Gender Issues in Education
Articles from MENZ Issues
July - August 2000
Telling Tales to Stamp out Bullying Since mid-1999, Barbara Faithful of CREDO has been involved in an ongoing saga on school bullying in the letters page of the North Shore Times Advertiser. She writes: "It began with a Devonport Primary School principal shown in glorious colour (21.5.99) with a line-up of youngsters all carefully posed with hands capped to mouths as if telling tales..... There is a far wider agenda behind this issue than is usually ever revealed; one involving radical social change."
Hands Off? Teachers Touching Children This excellent one-day seminar was organised and chaired by Dr Alison Jones, Director for the Institute Research on Gender, and Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Auckland. As well as Dr Jones, the seminar was addressed by six high-calibre speakers, four of whom had come from overseas especially for the symposium. It was sad more people did not take the opportunity to participate in this important and long-overdue discussion of the 'no touch' policy which has invaded our schools.
Gender Stereotypes for Primary Pupils The other night for homework my five-year-old read me a school book called 'I Like Shopping'. It seems this is the sort of book they use to educate Family Court Judges.
Kelly - a Fathering Story For Teens Excerpts from a short story by Joanna Knowles in 'The Amp' NZ Listener. "All through her life, her father had dominated her decisions, and his 'discipline' had threatened her every move".
Buddies In association with a group of West Auckland schools, Man Alive is running a mentoring programme. Men's Centre member Martin Lewis shares his experience.
Boys in Schools Conference A report on an event run by Man Alive in July 99
Are NZ Schools Male-Friendly? Up until the late 1980's, most educationalists were still insisting that girls were disadvantaged by the education system. Nowadays, the evidence to the contrary is too great to ignore.
Families Undermined by Schools Muriel Newman MP makes a speech that accurately reflects the concerns of many of our members.
Education Review Office Investigates Under-performance of Boys President of the Post Primary Teacher's Association says boys have traditionally had it easy as a group, but now educators are "aware of gender balance". Is this part of the problem?
The Gender Gap When a NZ Listener article asked why girls are doing better at school, feminists said it doesn't matter, that it's because of macho masculinity, boys are lazy and have poor organisational skills. Mark Rowley suggests we tailor the system to suit boys rather than blaming them.
Asian Schools Doing Better? Modern teaching techniques are defended against the challenge that traditional methods favoured in Asian countries are more effective.
Gender Differences in Educational Achievement Professor David Fergusson's Christchurch Health and Development Study shows that boys consistently achieve less well than girls, but he suggests we drop gender as a key variable in educational policy.
The Three Rs As government allocates $3 million to raise literacy and numeracy skills for youngsters, debate rages over the need to focus on basic skills such as reading.
Boys: Masculinities & Learnings Although the organisers of this conference in Townsville, Australia claim to occupy the middle ground between the "boys will be boys" camp and those who believe our behaviour is determined by the dominant culture, their discussions on deconstructing and reconstructing gender stereotypes suggest they belong in the latter category.
Working with Boys - Building Fine Men The University of Newcastle held a conference in July 99. The first presentation addressed the vital question: "Who is to say what fine men are like?"
Alternative School for Shore Dropouts 370 students were suspended from North Shore schools in 1998. An alternative education programme is desperately needed, but plans for a centre are still in their infancy.
New Books for Boys A local schoolteacher and author of a popular children's book on sexual abuse has written two books especially for boys, one of which tells about looking for a father that walked out on his family.
Right From the Start A new programme from the Early Childhood Development organisation aims to 'help' children between 3 and 11 years old whose mothers claim to be affected by domestic violence.
Budget 1.3 million to Eliminate Bullies Is this another unattainable goal designed to secure continued funding for re-educating males? Special Education Service workers demonstrate how to set up surveillance networks with boy 'secret squirrels' monitored by girls.
Leter from Music Teacher Written to his college's Board of Trustees, a teacher points out that physical contact is sometimes unavoidable, and requests a video monitor to protect himself against false allegations of sexual abuse.
Reply From Board who say they have no funds available, but two female teachers have developed 'good practice' guidelines that he should strictly adhere to.
Support Group for Male Teachers formed after the highly publicised false allegation against Hamilton teacher John Edgar.
Cases Against Teachers Increase Almost 600 competency and disciplinary complaints were made in 1998, up from 390 in 1995.
Falsely Accused Teachers COSA has had a number of teachers contact them over the years. It is all to easy for pupils to make wrongful allegations and be uncritically believed.
