May 31, 2007

IT’S EVERYWHERE: The Dangerous Book for Boys inspires this column by Christina Hoff Summers in the New York Post. Excerpt:

In a radical departure from modern schoolroom readings, the book has almost nothing to say about feelings, relationships or how boys can learn to cry. It valorizes risk, adventure and manliness.

Today’s boys inhabit a danger-averse world where even old favorites like tag and dodge ball are under a cloud – Too competitive! Someone might get hurt! The National Parent Teacher Association recommends a cooperative alternative to the fiercely competitive “tug of war” called “tug of peace.”

By contrast, “The Dangerous Book for Boys” has detailed instructions on how to hunt, kill, skin and cook a rabbit. . . .

The sad lesson of this book’s success is how far our current education culture has drifted from the world of boys. The special art of teaching boys – once so well understood by educators everywhere – is at risk of being lost forever.

One literacy expert reviewed several junior-high social studies texts and concluded: “Many students may well end up thinking that the West was settled chiefly by females, most often accompanied by their parents.”

Read the whole thing. As Dangerous Book author Conn Iggulden noted in our podcast interview, things seem to be changing. It’s about time.