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All About Discipline?


Are boys really falling behind girls in the classroom? Last year, researchers who conducted studies citing a gender achievement gap said yes, while critics argued boys were doing just fine.

Data has shown that girls achieve higher grades while boys tend to score higher on standardized tests. Recent research suggests that self-discipline is a key factor in the achievement differences between boys and girls.

But some researchers warn there is still not enough evidence to discern how self-discipline influences school performance.

What do you think? Do girls have greater self-discipline than boys? And does that give them an academic edge?


I have looked at research-based evidence that provides adequate and substantial backing to the gender gap in academic success or lack of between boys and girls. Largely due in part to the function of the brain and the obvious differences in maturity levels between some girls and boys of the same age levels. Without a doubt there is a link to self-discipline that factors into that brain function and maturity level, especially at the middle school level. While girls tend to process and emulate on an emotional and tactile level, boys on the other hand are more kinesthetic. Both male and female students need to be motivated by what makes them tick as individuals based on gender. That is contrary to many classrooms as direct instruction is the method that most teachers are taught to teach with and fall into that role more often than not, "just to get through the curriculum material". As we learn more about these differences between the genders and how to motivate them differently, we as teachers must begin a consorted effort to move to more of a constructivist model in the classrooms so as to address the learning styles of all our students regardless of gender, and therefore draw in those "unmotivated", as we see them, students regardless of gender.

Has any one seriuously looked at the relationship between boys in female headed single parent falmilies and acedemic success?
There is great merrit in differentiated instruction within the classroom. Teachers do need to adapt to the realities of their students' needs and stlyes. However changing social structures may require far more differentiation than a lesson plan can offer.

I must say that it seems that girls have a much greater sense of responsibility at a younger age than boys and eventhough they could not be interested at all in homework they will do it to the best of their ability due to this sense of responsibility. The boys on the other hand, still have much need for movement and it is not just in the early years. They do think they just want to get over with the stupid homework, because I can say on their behalf it is the vast majority of the times, stupid homework that even the teachers don't want to grade and many times they just look to see that it is completed without even revising it. Boys are more into exploring their talents, sometimes they could be musical or in sports or any other talent that they might have and they can be exploring their talent for hours on end without realizing how much time has gone by. We should ask ourselves how good is homework for the children. Is it really giving them a skill for life or is it just frustrating them and stressing them unnecessarily before time? I am the mother of two boys who very talented in sports. I have ended taking them out of the teams they were part of because, being so good, they were already competing at the national level and more time for training was required from them. I took them out of the sports they so much enjoy just for them to be able to complete the ridiculous homework assignments. Their grades are still the same, because they are not interested in what is being taught and I can sadly say that all the positive things that sports were giving them are being lost and I don't see them acquiring any very valuable life skills from the asignments they have to do. The life skills that sports were giving them can not be compared to anything that they could be gaining from those homework assignments. Apart from this the whole family dynamics become horrible because everybody gets stressed about grades and homework.
I wish you could interview Leon Botstein because I think he said that schools should make sure children have enough time to explore their talents. I would love to hear more of what he has to say on this topic.

I believe that there is a greater self-discipline in girls than boys but only at a younger age. At the middle school age you see that girls are more quiet while boys tend to act out in class. Academically speaking this would relate to why girls excell more academicaly in the classroom than boys. But, you also have to look at the environment in which the boy/girl was raised in. If it was one in which low income and living was a reason why the boy/girl was not academically succeeding than you have to wander if it is because him/her was not smart enough or if they were not given the correct environment out of school to learn. Although evidence suggests that there is not enough research evidence to prove this statement, it is almost impossible to prove this research evidence with the ever changing environment that kids grow up in these days.

I'm an ordinary person trying to discover the perspectives of the last few articles.

Shorter paragraphs makes complex opinions easier to read.

I don't mean to be rude at all; it's just a stylistic suggestion.

Having went through a Ph.D program in Ed Psych, I read all of these articles and the 'professionals' continue to dance around the cold hard facts. Teen aged males are simply underperforming on nearly all levels of academia. I am speaking from my personal experience with a Caucasian, white teen aged male...my son. He has a mom and a dad in the home, both highly educated, professional, loving parents. His IQ is in the 120's, 2 SD above the norm; his potential is unlimited; his motivation is non-existent. 90% of the parents I know in this college city, who have teen aged males, have the same complaint as far as academic achievement. They are bored in class; their teachers are simply not reaching the majority of these males. HOmework is a source of constant conflict; there are no study skills displayed; and the list of failures in academia go on, starting at about 8th grade. My daughter , who is the younger of the 2, maintains good grades, homework handed in, active in school and extracurricular activities; she never has to be reminded to do homework, or turn homework in....the differences are monumental. Both have had had the same opportunities afforded to them...one is motivated, one is not...one has played video games , one has not. One's brain simply does not function in the way that most classes are taught, and the other one, does. This is not just me or this city with this problem, this is truly becoming an epidemic across America. We are losing our males in the public school system... IT is not just minorities that are failing academics, the sons of Caucasians are also. This will be a legacy of lost potential unless parents, teachers, college professors, our legislatures all step up and make our academic system what it once was. When so much emphasis is placed on standardized testing or on a group of people, others suffer. People learn differently and require different methodologies of instruction...I wish I had an answer but right now, as a concerned mother and a concerned college instructor, I am simply searching...

As a research study group from Pepperdine University we would appreciate any former high school teacher to participate in a survey on teacher retention. Our final intent is to come up with possible solutions to the problem of losing teachers. If you would like to participate follow this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=184163525415

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