress-appointed “Ambassador for Children’s Literature,” and author of numerous bestsellers and award winners including “The Time Warp Trio” books, The Stinky Cheese Man and Math Curse

“A terrific book, solidly documented…Should be helpful to parents and teachers who need to understand why boys are falling behind and do something about it.”
—Diane Ravitch, Professor, New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, and author of Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform
 
"Passionate, powerful and persuasive, Peg Tyre's beautifully researched book, The Trouble withBoys offers the reader a compelling  explanation for why boys are not being served well by America's schools.   I recommend this book to any mother who is confused or worried by her son's struggles in the classroom.  What you learn here will help you to guide your son's education.  I suspect that  teachers may feel that Peg Tyre has given voice to their deepest doubts about the things we make boys endure in school.  I urge all educators to read The Trouble with Boys. You won't teach boys in the same way once you’ve finished it.”
—Michael Thompson, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Raising Cain: Protecting The Emotional Life of Boys

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307449771
  • Publisher: Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
  • Publication date: 9/9/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 665,712
  • File size: 733 KB

Meet the Author

PEG TYRE was, until recently, a senior writer at Newsweek specializing in social trends and education. She has won numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, a Clarion Award, and a National Education Writers Association Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, novelist Peter Blauner, and their two sons.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Table of Contents


Introduction: The Trouble with Boys     1
Notes from the Front: The Edina Experiment     17
The Scope of the Problem: It's Not Just Your Son     23
The Doubters: Why Some People (Mistakenly) Say Boys Are Doing Just Fine     35
Preschool Blues: The First Signs of Trouble     51
Notes from the Front: Fixing the School, Not the Boy     79
Kindergarten: The New First Grade     83
Requiem for Recess: Yes, They Need It-More Than You Think     101
Pay Attention: Your Son, His Teacher, and ADHD     107
Notes from the Front: The Wilmette Solution     117
Good-bye, Mr. Chips: The Vanishing Male Teacher     125
Boys and Literacy: Why Johnny Can't (or Won't) Read     135
Thinking with a Boy Brain: What Brain Science Tells Us     163
(Video) Games Boys Play: The World of Electronic Distraction     183
Single-Sex Schooling: Could It Be the Answer?     201
Notes from the Front: Project Earthquake     225
Smart Boys Who Get Bad Grades: Are Schools Biased Against Boys?     231
Boys Alone: How We Devalue What Boys Need     241
Notes from the Front: Learning to Be a Man     251
College: Where the Boys Aren't     255
The Future: Telling the Truth AboutBoys     279
Notes     289
Acknowledgments     299
Index     300
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Customer Reviews

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( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2012

    Sometimes I¿m a little slow to pick up on cultural references.  

    Sometimes I’m a little slow to pick up on cultural references.  This explains why I only recently figured out what “SMH” means.  Naturally, once I did, I smacked my head.  I had a similar reaction while reading Peg Tyre’s excellent exposé, THE TROUBLE WITH BOYS, appropriately subtitled A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do.

    One reason I wanted to SMH when reading this book is that I realized I should have read it four years ago when it first came out.  I’ve been working in education all this time, and Tyre’s data-rich reporting on boys’ struggles would have been useful to have in my hands sooner.  Not that I didn’t have a sense that there was a problem.  Like many people in the field, I’ve borne witness to the challenges that Tyre describes.  Boys have been falling behind for years now—frustrated, antsy, and increasingly lost—and we (teachers, especially) have been wringing our hands, trying to figure out what to do.
    Tyre does not provide easy solutions because there are none.  She cites efforts in various schools that have met with some success, though, and her book will absolutely raise the awareness of anyone who picks it up, and I think that is half the battle.  Indeed, as the daughter of a woman who played Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” repeatedly on her record-player (yes, I’ve been 28 for a while) and who has always encouraged me to do whatever I like, I admit to being somewhat more focused on feminist concerns.  But as Tyre rightly points out, we don’t have to oppress girls again in order to help boys, and it would help ALL of us to help boys.  Because disaffected, poorly educated boys grow up to be men.
    If you’re a parent or a teacher, it’s not too late to read this book.  Though published in 2008, it is unfortunately still relevant.Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D., LLC (author of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE READING, WRITING, SPEAKING, AND LISTENING INSTRUCTION)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    Parents of Boys Unite and Fight

    This book was the answer to my prayers!! We are producing bitchy girls and wimpy boys. I see them all the time and could never figure out what was going wrong with our children. I thought it was the tons of 'demeaning to men and fathers' TV ads. It turns out it's much worse!! It's our SCHOOLS!!! Starting in PRE-SCHOOL, the educational system is very biased towards little girls, at the expense of our sons!!! This book will give parents of little boys the ammunition and support they need to fight for their sons, boy based, education and ultimately for their self-esteem!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    A Must Read for Mom's with Boys

    My son was always active and talkative and loved by his teachers, but when he entered pre-school his new teacher told me that she needed to ask him 'twice' to sit down. She said this as if this was a huge problem. I felt that he was being a totally normal 3 year old. This book helped me understand the issues that boys face in school. Now I can go to future parent meetings better informed and ready to educate the educators.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Typo

    Sorry in my previous review I used the wrong form of there. I meant to say their work not there work.

    Sorry!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2008

    Why are boys falling behind?

    This book is a follow on to the author's Newsweek cover story about the widening gap between boys and girls academic performance in the United States. She makes the case that, just as we rallied in the 90s to help girls catch up to boys in math and science, we need to do the same for boys in reading and writing. The book cites a great deal of research from schools across the United States to show how this phenomenon is taking shape. It's really interesting stuff. Essentially, education in the US uses teaching methods that favor girls. At times the book is a little like a text book, but it offers startling conclusions that any parent with school-aged children needs to understand.

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    Posted November 29, 2011

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    Posted November 16, 2008

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    Posted April 30, 2011

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