A while ago, I wrote a post opposing sexual apartheid as the solution proposed to ‘fix’ our educational system.
To recap: the ‘problem’ – as it is presented to us: there are too many female teachers, so the classrooms are geared towards ‘girl learning’ and the boys are falling by the wayside….and the proposed fix is to establish boy-only classrooms or schools, staffed preferably by male teachers, so ‘boy learning’ can take place.
On the surface of it, this sounds like a relatively reasonable solution. One of my wisest readers/commenters, CodeSlinger, thought it might be and said so in the comments. And, we also exchanged a few lively emails on the topic, too… because, frankly, I think segregating boys in schools will do more harm than good.
Don’t misunderstand me, please. I agree that our education system is broken and the way it is failing is more quickly and easily visible when one looks at the ‘statistics’ of our ‘boys’…. but I think these stats are just the tip of the proverbial ice-berg. I propose that ‘our boys’ are the ‘canaries in the mine‘ and that moving them into a ‘canary-only tunnel’ will not help things.
Where to begin….there are so many reasons!
For the sake of the discussion (and to keep this post at least somewhat focused), let’s put aside the facts that:
- Segregation of a specific segment of our population has never, ever, in human history, resulted in ‘a good thing’ (for the segregated segment, that is).
- Some ‘girls’ have more ‘male’ brains and way of thinking/learning than many ‘boys’, and vice versa – and these kids would really become victims in a segregated educational system: not just of not being able to learn in the manner presented, but also through social ostracism of ‘being like the other’ which is so different, it must be segregated. Again, boys would suffer greater damage from being considered ‘effeminate’ or ‘girlie-boys’ than girls would for being considered ‘tom-boys’.
- A segregated system focuses on ‘gender-specific’ subjects (the expert-designed plans even boast of it),necessarily leaving out others, which denies students opportunities bef0re they are even discovered…
- It hides the problem, instead of fixing it.
- It is unconstitutional! And just plain wrong, immoral and ( insert a strong derogatory word of your choice here)!
Instead of re-stating my position, I’d like to quote from an email I sent to ‘CodeSlinger’ when he – quite rightly – pointed out we must do SOMETHING to help ‘our boys’! I wrote:
The only thing that strikes me about this is that it makes you appear a little idealistic: do you think that the very same people who have so successfully and, I think, quite intentionally marginalized boys in the integrated classrooms – and it WILL be the SAME people who will be in charge of the segregated system – do you think they will not use the opportunity the segregated system will provide them to even further damage our sons?The goal is to marginalize anyone who would have the backbone to stand up against ‘the system’. If the boys are segregated, in the name of ‘helping them’, they will be given ‘physical activity’ to help them ‘burn off their energy’, but not the skills to become educated enough to be listened to if they speak out. It will be the beginning of creating an underclass of men: either too whipped to dare stand-up, or effectively indoctrinated to think they are not competent to pay attention to anything beyond sports. It’s their nature, you see….
Can you see what I mean?
Do you not see how ‘segregating’ boys would be an incredibly useful way to ‘weed out’ any who have the backbone to ‘stand up’ for ‘themselves’ or for what they think is ‘right’ – to more effectively marginalize the very people most likely to stand up to an oppressive authority? In a society which is completely reliant on listening to ‘experts’ and pays little heed to self-taught or self-educated individuals, or people who are not academics, this would prevent any such ‘independent voices’ from being given any credence.
There has already been talk that ‘boys’ would likely ‘benefit’ if, from early on, their education were geared towards ‘trades’, because ‘boys’ are ‘better’ with ‘hands-on’ learning than ‘book learning’…
Can you not see how this would be the first step to creating an underclass? As if my point needed further proof, one of CodeSlinger’s own links (in the comments) is to an article which sums up a Dr. Spence’s document, which he prepared for the Toronto school board to engineer these ‘all-boy-learning-environments’:
How much more proof do we need that this is – whether by design or error – going to result in raising a generation of boys to be our society’s underclass?
Of course, there will be a group of boys who will be ‘protected’ from this psychological destruction: Muslim boys. They will be the only males in our society who will be insulated from this psychological destruction from kindergarten on – and they will be the only males who will dare to speak up and affect the evolution of our society. But, that is a different story…
Yes, our educational system is broken.
Yes, it is failing boys more than girls.
But we ought not presume that co-incidence implies causality – or, that change for the sake of change will be a good thing! We could make things much, much worse…. and that is a gamble we cannot afford to take. Not with our sons….