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The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life
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The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  438 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Michael Gurian's blockbuster bestseller The Wonder of Boys is the bible for mothers, fathers, and educators on how to understand and raise boys. It has sold over 400,000 copies, been translated into 17 languages, and sells over 25,000 every year, which is more than any other book on boys in history. To follow up on this first book, which launched the boy's movement, he has ...more
Paperback, 351 pages
Published April 6th 2007 by Jossey-Bass (first published 2005)
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Feb 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, parenting
This is the worst kind of pseudoscience parading itself around as well researched fact. While Gurian paints a compelling picture when you scratch the surface you realize that there is only the thinnest veneer of evidence behind his claims. A book that is going to make claims about the differences in the brains and cognitive processes of boys and girls should have some pretty well substantiated research behind it. This book fails miserably on that account. While it bandies about scientific terms ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it liked it
An interesting look at everything I've done wrong and right in raising my boys. I think the things I've done right out weigh any mistakes I've made--like using the T.V. as a babysitter while I was working at home--bad mommy. I've been lucky though because I have three very intelligent boys with pretty good attention spans. They are well behaved at school and most of the time at home. But there is always room for improvement and this book definitely gave me some good insights into their minds and ...more
Brandi D'angelo
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even though this book is older (2005,) I found it informative and helpful for parents of boys. Increasing numbers of boys are being diagnosed with ADD, getting into trouble at school, have learning disabilities, lag behind girls in the same age group, and are unmotivated at school. Many (most) of these same boys are intelligent, capable of learning, and gifted in one or more areas. However, the manner in which they are taught, and sometimes combined with problems at home, makes their education f ...more
Audrey L
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book to help parents realize what "normal" boy behavior looks like at every stage of their growing up years. Boys and girls do learn differently. Because of the strong focus our education system has on making sure girls are doing well the authors investigate the "male learning style" that is so often at odds with current educational practices, leaving the mistaken impression that boys are difficult to manage and teach.

It breaks learning down into subjects and stages. The au
Amy C
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It has great information about what boys need to succeed in school and talks about learning difference between girls and boys. I found the information on television and its negative impact on brain development in boys to be interesting and it helped me make a case to reduce screen time in our home. Comprehensive with a nice balance between anecdote and fact.
Jun 24, 2009 is currently reading it
Not fiction at all! A friend told me it was a must-read as a parent of a boy.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have taught in the public and/or the private school for more than thirty years. This book relates in book form much of what I have observed over the years. When I started in the education field the goal was to change the trend of male domination. It worked as stated in the book and much of what is put forth in the text of this book is accurate in my opinion. I was amazed at how accurately the authors were in describing the last several decades in the schools. Now we to do exactly the same thin ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was required to read this as a part of my school's professional development. The book also had videos that went along with the chapters, which explained the research and statistics nicely. Throughout the book I found myself agreeing with everything Gurian and Stevens said. Being a teacher in the ever changing education world has shown many challenges dealing with male students. The book suggests going back to somewhat older ways of education, less drill and kill and more incorporation of natur ...more
Christine Calabrese
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for teachers and parents searching for answers regarding their young boys. I have done much study on this subject, including my own classroom work with boys. I hope you don't mind me including a blog I wrote on this subject. I discovered something very interesting about boys and learning to read.

Get this book and study it. It will help you understand your beautiful boys.
Alison Shiloh
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-find
This is all obvious stuff: Promote attachment, verbal development, and fine motor skills. Boys learn by doing. Drink more water, eat more protein. Build a team of parents, teachers, coaches, family for success.
Natasha Lane
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
As someone who wants to get into the field of public policy & education, I found this book very interesting. Initially, it was hard for me to grasp the idea of males as victims in any aspect of our society since I'm a woman and so, I live the life of a minority. Not to mention, there are still large discrepancies between men and women such as the wage gap. However, this book shined a whole new light on boys in our education system. The whole book was based on the idea that boys and girls lea ...more
أسماء ربيع
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
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Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A teacher's review

More informative than Boys and Girls Learn Differently , The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons From Falling Behind in School and Life is a fascinating look into the specific reasons why boys are doing so poorly in school nowadays. Very, very awful if you did not know - Boys are the overwhelming majority of special education students, are more likely to drop out, and are much less likely to attend college.

Gurian's strategies to help come off as a bit vague - few concrete solutio
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
So far I'm finding this book to be informative and interesting. I like the way there are practical tips embedded in the chapters, and statistics cited to support specific claims.I have already found myslef subtly changing the way I group students (allowing more opportunties for all-boy and all-girl groups) and I have become more attuned to how the boys work differently depending on whether they are grouped with girls or boys. Two of my boys (out of 5 boys total) are from very conservative Muslim ...more
Mar 03, 2009 rated it liked it
I found this book very interesting to read, but left a little unsatisfied in the end. The case is strongly made that a male brain functions/learns differently than the female brain. Evidence is provided as to why America should be concerned about the male education process: higher percentage of males diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, higher percentage of males in resource classes, higher percentage of discipline issues are males, lower performance in key educational areas, and a lower percentage of males ...more
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Lots of interesting research on how boys and girls learn differently. I liked that each chapter highlighted ways that parents, educators, and administrators can each implement the research findings into their individual situations. This book really helped me understand just how my son's brain is working now, and how it will be developing in the future. Of course, the research is generalized, but the book openly acknowledges the short-comings and limitations while still giving a good framework wi ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It is research based on the difference in brain structure between boys and girls, and how to help boys succeed in school. It is comprised of four parts: Protecting the minds of boys, Starting boys out in boy-friendly learning environments, Teaching school in boy-friendly ways, and Helping boys who need extra help. Some sections were more relevant than others for me, such as in part two as it talked about effective preschool and early learning environments.

