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Emma Hamer

So, no penalty for missing a clear deadline, eh? That's the cure to boys' bad grades? Sheesh, I'd hate to be the first employer of these slackers; they've learned the WRONG lesson. It's never okay to hand in your work late, and while schools can allow fudging of deadlines, in the real world, finishing late and missing key deliverables will quickly lead to dismissal.

There are undoubtedly many plausible reasons adolescent males don't do as well as young females... I suspect high levels of testosterone contribute to short attention spans and easy distraction. It's as good an explanation as any. Please, can we have some rigour here?

Theresa Lyons

"According to this article in the Toronto Globe and Mail, girls are now outnumbering boys in science fairs in Canada. According to the article,

“Five years ago, boys made up 55 per cent of the competitors at the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair, a national competition where youth in grades 7 to 12 compete against other regional representatives. After a steady decline, this year boys are in the minority at 44 per cent. “

Not only that,

“Girls are also claiming the lion’s share of prize money available each year: Eight of the last nine overall winners have been female.”

Time and time again, when girls start to actually excel, and, heaven forfend, surpass boys, there are those who insist that there MUST be a problem with the education system. I’ve heard excuses like “feminization” of the education system, and even,

“Carole Charlebois, executive director of Quebec’s provincial branch of YSC, says she suspects the pendulum has swung too far in the girls’ direction and boys are being left out and left behind. “We’re seeing a real decrease in interest and good marks from the boys.”

Of course, at least a couple of the girls kicking their asses have a somewhat different theory,

“If I were to say [why] — I know this might sound a bit sexist — but most of the time, the girls are more persistent in the work,” said Ronan Lefol, a Grade 12 student from Saskatoon, who started competing in science fairs in Grade 1 and has gone on to win thousands of dollars in scholarship money.

Megan Hawse, 13, said many of her male peers in Mount Pearl, Nfld., would rather play sports than spend the hours she logged on evenings and weekends for her experiment on whether algae could be a sufficient source of Omega 3 for humans.

Yes, there are now a few scholarships specifically designed to encourage women to go into the sciences, but I doubt that is a barrier to 12-year-old males participating in science fairs.

Far be it for anyone to point out the elephant in the room - could it be, perhaps, rather than an education system that favors girls, and disadvantages boys, it’s just that when the barriers are removed, and girls are actually encouraged to participate in science and math, they actually ARE better at it than the guys?

Wouldn’t THAT be a terrifying thought for the men…."

To Nineshift: The above is an example (from another blog) of what it means to actually post an essay substantiated by thought and analysis. Note the use of comparative quotes that put the issue in context. These quotes provide an explanation and progressively support the point being made.

The only posts I see on your blog are simplistic: an anecdote with an unrelated generalization from your own prejudices and a "What do you think? Is the sky blue? Are trains the next big thing?"

Even with the intelligent comments provided by some of your readers, it makes the discussions on this blog puerile at best.

Until your posts begin to approach this level of thought, you are only embarrassing yourself and revealing your lack of reading a wide range of sources. I recommend starting with the rest of the internet.

Harold Jarche

It's one more data point. I noticed that you said "first evidence" - no final conclusions to draw yet, but thanks for keeping this issue front and centre.

Stephen Downes

Data from one high school teacher from one class does not "prove" anything.

Not to be picky, but people often make claims such as this seriously, and I need to make sure that isn't the case here.

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