How do we define culture and specifically what is a “male” culture – what are the qualities of a classroom and activities that are “male?” Is there a “female” culture? Isn’t the idea of “male” and “female” changing all the time?

Here is one man’s response:

At our agency, Connections For Children, philosophical dialogues break out rather spontaneously – indeed, they are encouraged…  Today’s conversation was on the humanist versus humanitarian debate… A debate that includes conversation on self actualization versus social good, boundaries etc…

Another conversation erupted from a discussion of ancient Sparta’s ethical code which in some sense valued cleverness above absolute right and wrong…

At the conclusion, a colleague mentioned a 7th grade teacher that just did not get her… In this particular class they studied the Trojan War, dissected frogs, etc… I exclaimed, “A dude class!”  My colleague hated it that class and spent time in detention etc… “but I’m sure the boys loved it.”

I pondered a moment… And realized that 50% of the children (the boys) in school every year conceivably wind up saying, “I hate this class”… Wishing their teacher taught about the Trojan War and dissected frogs…

It’s tragic that a boy might attend school for 7, 8, 9 years or more before they come upon a teacher that really motivates them… No wonder our schools are failing… It’s not that they fail to teach stuff/data/information/concepts/knowledge… It’s that they fail to teach children, all the children… And in failing to teach the children, the system breaks down and the knowledge never reaches “the heart” of it’s intended audience…


Another man’s response:

Okay – a little self-test – how many truly interactive, multi-sensory projects I can remember from school:

Grade 3:  Student made wall chart of the solar system

Grade 5:  Science project involving a “vehicle” on a string strung across the room with a CO2 cartridge attached. I specifically remember this because the thing shot across the room and when it banged into the wall, the CO2 cartridge came off and fortuitously fell right into a garbage can immediately below

Grade 7:  Anything and everything in Mr. Jackman’s science class – he made everything interactive and fun and had a passion for science, teaching, and students

Grade 7: Typing class – probably has served me the best of all classes I ever took considering computer usage in all jobs today – hated the repetitiveness of the practice at the time, but that’s something you can only learn through such repetitive practice

Grade 7-9: Woodshop, metalshop, printing shop

Grade 10: Biology – okay I was assigned a seat next to a very cute girl in the lab for the whole year – didn’t matter what was being taught, loved being in that class and learning

Grade 1-6: Any number of “theater” performances put on by my class – playing various parts

Grade K-12:  any and all P.E. classes – okay, was not wild about rope climbing.