Why are boys underachieving in the classroom? | Education

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Boys usually underachieve in education because they are more susceptible to peer pressure and to become truants. This is supported by the growing number of gangs in the UK and anti-social behavior orders against groups of boys aged from 8 through to 18 years old. This peer pressure is overpowering the need to be educated because schooling is becoming less involved with challenging the student and promoting education but politics, marks and teacher's fears of what students might do with security programmes.

It is necessary that this approach be altered or boys willcontinue to underachieve. As this following discussion will illustrateit is necessary that education is promoted and fun and interesting.Also teachers should not focus an unequal treatment of boys, justbecause they will most likely cause problems in the classroom. It isthis treatment that makes boys angry with the education system andpromotes them to join gangs. The following section will discuss howboys make up the majority of gangs in the UK and how the treatment ofboys in the education system cause them to lose interest and join gangsetc and underachieve. It will do this by analyzing the data concerningboys joining gangs, which indicates they are more susceptible to peerpressure. Then it will discuss equality and rights and how it isnecessary for the present legal system to afford children rights ofequality in the education system. It will then look at the argumentsthat focus on the fact that it is the education system's inadequaciesthat cause underachievement. Finally, this discussion will conclude bydiscussing necessary actions to ensure that boys needs and education ispromoted.

In the UK because the nature of gang membership is according tofactors, such as age, area of their residence and educationalattendance or level, i.e. as the study made by Sander's  revealed thePolice in London were unable to associate with the definition of thecolourized gang, i.e. known as gang proper, rather gangs weremulti-cultural and complex, i.e. vague associations of boys thatgrouped together and committed criminal act.   In addition there isanother source of data concerning gangs which is Stelfox  which isbased upon data collected from police forces throughout the UK on thebeliefs of whom police officers believe were gang members. The resultwas a lot more varied and was farther away from the stereotypical imageportrayed by the US and Greater Manchester Police forces, where it wascomputed that 66% of gangs were of the white majority, 25% weremulti-cultural and only 9% were of a minority single race group ,rather gangs were primarily boys from the age of 12 through to 20, whowere known truants. Closely tied to these gangs is anti-socialbehavior; however the members were primarily impressionable boys thatwere subjected to peer pressure and disillusionment in their school andleisure life that they joined the gang to be cool. In addition if boysare being isolated in schools be teachers as trouble makers this causesthese boys to gang up, rebel against the education system by notattending and if they do attend causing problems out of fear and anger.This is basic history of many gang formations, if one considers thesource of black street gangs in the USA, which arose from theirisolation in the 50, 60s and 70s by the criminal justice system. Thisis easily the occurrence in the UK in respect boys in the classroom,i.e. there actions are out of fear and anger to their treatment in theclassroom.

To understand the extent that the current education system isdisadvantaging boys is trough stereotyping as young hooligans oruninterested in learning. This means there needs to be substantivelegal rights that are afforded to children in order to ensure that theyare treated equally in the classroom and not as second class citizens.Therefore one must understand there is a difference between a merelegal right and an inherent (also known as substantive) right. Hohfeldhas been the most significant jurisprudential thinker to discuss thedifference between the varying types of rights. The focus of Hohfeld'sanalysis of rights is from an analytical perspective; the main aim ofHohfeld's work was to clarify exactly what rights are. Hohfeld'sanalysis of rights is split into four different categories which are;claim-right; privilege; power and immunity. These rights have been puttogether into a grid of entitlements  which enables one to understandthe nature and content of rights; which the individual has in varyingdegrees. It is this clear and precise method that makes Hohfeld'sanalysis fundamental to rights interpretation within legal arenas. Thisexploration is going to argue that this exposition of rights isessential to jurisprudence and understanding the nature of rights.Under English law Hohfeld's analysis clearly expresses how varyingdegrees of rights are contained under the Human Rights Act 1998 and donot conflict with parliamentary sovereignty. As Helen Fenwick discusses:
“Under Hohfeld's view… it becomes clear that, traditionally, mostfreedoms in the UK were merely liberties; one did no wrong to exercisethem, but there was no positive duty on any organ of the state tofacilitate them… When the Human Rights Act 1998 came fully into force…many Hohfeldian liberties became rights in Hofeldian terms since…public authorities have been laid under a positive duty to respectthem” .
 Hohfeld's analysis is that the confusion over the nature of rights hasbeen effectively eliminated. In contrast to the controversies intheorists such as Dworkin , Kymlicka , Kant  and MacKinnon , it doesnot get trapped into confusing the nature of rights with thejustification of rights. If one applies this to problems concerninggender; discrimination; animal; and environmental rights one couldactually apply a type of right in order to rectify the legal and moralinequities. Legal and political philosophers have gotten too tied up injustifying rights, that they have confused the meaning of right.Hohfeld has provided an interesting tool in order to level the playingfield, because the question concerning the equality of rights is nolonger an issue. Instead Hohfeld's analysis allows for differentright-elements to be applied in different situations. ThereforeHohfeld's analysis can be applied to both legal analysis and moralquandaries, which means that one in addition to clarifying rights canuse this analysis as a tool to justifying rights.
    Hohfeld was very humble in his aims for his analysis of rights,because it has provided more than a tool to clarify rights. For exampleif one applied this problem to media law where there are conflicts inthe right to privacy and the freedom of press, these rights possiblyfall into the categories of immunity; claim-right; and privilege Theproblem is that they are competing rights and if one applies the levelof right, also to the specific facts then the confusion that hashappened between courts  would be a lot less likely. In short Hohfeld'sanalysis has taken out all the moral quandaries in the nature ofrights; and has provided an analytical method to apply to both moralquandaries and the justification of rights This will become moreapparent in the following chapters.  In relation to absolute humanrights or substantive rights then these are immunities which thegovernment cannot interfere with; however a mere legal right is aprivilege whereby the government has provided disability rights, butthere is no need to provide these rights and may be taken away if inthe government's interest. Therefore this illustrates the importance ofmaking boys rights substantive rights in the same way women need themin the workplace. Also another problem is the current education systemwhich home school advocators argue are hindering children because ofstereotypes and peer pressure of a small minority of boys in the classroom. Franzosa, on the other hand, focuses on the fact that publicschooling is important for social development; however it is greatlylimited especially in the respect of treating students equally andensuring that students learn rather than fall foul to peer pressure andbullying, which causes students to underachieve. As noted earlier boysare more likely to underachieve because of peer pressure to playfootball or join a gang.