As a result of read
Kathryn Bashaar
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this book because my grandson was having a hard time behaving in school and I was trying to help my daughter figure out why. It is a very general overview, so not all of it was relevant for us. Some it was aimed at teachers or at parents of older boys. But it was helpful in helping to understand why Ben is not a good fit at the school he's currently attending. I think it's true that lots of boys have trouble conforming to school rules that require a lot of sitting and listening. I also th ...more
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
From a writing perspective, it was quite dry. From a knowledge perspective, for me, there was the one chapter which told me what to do and why. Basically, play word games, use a picture dictionary, write grocery lists. Practice using a variety of words. Write a different word for each letter in his first name, and do that every day using different words. Play games using words in a sentence. There are reasons boys are different from girls and it is just in the make up of people. Boys have a defi ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Great practical resource for understanding how boys often physiologically learn differently from girls, and techniques for helping them learn up to their potential. It covers the early years through high school. The only question I was left with is what happens when boys go to college? At what point do "boys" learn like men, or do these gender learning differences never go away? It seems as if many of the differences even out later as boys mature, but when? I do wish I had the book (instead of t ...more
Heather Wolfers
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Give our active boys a break! Understand why they may not thrive sitting in the front row and raising their hand all the time...and that it's o.k.! It's natural. They would really shine in the days of yore being an apprentice or on a family farm, but that just doesn't happen anymore in modern society. This book gives insight into how our boys can thrive in a school system that really isn't designed to suit their nature. This is a must-read for Moms of boys. It's hard for us to understand their m ...more
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good resource. The school I teach in is interestingly heavy on boys and I always look for more things to do to be able to accommodate them. This book has a surprising amount of new suggestions and information for me. I always expect to have heard it all, having been in so many professional developments and read so many books in my time. It does sometimes concern me how skewed the education system is against best practices for helping boys learn. This book is a must read for parents and educ ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents of young boys, teachers
I thought this book was very interesting. The latest information on how the male brain works in terms of learning was fascinating. It definitely will influence how I teach the boys in my classroom.

I think it was especially interesting to read about the developmental years and how the male brain needs to be adapted in a sense to our verbal world. I would recommend this book to any parent who has a son especially those under the age of five. I think they will learn valuable things that will help t
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This seemed like helpful information for teachers and school reformers, and I got the impression the author's institute has done a lot of good. However, much of the advice for parents was what I'd consider common knowledge that applies to both boys and girls (e.g. reading aloud, limiting screen time, and having good adult role models). There were occasional interesting tidbits on gender-related brain differences. There were a couple of minor things I may apply as a homeschool parent, but for the ...more
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I did not get halfway in this book. I enjoyed what I read and want to finish it eventually. It was overdue at the library with someone waiting for it, so I had to turn it in.
I really believe that boys often learn differently (not all boys, but most), and it's important to help them succeed. It's no surprise the number of men in colleges declines while the number of women increases.
A worthwhile read!
Mar 28, 2008 rated it liked it
This book discusses how and why boys learn differently from girls. Most of the author's findings are based on brain scans. Most of it is geared towards educators and how classrooms can be more "boy-friendly", but there are some interesting pieces in there for parents or even woman who want to know why the men in her life act the way they do! It can be a little simplistic and repetitive, but I just skim through the sections that don't interest me.
Laura (booksnob)
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents and teachers of boys
Shelves: thesis, non-fiction
This has been a very insightful book. I have learned so much about boys, how they learn and how their brain operates. This book gives strategies in how to deal with low achieving males, sensitive males and how to help all males succeed in the areas of literacy, math and science. This is a must read for parents and teachers of boys. I highly recommend it.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it liked it
It's a lot to wade through but I think it has some valuable information. The author is an advocate for single sex education. I wish there was more advice on what to do if that is not an option. I really enjoyed the chapter on "underachieving gifted boys" which is what I think I have in Ethan. It started me on a "no tolerance for mediocrity" program.
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I think this book should be a must-read for parents of boys, moms of boys, at least. I learned so much about ways boys learn and think and how it is often different from how girls learn and think. Now I can be more knowledgeable as we start the journey through school. I want to read The Wonder of Boys by this same author.
Dec 09, 2011 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Gurian definitely promotes his own ideals (particularly his own Institute), but there is some compelling research that kept me reading. I just skimmed over the mundane parts and the sections that don't pertain to me. Overall, though, I appreciated the science behind boys' brains so that I can apply it, along with some of his learning suggestions, with my own son.
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“In reality, human nature hardwires gender into our brains in three biological stages. The first stage has been clarified by genetics research, the second by endocrinological research, and the third by psychosocial research .7” 1 likes
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