For the past 20 years there has been a focus on bridging the gap, particularly in math and science, in the education of girls. At the same time, there has been a revamping of our educational system, due to budget constraints and state academic requirements. The expectations of our children now routinely begin in kindergarten. Though this should be a time of creativity and socializing, we now expect our children to sit at a desk, be still and learn to read, with very few breaks for free play. And now, it is the boys who are suffering…
When Janet Allison, this week’s Inspiring Woman, first began teaching, over 10 years ago, she felt overwhelmed by the restless energy of the boys in her class. She would create beautiful lesson plans, that were thwarted daily by the impulsiveness of the boys. Having only raised daughters, she got curious, feeling compelled to figure out what was going on and what exactly she could do about it.
As she observed the boys in her classroom, she realized that by allowing her students to go outside and run around before school, they were much more productive and attentive when she gave her lesson. This led her to her own research into gender and brain differences and eventually to begin her business that includes family coaching, education and advocacy. With a deep desire to serve and to teach, she founded Boys Alive! .
“As academics continue to get “pushed down” into younger and younger grades, boys often suffer. When the early years of play turn too soon to academics – what was once first grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten – boys struggle to fit into these new constraints and school becomes stress-filled rather than joy-filled. Add to that teachers who are simply overwhelmed by boy energy and you’ve got trouble”, says Janet.
Janet has much to share in this interview about why boys learn so differently and how we as parents and teachers can begin to advocate for them. Her passion shines through as she talks both about her work and the process of stepping into her entrepreneurial path.
The inspired woman project: janet allison
Janet Allison is an author, educator, and Family Coach. As Founder of Boys Alive! she has inspired and motivated parents and teachers to understand and advocate for the boys they care for. Learn more at www.boysalive.com