Feminisation Of Education?

Some attention is now being paid to the possibility that boys are doing so much worse at school than girls, not because of the innately inferior mental abilities believed in by some varieties of radical feminist (enthusiastic biological determinists whenever it works in their favour), but because of the “feminisation” of the school system. That is, it is argued that modern education is run by females for females, on the basis of female values, approaches and methods, to which boys are obliged to adapt. Those who cannot adapt, fail – or rather, are failed. The new slogan is therefore “Let boys be boys”, although it is not entirely clear what this actually involves, and where the line runs between boyishness and delinquency. Nor is it clear what exactly is new in this situation, given that many schools used to be run, and many classes taught, by a fearsome personage called a “schoolmarm”, who had as little patience with the less refined sex as any latter-day professor of women’s studies. As for male role models, in the “good old days” so beloved of this theory, most schoolmasters were either losers and misfits who could obtain no other work, and/or (not necessarily practicing) paedophiles, since no one else would put up with the round-the-clock dedication the job then demanded. All the education that occurred was created by a small minority of truly gifted teachers.

What may be a genuine novelty, however, is the proportion of boys who have good male role models neither at school nor at home. This is why in the US, the chief sufferers from the allegedly over-feminised school system appear to be working-class white and black males, whereas Asians seem to have no problems at all. Or perhaps we are guilty of reaganising the past, which in cold fact was a country of broken families and single mothers, just like ours.

Some would say that the current problem is not that most teachers are females per se, but that so many are very young and childless females, whereas in the good old days they were all middle-aged with their own families, and thus presumably experienced in the ways of children. Again, this cannot be entirely right, as those middle-aged teachers must once have been young teachers; and were not those lemon-sucking schoolmarms generally spinsters, products of war demographics?

No, the crucial difference is not in the age or gender of the teachers per se, or in single motherhood per se, but in social support for discipline. In the good old days, a child who did something really, really bad would be whupped; now, in several countries it is now a criminal offence even to smack its behind. In the good old days, if a teacher complained to working-class parents about their child, they would tan its hide; now, they are more likely to tan hers.

This is, in turn, because the whole nature of parental narcissism has changed. Before, it took the form of anxiety about what the child’s misbehaviour would do to the reputation of the parents with their neighbours; now, it takes the form of mortal offence at being dissed by criticism of their evil sprog’s behaviour.

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 11:22 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: PARENTAL STATUS TECHNOLOGY, Hugo Grinebiter's Schooldays

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