Jeff Yearout, Ed Tech
, sent me a link to this article in the Wichita Eagle. Although the
article is framed around the concept that we’re losing our boys, it seems pretty
clear to me that the real issue is engagement.
As the article states, both boys and girls believe that much of what is
occurring in their classrooms is tediously boring and/or irrelevant to their
current and future lives. Are boys more likely than girls to withdraw from or
rebel against unengaging, seemingly-irrelevant course content? Are girls more
likely than boys to sublimate their desires to do the same? I don’t know.
Someone better-versed in school psychology and/or sociology will have to answer
those questions. But I do know this:
If schools (and universities) want to be relevant to today’s youth, they are
going to have to find ways to become more engaging in order to compete with the
interactive, individualizing, empowering technologies that adolescents are using
out of school.
As educators, we are in a battle for eyes, ears, and brainwaves. So far many
of us are losing (and, as a result, so are our students).