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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

America's Reading Gender Gap By Bill Costello

This is an article on Techcentralstation which I sent to Jerry Pournelle quoting an excerpt:

"One of the best ways to get boys reading is to offer them reading material that motivates them to want to read. Boys enjoy reading: nonfiction; stories with action and adventure; stories with male protagonists; and a wide variety of reading materials, including books, magazines, newspapers, how-to manuals, Web sites, comic books, and graphic novels.

Many teachers do not offer boy-friendly reading material because they view it as substandard. They believe it's better to require boys to read books that meet high literary standards..."

High literary standards being defined as stuff that is introspective, action free, relationship heavy, with no fight scenes & read by schoolmarms of both sexes.

I read Treasure Island in 7th Grade. It was in the reading textbook (Most Tennessee textbooks had mostly public domain material). Do they read Stevenson in grade school now?
I don't think there are objective standards for determining that War and Peace is of higher standard than a how-to manual. If not there is no excuse whatsoever for slanting education against teaching boys just because they are glandularly requited to be more adventurous. his is not only a socially destructive policy it is wicked. It would not be much less so if if there were objective literary standards applying.

A couple of other remarks from on the same day from Jerry that I thought worth keeping

On how peer reviewed science stultifies: I have said for many years that our grant system ought to be required to reserve some portion -- in the neighborhood of 10% -- for unpopular theories and experimentum crucium, as an insurance against the consensus bandwagon effect. I am more convinced of that than ever now.

On the new Federal Energy Regulator embracing windmillery: Which pretty well means that the recession will become a depression. Low cost energy is the key to economic growth, and nothing the government is doing would have as great an effect as a huge nuclear power program. The TVA was the best investment of the New Deal. It may be that private power would have done as well, but the cheap energy from TVA brought energy to the South.

Cheap power is the key to growth; and clearly that will not happen under the Change that we can believe in.

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