So I'm here to tell you that we have a problem with boys, and it's a serious problem with boys. Their culture isn't working in schools, and I'm going to share with you ways that we can think about overcoming that problem.
First, I want to start by saying, this is a boy, and this is a girl, and this is probably stereotypically what you think of as a boy and a girl. If I essentialize gender for you today, then you can dismiss what I have to say.
So I'm not going to do that. I'm not interested in doing that. This is a different kind of boy and a different kind of girl. So the point here is that not all boys exist within these rigid boundaries of what we think of as boys and girls, and not all girls exist within those rigid boundaries of what we think of as girls.
But, in fact, most boys tend to be a certain way, and most girls tend to be a certain way. And the point is that, for boys, the way that they exist and the culture that they embrace isn't working well in schools now.
How do we know that? The Hundred Girls Project tells us some really nice statistics. For example, for every 100 girls that are suspended from school, there are 250 boys that are suspended from school. For every 100 girls who are expelled from school, there are 335 boys who are expelled from school. For every 100 girls in special education, there are 217 boys. For every 100 girls with a learning disability, there are 276 boys.
我们怎么知道这个事实呢？100个女孩计划告诉了我们一些真正有用的数据。例如，当有100个女孩从学校停课，那就有250个男孩从学校停课。每当有100个女孩被学校开除，对应的男孩数是335个. 每当有100个女孩接受特殊教育，男孩数是217个。每100个女孩有学习障碍， 男孩的对应数是276个。
For every 100 girls with an emotional disturbance diagnosed, we have 324 boys. And by the way, all of these numbers are significantly higher if you happen to be black, if you happen to be poor, if you happen to exist in an overcrowded school. And if you are a boy, you're four times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD -- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
每100女孩有情绪紊乱症状， 对应男孩数是324个。顺便提一下，如果发生在黑人小孩，贫穷的小孩身上， 假如发生在拥挤不堪的学校上学的小孩身上，这所有数据还得更高。如果你是个男孩，你比女孩更有四倍的可能性被诊断出ADHD症状- 注意力缺乏(或多动)症状。
Now there is another side to this. And it is important that we recognize that women still need help in school, that salaries are still significantly lower, even when controlled for job types, and that girls have continued to struggle in math and science for years.
That's all true. Nothing about that prevents us from paying attention to the literacy needs of our boys between ages three and 13. And so we should.
In fact, what we ought to do is take a page from their playbook, because the initiatives and programs that have been set in place for women in science and engineering and mathematics are fantastic. They've done a lot of good for girls in these situations, and we ought to be thinking about how we can make that happen for boys too in their younger years.
事实上，我们要做的是站在男孩的立场来思考解决问题， 因为在学校已设置的初级教学和 课程计划适合女孩在科学，工程学和数学方面 有杰出表现。他们在这些情形下为女孩子 作了很多好事。我们该考虑一下我们该怎样让男孩在他们年少时也 受到同样的待遇。
Even in their older years, what we find is that there's still a problem. When we look at the universities, 60 percent of baccalaureate degrees are going to women now, which is a significant shift.
And in fact, university administrators are a little uncomfortable about the idea that we may be getting close to 70 percent female population in universities. This makes university administrators very nervous, because girls don't want to go to schools that don't have boys.
And so we're starting to see the establishment of men centers and men studies to think about how do we engage men in their experiences in the university. If you talk to faculty, they may say, "Ugh. Yeah, well, they're playing video games, and they're gambling online all night long, and they're playing World of Warcraft, and that's affecting their academic achievement." Guess what? Video games are not the cause. Video games are a symptom. They were turned off a long time before they got here.
所以我们开始看到 男性中心和男性研究的建立来思考怎样让男性在大学中活跃起来。 如果你跟教员谈话，他们会说，“啊，是的，男孩爱打视频游戏，他们通宵网上赌博，还爱玩魔兽世界。这些都影响了他们学术成绩。”猜怎么了？视频游戏不是主要原因。视频游戏是一个征兆。在男孩打游戏前，他们已经很长时间对学习都不感兴趣了。
So let's talk about why they got turned off when they were between the ages of three and 13. There are three reasons that I believe that boys are out of sync with the culture of schools today.
The first is zero tolerance. A kindergarten teacher I know, her son donated all of his toys to her, and when he did, she had to go through and pull out all the little plastic guns. You can't have plastic knives and swords and axes and all that kind of thing in a kindergarten classroom. What is it that we're afraid that this young man is going to do with this gun?
