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The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do
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The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  554 ratings  ·  143 reviews
From the moment they step into the classroom, boys begin to struggle. They get expelled from preschool nearly five times more often than girls; in elementary school, they’re diagnosed with learning disorders four times as often. By eighth grade huge numbers are reading below basic level. And by high school, they’re heavily outnumbered in AP classes and, save for the realm ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,243)
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Jill
I found this book thought provoking, but ultimately lacking. The book relies on an essentialist understanding of gender--you could structure a drinking game around the frequency of mention of how much boys love trucks, for example--that limits its claims. Every page, I asked WHY: why are boys less verbal entering school? why do boys require more physical activity to succeed in school? why do boys need "gross-out" humor to find discussion accessible?

In this orientation, Tyre misses a critical an
...more
Stephanie
For all you that have boys out there, this is a must read. The book showcases the problems that boys are having in our school system and how we can help them succeed. I was amazed by statistics such as boys get diagnosed with ADHD over 5 times the amount of girls, boys are declining in subjects such as Math and Science, and the gender gap on college campuses between girls and boys are increasing. Very interesting. I will be more aware of how to make sure the schools are good for my boys.
Meredith
Dec 29, 2008 Meredith rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meredith by: Chris
It was interesting to read this book as an elementary female teacher. As I read, I realized that many of my techniques in the classroom fit for boys- and not girls. Boys need to move and think differently than girls. You can either take this book completely to heart or pick and choose ideas.
Mary
Jun 10, 2010 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, parents of boys having difficulties in school
Shelves: teaching-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claudia
"The longer boys stay in school, the farther they fall behind the girls." And we teachers and parents allow that to happen.

This book has rocked me to the foundation of my beliefs about education. Tyre's discussions of the research support what I 'felt' about education: we've rigged the system toward little girls, and our boys may NEVER, NEVER catch up. There are now universities that have to practice quiet 'affirmative action' to bring in more male students...so while males are not the benefica
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Natalie
Dec 19, 2008 Natalie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents and educators
Recommended to Natalie by: gmail :-)
I'm absorbing as much as I can of this book but I think I'll buy it. I know our school system is great, our preschool is great, but I am going to try to make darn sure that my son isn't one of the tons of boys left behind in an increasingly test-oriented, sit-still-centric education system. It's not like Samantha's a sit still sort of kid anyway, so I might learn some valuable tips to help her even though she's not a boy :-)

So far I think this is one of the most important books I've read as a pa
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Sheryl
This is one of the most important and revelatory books I have ever read. Our boys are failing to achieve at the same rate as our girls in record numbers. Lest you believe this is just a problem for boys, it has an impact on our daughters, too. The book alternately moved me to tears of recognition at some of the struggles my son has to face, while simultaneously making me angry on my daughter's behalf at how gender inequity (on either side) benefits no one. With objectivity and a heck of a lot of ...more
David
Interesting summary and analysis of the research showing that boys and men lag well behind girls and women in school achievement. A lot of it is familiar ground (possible overdiagnosing and overmedicating of boys for ADHD, 57% of college undergraduates are women, boys would rather play video games than do homework.........) if you either work in education or know a lot of boys, but the author does a nice job of laying it out and of providing some historical context.

I also appreciated her empiric
...more
Nshslibrary
In preschool, boys are expelled almost five times as often as girls, and are four times as likely as girls to be diagnosed with an attention or learning problem (5). Only sixty-five percent of males graduate from high school, as opposed to seventy two percent of females (26). 57.2 percent of students enrolled in undergraduate college in 2005 in the United States were female (6). Many of these statistics may be surprising as they go against our preconceived notions that girls are the ones who req ...more
Giga
Very interesting as my son is currently working through issues that were originally diagnosed as ADD. Very disappointing to know that the last 4 years of constant conflict may not have been his fault after all, but it's offering more insight as to what I can try to offer his teachers when the conference discussion inevitably turns to his attention problems.
Ann
I'm loving this so far. I'm hoping to read a lot more suggestions of what to do with my boy.
Elvia
It took me a long time to get through it. You don't really read this book, you absorb it. It is a real life horror story about the state of affairs when it comes to educating boys. I had suspected as much as an elementary teacher and now as a secondary teacher. Boys and girls learn differently and when we don't acknowledge this, then we are setting up the US and the world for failure. I don't know what will happen.

I think that Peg does well at writing and reporting her findings. Oh its definite
...more
Ginger
I dog eared so many pages in this book, I need to buy the library a new one. I want to compile a list of the things I found interesting/useful, so this review is my own cliff notes.
Preschool Blues-the average boy moves around a little more than the typical girl, however the most active ones are MOST likely to be boys. The most profound difference in movement grows pronounced at age two and peaks when boys are seven or eight. The demand of an academic preschool classroom can outpace a boy's natur
...more
Brittney
The author seems to talk in circles. She shares a lot of conflicting research, many statistics, and few suggestions. She devotes a whole chapter to brain-based research only to conclude that “brain-based” learning is a fad and parents should “be wary” of it. Same-sex schools are touched on and Tyre advises parents to “proceed with caution.” This all being said after a whole chapter’s worth of research shows us that the only groups that benefit from this model of schooling are girls and poor Afri ...more
Ashley
I liked the things I am learned about the differences between the ways boys and girls learn to read, learn in general in our public schools. I like how the author focuses two of the chapters on preschool and kindergarten (since this I feel is very relevant to me and my child right now). I liked learning ways that I can help my son enjoy learning and reading (by allowing him to read and enjoy some of the books that I may not have picked out for him). I am taking a lot of good things away from rea ...more
Stephanie
As the mother of a young boy who will be homeschooled when he hits school age, I found this book incredibly informative and well-written. It not only reaffirmed our decision to keep our son out of traditional schools, but it gave me a foundation upon which to build knowledge to properly educate my son. Even at the age of 1 he already exhibits "classic" male traits: high energy, hands on learning, loves building and playing cars, and he loves things that mimic sports.

