Something to Consider: Isolating Gender

Submitted by Michelle LeBrun-Griffin, Project Coordinator

isolating gender

Did you know…

  • In the 2011-2012 school year, males in CT were suspended/expelled at about twice the rate as females?
  • From the 2007-2008 to 2010-2011 school years, there were more than twice as many male students with disabilities in CT K-12 than females?
  • From 2010-2013, males outperformed females in Mathematics and Science and females outperformed males in Reading and Writing on 3rd grade CMT and 10th grade CAPT, with the most significant gap in Writing with trend of 17% more females at/above goal?
  • Trends in four-year graduation rates from 2010-2013 show we are graduating more females than males?

When I recognized the different learning experiences of my own sons and daughter, I became more aware of how these differences are evidenced across racial/ethnic categories and in various districts in my professional work. There are two school stories I’d like to highlight in particular, as they used this type of data to inform and change the educational experience for the young men they serve.

One suburban middle school principal recognized that many of his young men were getting rambunctious toward the end of lunch and the frequency of discipline referrals during this time was increasing. To interrupt this pattern, he started taking a handful of boys to the gym to play basketball for the last 15 minutes of period before returning to class.

Another intermediate school principal recognized the declining writing performance of his young boys. He approached his literacy coach to assist him in organizing an all boys’ writing club two days a week after school. In this club, boys are permitted and encouraged to write about topics of interest and taught the mechanics of editing and revising. It is now a permanent club at the school with rotating membership each semester.

In your experience, how does boys’ learning experience differ from girls? What might be some of the reasons our boys are losing ground in school? What impact do these outcomes specifically have on young men of color? What implications do these outcomes have on the future of our society as a whole? How can we use academic and behavioral data to adapt classroom learning environments to better suit learning needs of males and females?

I am eager to learning more about how educators are eliminating the gender gap in their schools. Please find space below to share your personal stories and experiences.

Published: January 22, 2015