I mean, really. But here he stands as testament to the fact that you can't roughhouse on the playground today. Now I'm not advocating for bullies. I'm not suggesting that we need to be allowing guns and knives into school. But when we say that an Eagle Scout in a high school classroom who has a locked parked car in the parking lot and a penknife in it has to be suspended from school, I think we may have gone a little too far with zero tolerance.
我是说，真的。但这儿男孩得面对的事实是今天他们不能在操场玩耍打闹。我这不是鼓动要持强凌弱。我也不是推荐 在学校容许男孩携带枪和小刀。但我想说高中班级中的老鹰童子军在停车场停放的车里要是有把刀，就得被勒令休学， 我认为我们可能在零容忍度方面做得有点过火。
Another way that zero tolerance lives itself out is in the writing of boys. In a lot of classrooms today you're not allowed to write about anything that's violent. You're not allowed to write about anything that has to do with video games -- these topics are banned.
Boy comes home from school, and he says, "I hate writing." "Why do you hate writing, son? What's wrong with writing?" "Now I have to write what she tells me to write." "Okay, what is she telling you to write?" "Poems. I have to write poems. And little moments in my life. I don't want to write that stuff."
"All right. Well, what do you want to write? What do you want to write about?" "I want to write about video games. I want to write about leveling-up. I want to write about this really interesting world. I want to write about a tornado that comes into our house and blows all the windows out and ruins all the furniture and kills everybody." "All right. Okay." You tell a teacher that, and they'll ask you, in all seriousness, "Should we send this child to the psychologist?" And the answer is no, he's just a boy. He's just a little boy. It's not okay to write these kinds of things in classrooms today.
“好吧。那你想写什么？有什么好写的？”“我想写有关视频游戏。我想写如何练级。我想写这真正有意思的游戏世界。我想写龙卷风来到我家，把所有的窗户吹跑， 毁坏所有的家具，然后杀死了所有人。”“好的。”你要告诉一位老师这个， 她们会非常严肃地会问你，“我们是不是应该送这小孩到心理学家那？”答案是不应该，他只是个男孩。他只是个小男孩。现在在课堂上还不能写这些东西。
So that's the first reason: zero tolerance policies and the way they're lived out. The next reason that boys' cultures are out of sync with school cultures: there are fewer male teachers. Anybody who's over 15 doesn't know what this means, because in the last 10 years, the number of elementary school classroom teachers has been cut in half. We went from 14 percent to seven percent.
That means that 93 percent of the teachers that our young men get in elementary classrooms are women. Now what's the problem with this? Women are great. Yep, absolutely.
But male role models for boys that say it's all right to be smart -- they've got dads, they've got pastors, they've got Cub Scout leaders, but ultimately, six hours a day, five days a week they're spending in a classroom, and most of those classrooms are not places where men exist.
但是男性角色模范对于男孩来说，它可以让男孩变聪明。 男孩有父亲，有牧师， 和童子军导师，但归根结底，每天6小时，每周五天，男孩都在课堂上度过。多数那些课程不适合男人。
And so they say, I guess this really isn't a place for boys. This is a place for girls. And I'm not very good at this, so I guess I'd better go play video games or get into sports, or something like that, because I obviously don't belong here. Men don't belong here, that's pretty obvious.
So that may be a very direct way that we see it happen. But less directly, the lack of male presence in the culture -- you've got a teachers' lounge, and they're having a conversation about Joey and Johnny who beat each other up on the playground. "What are we going to do with these boys?" The answer to that question changes depending on who's sitting around that table. Are there men around that table? Are there moms who've raised boys around that table? You'll see, the conversation changes depending upon who's sitting around the table.
Third reason that boys are out of sync with school today: kindergarten is the old second grade, folks. We have a serious compression of the curriculum happening out there. When you're three, you better be able to write your name legibly, or else we'll consider it a developmental delay. By the time you're in first grade, you should be able to read paragraphs of text with maybe a picture, maybe not, in a book of maybe 25 to 30 pages.
If you don't, we're probably going to be putting you into a Title 1 special reading program. And if you ask Title 1 teachers, they'll tell you they've got about four or five boys for every girl that's in their program, in the elementary grades.
The reason that this is a problem is because the message that boys are getting is "you need to do what the teacher asks you to do all the time." The teacher's salary depends on "No Child Left Behind" and "Race to the Top" and accountability and testing and all of this.
So she has to figure out a way to get all these boys through this curriculum -- and girls. This compressed curriculum is bad for all active kids. And what happens is, she says, "Please, sit down, be quiet, do what you're told, follow the rules, manage your time, focus, be a girl." That's what she tells them.