Mentors Patch-up Solution Harald Brieding-Buss from the NZ Father & Child Trust feels sad that government-sponsored programmes are needed to get men involved in children's lives.
Young Men at Risk A speech by Minister of Youth Affairs Tony Ryall discusses the problem of isolated young men disconnected from their families and communities. He describes a number of mentoring programmes set up around NZ to provide positive male role models.
Project K to start on North Shore A mentoring scheme for youth set up by mountaineer Graeme Dingle in Manukau uses mentors trained at UNITEC.
Big Buddy Programme gets under way in West Auckland, needs male volunteers.
Feb - March 1998
Education System Fails Boys An Australian academic visiting teacher training centres is surprised at the extent of ideological capture by groups holding views not shared by the majority of the population.
Shaping of New Zealand Boys Men's Centre members attended a presentation at MIT by Professor David Ferguson, who has found that on every comparison boys do worse than girls in school. He called for the current monologue about gender issues to become an academic dialogue, and for the debate to be based on evidence rather than ideology.
Schoolboys Forced to Experience Sexual Harassment at School A class of Auckland boys is made to individually run the gauntlet of jeering, taunting sexually insulting girls to make them more sensitive in their treatment of female classmates.
Male Teacher Numbers Fall Education Ministry report shows drop in male teacher numbers is accelerating.
Males Fear False Abuse Allegations Massy University researcher finds fear of false accusations to be the most relevant explanation for the fall in male teacher numbers.
False Allegations by School Children are becoming increasingly common, probably because prevention programmes are giving children the knowledge and encouragement to report.
Rape Crisis Workers Teaching in Schools Health is the only compulsory subject in the High School curriculum. Although many cash-strapped schools are delighted when community groups offer to send free instructors, many parents would be horrified to learn what their children are taught in these sessions.
Serial False Accuser Becomes School Health Educator A case history of a dysfunctional women who recovered false memories of being sexually abused by her father, then wrongly accused him of abusing his grandchildren. Now she works in a local school, encouraging children to disclose abuse to her.
Boys' Education Boys are doing poorly in schools compared with girls. The line taken at Colleges of Education, by the teacher unions, and influential feminist educators however is to claim that girls are disadvantaged by our education system, that they are in fact, cheated by it.
Explaining and Addressing Gender Differences in the New Zealand Compulsory School Sector - review commissioned by the Ministry of Education to explain gender differences in compulsory education during the period 1989-1999. It has a particular focus on primary, Maori and Pacific students, and disparities by gender in participation, achievement and social outcomes. (link)
From Awareness to Action - conference on meeting the needs of boys and young men in education run by Manukau Institute of Technology in July 2000. Check individual papers listing at end of intro page. (link)
New Zealand Education Development Foundation (NZEDF): www.nzedf.org.nz
The War on Boys This we think we know: American schools favor boys and grind down girls. The truth is the very opposite. By virtually every measure, girls are thriving in school; it is boys who are the second sex. Article by Christina Hoff Sommers in The Atlantic
Christina Hoff Sommers on Deconstruction and Feminism: "What I find, unfortunately, is that pioneers of women's studies had the idea of opening up scholarship to include the perspective of women, but only certain women's perceptions are legitimate. Only women from the cultural left have the right to interpret the lives of women. Conservative women, politically moderate women, libertarian women, traditionally religious women, have all been thoroughly marginalized." Dartmouth Review
What Fresh Hell Is This? A Guy Marooned in Women's Studies by Eric Adler. As a graduate student in classical studies at Duke University, I found myself, because of the vicissitudes of academic scheduling, a member of a women's studies seminar entitled "Foundations of U.S. Feminism, 1960 - Present." I immediately realized that this was not a traditional academic environment. On the contrary, the class appeared to be a combination of romper room and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. At our first session, the only other male in the class confessed that he, as a man, necessarily "oppresses" all women. Independent Women's Forum
Save the Males Fired from the University of Winnipeg, Henry Makow Ph.D. writes: "Feminism has achieved enormous power in society by advocating something that sounds good: "equal rights for women." Behind this smoke screen, feminists like UW President Constance Rooke are pursuing a radical, Marxist lesbian agenda. They want to transform society by replacing the heterosexual fabric - masculinity, femininity and the nuclear family - with a gender-less or homosexual model. They are using publicly funded universities like UW to indoctrinate young people and to shut out opposing views. www.savethemales.ca