Holt proposes that it is the void of institutionalism of education thatimpedes social development . In addition Holt argues that home studyteaches children about individualism and enhances their respect andunderstanding and human rights . However there are critics of Holt'sproposal and argue that such schooling teaches children that theirindividual needs are more important than the larger society and impedesthe goals of democracy.  Yet a question of social development in themodern world is inherently tied into children's understanding of humanrights and respect for the individuals; as well as adherence to law andgovernance in respect to promoting a civil society. However if homeschooling was eliminated then the rights of the individual would beignored and a move towards institutionalism and a void likeunderstanding of humanity and social development would be created. Alsoif one connects such arguments to the essence of humanity, the bestmethod for education and development of one's intellect should befollowed, which is an objective goal. Also the argument from Franzosais purely a westernized view of education and the combating views ofdemocracy and individualism may not be appropriate in all cultures.Therefore this causes one to refer to cultural relativism, but as theprevious argument shows individualism and human rights are present inall cultures. In short home schooling can aid children to respect andpromote individualism and human rights within the context of theirculture, rather than the objective, anti-social institutions of moderneducation. The problems of the anti-social system will be highlightedin the following discussions; as well as illustrating the problems withthe development of children socially. This has resulted in a situationwhere; children are intimidated and bullied by other children'santi-social behaviour; children lose the value of learning and thepromotion of their intellect; parents become criminally liable fortheir children's truancy even if they take all reasonable steps topromote attendance; children take guns into school and murder theirpeers on the masses; children are not taught to respect other's humanrights because these rights are eroded by the institution they attend;cultural learning and religion is eroded by a so called value-neutralapproach, which in fact promotes westernized ideals; and the fairnessand justice do not play apart in this institution. Therefore maybe Holtis right in his promotion of home schooling as an effective remedy forthe problems in children's social development.  Franzosa argues thatthis argument is too simplified and a more complex, multifacetedapproach to institutional education is necessary.
Holt's advocacy of a single solution to the multiplicity of problems wenow face in education is naïve and misleading. Further, the socialthesis he uses to support that solution signifies a retreat from anycollective consideration of educational ideals and a dismissal of theidea that communities have any educational responsibilities to theirmembers.

Therefore it is necessary that there is a joint action from theteachers, police, social workers and the government to make educationinteresting and not a punishment. As well as ensuring that children aretreated equally, i.e. boys are not discriminated against purely becausethey are boys. The main problems as indicated by Franzosa is that itfails to educate equally and at different levels, this is because theeducation is stretched and run like a business rather than a place ofeducation. This will cause impressionable boys to be interested andintegrated rather than excluded and isolated. In turn this will make itless likely that they would join gangs, goof around or not applythemselves in the classroom. In other words, the education system needsto make it cool to go to school for boys; rather than penalize justbecause of their sex, which makes them angry and causes them to grouptogether, create gangs or loose association of boys who create trouble.Therefore a very important aspect of ensuring that boys do not underachieve is to afford children a right to education and to be treated equally.

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