Indirectly, that's what she tells them. And so this is a very serious problem. Where is it coming from? It's coming from us. (Laughter) We want our babies to read when they are six months old.
Have you seen the ads? We want to live in Lake Wobegon where every child is above average, but what this does to our children is really not healthy. It's not developmentally appropriate, and it's particularly bad for boys.
So what do we do? We need to meet them where they are. We need to put ourselves into boy culture. We need to change the mindset of acceptance in boys in elementary schools. More specifically, we can do some very specific things. We can design better games.
Most of the educational games that are out there today are really flashcards. They're glorified drill and practice. They don't have the depth, the rich narrative that really engaging video games have, that the boys are really interested in.
So we need to design better games. We need to talk to teachers and parents and school board members and politicians. We need to make sure that people see that we need more men in the classroom. We need to look carefully at our zero tolerance policies. Do they make sense? We need to think about how to uncompress this curriculum if we can, trying to bring boys back into a space that is comfortable for them. All of those conversations need to be happening.
所以我们要设计更好玩的游戏 我们要和老师，家长，学校董事会成员和政治家对话。 我们必须确保让人们看到，我们要在课堂上有更多的男性老师。我们要格外关注我们的零容忍政策。它们是否合理？我们要思考我们该怎样解压这课程， 我们尽量努力让男孩回到 适合他们待的地方学校来 这所有的对话都要发生。
There are some great examples out there of schools -- the New York Times just talked about a school recently. A game designer from the New School put together a wonderful video gaming school. But it only treats a few kids, and so this isn't very scalable.
We have to change the culture and the feelings that politicians and school board members and parents have about the way we accept and what we accept in our schools today. We need to find more money for game design. Because good games, really good games, cost money, and World of Warcraft has quite a budget. Most of the educational games do not.
所以我们得改变学校里的男孩文化和改变政治家，学校董事会成员和父母对待男孩文化的想法， 它是有关今天在我们学校，我们已接受的这种男孩文化方式和我们要去接受的男孩文化。我们要给游戏设计投资更多的钱。 因为好游戏，非常好的游戏是要花钱的， 魔兽世界有相当多的预算。大多数教育游戏没有那么多预算。
Where we started: my colleagues -- Mike Petner, Shawn Vashaw, myself -- we started by trying to look at the teachers' attitudes and find out how do they really feel about gaming, what do they say about it. And we discovered that they talk about the kids in their school, who talk about gaming, in pretty demeaning ways.
我们从哪里开始呢： 我同事--迈克·派特呢Mike Petner，肖恩·瓦绍Shawn Vashaw和我， 我们开始了解老师对此的态度 并找出她们真正对游戏的想法，对此她们想说什么。我们发现 她们在学校谈到男孩 打游戏， 他们是用一种非常贬损的口吻。
They say, "Oh, yeah. They're always talking about that stuff. They're talking about their little action figures and their little achievements or merit badges, or whatever it is that they get. And they're always talking about this stuff." And they say these things as if it's okay.
But if it were your culture, think of how that might feel. It's very uncomfortable to be on the receiving end of that kind of language. They're nervous about anything that has anything to do with violence because of the zero tolerance policies. They are sure that parents and administrators will never accept anything.
但如果这是你的文化呢，想想你会感觉如何？ 老师的那种语言对于男孩这些接收者们来说， 听上去是非常不舒服的。老师们对任何涉及暴力的东西都感到焦虑，这是因为零容忍的政策。男孩知道他们的父母和校官绝不会接受这一切。
So we really need to think about looking at teacher attitudes and finding ways to change the attitudes so that teachers are much more open and accepting of boy cultures in their classrooms. Because, ultimately, if we don't, then we're going to have boys who leave elementary school saying, "Well I guess that was just a place for girls. It wasn't for me. So I've got to do gaming, or I've got to do sports." If we change these things, if we pay attention to these things, and we re-engage boys in their learning, they will leave the elementary schools saying, "I'm smart."Thank you.
所以我们的确要思考审视老师的态度，找到改变这态度的方法 好让老师更加宽容，以开放的态度 来接受在课堂上的这种男孩文化。 因为，最终，我们要是不改变， 就会有离开小学的男孩子说， “好吧，我猜学校只是适合女生待； 并不适合我。 所以我要去打游戏，或者玩体育。” 如果我们改变这些事，如果我们关注这些事， 我们重新唤起男孩学习的热情， 他们在离开小学时，说，“我变聪明了。”谢谢。