Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Raise Boys Who Read

Why is there growing disparity between boys and girls' reading skills? The trend is alarming. Here is an excerpt from Thomas Spence's article in The Wall Street Journal, that has plausible reason and solution:
"The appearance of the boy-girl literacy gap happens to coincide with the proliferation of video games and other electronic forms of entertainment over the last decade or two. Boys spend far more time "plugged in" than girls do. Could the reading gap have more to do with competition for boys' attention than with their supposed inability to focus on anything other than outhouse humor? 

Dr. Robert Weis, a psychology professor at Denison University, confirmed this suspicion in a randomized controlled trial of the effect of video games on academic ability. Boys with video games at home, he found, spend more time playing them than reading, and their academic performance suffers substantially. Hard to believe, isn't it, but Science has spoken.

The secret to raising boys who read, I submit, is pretty simple—keep electronic media, especially video games and recreational Internet, under control (that is to say, almost completely absent). Then fill your shelves with good books."
Link to article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704271804575405511702112290.html

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