I stumbled across this book a
...more
Mary
I saw the documentary based on Raising Cain just before I lived with dorms full of thousands and thousands of boys. It was enormously helpful. This similar book has been likewise thought-provoking and applicable. Now let's be clear: I don't have sons, I don't even teach this semester, but knowing how schools are failing to accommodate what we know about boys has impacted how I interact with them.

Tutoring a guy at the writing center who, honestly, was not the brightest member of our campus com
...more
Greg
I also did a review of a similar book called Why Boys Fail. This book was more engaging than that one and a bit more fleshy, though they both used the same interviewees, studies, and case schools. This book had a bit wider range of source material and interview subjects. It largely reached the same recommendations that Why Boys Fail did (in particular, failures to support literacy for boys, intolerance of the temperament of young boys, uninteresting reading materials, etc.) This book is less dis ...more
Gina Denny
I almost put this book down at least six different times. Not because it's bad, but because it's a non-fiction book with almost no new information for me.

If you're unfamiliar with the boys-at-school problem, here it is in a nutshell: Boys develop more slowly than girls. Yet we send them to school at the same age, putting them at an automatic disadvantage. Once they are there, predominantly female teachers and female PTA crusaders create an environment in which boy-behavior is completely unaccep
...more
Jean
If you are concerned about how well your son is doing in school, or if you are wondering about your daughter's prospects for college admission, this book is a wonderful read. Tyre has filled this volume with facts and personal stories and breaks down the latest studies and scientific data in a well organized book that allows you to pick and choose which chapters to read, although you may find yourself devouring the entire book. I found that it challenged my feminist ideas about girls in the clas ...more
Jeremy
If you teach or have a son, read this. If you're both a teacher and parent to a boy, start tomorrow!
This was recommended to me in my administration class by the professor, and I'm glad I looked into it.
Besides focusing on why today's boys (and by extension, men) are falling behind in schools, business and society. Tyre makes a compelling case that the feminist movement may have over-reached, and the outcome is a high drop-out rate amongst boys, a horrible future for male minorities, and a bleak
...more
Samantha
This book was backed up by careful documentation and it was absolutely heart-wrenching. I have two boys and just talking about these issues brought tears to my eyes. It confirmed an uneasy feeling I had about my oldest son's education when he stopped wanted to attend preschool after several months. Three years later and he still has issues with the idea of attending school. I knew something was wrong but now I have a much better idea of what.

Along with information on the problem, the author giv
...more
Liz B
I heard Peg Tyre speak at the Conference on English Leadership in Las Vegas this past November, and she spoke passionately and articulately about the ways that our education system can fail boys and young men, particularly those who are already at a disadvantage. The book was equally interesting--especially the sections on preschool and early elementary. I wanted the same sort of depth in the discussion of middle and high school, but it's just not there. There's a brief look at a few of the prob ...more
Tracey
Adult nonfiction; education/social issues. Peg Tyre builds on the work of Leonard Sax but fails to add much new apart from some perspective on why people have trouble acknowledging that boys are in fact at a disadvantage in today's educational institutions (it has a lot to do with not wanting to take attention or support away from the feminist movement). Her research is also somewhat spotty and not thoroughly convincing; however, teachers and parents of boys who struggle in school will be well a ...more
Rebecca
Interesting food for thought on many topics touching on males and education. I quite enjoyed the beginning and middle, although my conclusion at the end is that she falls into the trap she criticizes other authors for falling into: chalking too much up to nature and innate biological differences.

For example, maybe fine-motor skills are something that boys struggle with more--but is it the parent and educator's duty to accept that as an unchangeable fact of life or is their duty to give them opp
...more
Kevin
This book is posses a very interesting question: Is our education system bias against boys. This question flies in the face of common knowledge. If you ask people who the education system favors and I bet that the majority of individuals will say girls. The data shows the complete opposite. Boys make up the vast majority of students who are held back a year, score lower on all standardized tests, defined as ADHD. In contrast of girls make up nearly 66% of all college freshman, the vast majority ...more
Christina
This book raised some good points, but there was some stereotyping of both genders that drove me bonkers (and of course the obligatory section on the evils and perils of being a gamer.) I hope that parents, both moms and dads, walk away from this book resolving to be more aware of their kids' academic lives and model good behavior such as reading for enjoyment in front of them.
Karin
This book should be required reading for all parents...handed to them at Kindergarten registration. Based firmly in research, this author succeeds in being engaging and provocative without coming accross as preachy. She clearly maps the challenges boys face in modern society and in schools, and then suggests areas meriting closer examination. Her exclamation point is the importance of the "trouble with boys" to parents of girls (who are now being discriminated against, not because of being UNDER ...more
Nate Jordon
If you're a pre-K through high school teacher, this is a must-read. If you're considering becoming a pre-K through high school teacher, read this first. If you're an adjunct professor at the Community College of Denver, this will either convince you to become a crusader, or throw in the plunger and become a plumber. . . .

Someone once said, "There ain't gonna be any middle anymore." That's the attitude all teachers and professors need to take. As an instructor, there's much more at risk than atte
...more
Karen
This is a fascinating look at boys and what we aren't doing for them. I've felt for a while that many men in today's society are somehow lacking in that old fashioned sense of what 'being a man' means. But not sure how to give them back that confidence, desire, that something.....

This book helps me understand that a little more. I too am guilty of some of the attitudes and mentalities mentioned. Boys are boys and I need to be more accepting and approving of some of those natural thought processe
...more
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