Friday, September 28, 2007

Gender gap in achievement: where ARE you, Gilbert?

From the Sept. 22, 2007 Vancouver Sun article "To close the gender gap, we must do more for boys," by Melanie Jackson:

Among the memorable moments in Anne of Green Gables is the take-no-prisoners fight between the redheaded Ms. Shirley and Gilbert Blythe -- in academics. Right up to the end of Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic, the two battle neck-and-neck for highest marks.

It's one of the epic contests of young adult literature. It's also an anachronism. These days educators are trying to boost boys' average achievement rates to equal girls', never mind surpass them a la Gilbert. To do that, educators realize they pretty much have to start a new slate (much as Anne did after slamming Gilbert over the head with hers). Boys' lagging rates will be the topic of the Gender and Student Achievement Conference: Addressing the Gender Gap in Education, Oct. 18-20 in Kamloops.

Read the rest here. Above photo from the Kevin Sullivan production of Anne of Green Gables, featuring (ahem!) that OTHER famous redhead.