Mi-Jung’s Blog


March 28, 2010

    I’ve been thinking a lot about boys lately.  What excites them?  What makes so many of them shrug and say, “I don’t like school”?  What makes them different from girls?  I know -- it’s not politically correct to talk about gender in school.  The school system is about helping ALL students achieve their utmost.  What gender gap?  It’s a phrase I heard often in recent weeks as I researched my latest news series “The Trouble With Boys”.  Having brought two boys into the world, I was eager to explore the issue further.  It’s highly convenient when you get paid to research how to be a better parent.    Who doesn’t love a two-for-one deal?

    There are differences between boys and girls when it comes to academic achievement.  Some downplay the gap saying girls are more compliant and work harder so of course their school marks will reflect that.   While girls definitely are ahead on classroom marks, when it comes to exam marks, the difference between girls and boys isn’t as dramatic.  It looks like boys know how to buckle down and get the answers right when the pressure’s on.  Some academics worry that making too big of a deal about boys underachieving will direct energy and resources towards them and remove all the gains that girls have made.  They also point to the fact that once all that schooling is done women still lag behind men in earnings and power positions in the workforce.

    My series on boys and school airs on CTV News at 6 starting Monday, March 29th.  It will also include strategies that teachers have found successful for engaging boys.  I also interviewed a renowned expert on mentoring boys.  He has some great tips for parents.  If my boys are transformed into angels in the classroom and at home, I’ll know who to thank.

    I took to heart the advice I heard from experts in the field: boys + exercise = better behaviour.  My son and I went for a 10 k run/walk this weekend.  A boy’s energy is an amazing renewable resource.  “Try to channel it for the good,”  I gasped to myself in the final block, as my 12-year-old progeny effortlessly sprinted ahead of me.


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Mi-Jung Lee is an investigative reporter and anchor working for  CTV in Vancouver BC.  She delves into the issues that matter to British Columbians.

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