Saturday, April 22, 2006

Let boys start school later, if at all

Presently five, this is too damn early, according to Alan McLean, an educational psychologist for Glasgow City Council:
"Mr McLean, who studied the performance of 1,400 pupils in the course of his research, also found that immature boys who start school at the age of four-and-a-half are at a disadvantage and often never catch up with their female peers.

He said there was a convincing case for allowing boys to start school later than girls, thereby giving them a chance to mature before they enter the classroom."
If we're going to wait until boys mature, we'd have to raise the school starting age to at least thirty although Mr McLean was thinking of six. Interesting idea, which will be impossible to sell but it's based on the commonplace, and correct, observation that in this country we start formal education too damn early:
"He said: "Five-year-old boys are built to play - they are like dogs. Putting them in a seat and asking them to sit all day is incompatible with their brains."
Yup - got a sproglet due to start school in August; will be amazed if my comrades in sand-pits can get him to sit still for more than thirty seconds - and if they do, I'm concerned that some fundamental dislocation in his DNA will be the result.

Alan McLean went on to say that what is difficult for five-year-olds is practically impossible when they're four-and-a-half. Yes and amen, is all I can say and add that it really sucks at the other end of the educational chain-gang too when you've got the barely house-trained variety that are a wee bit too immature for their peer group. What with their hormones giving them grief combined with an inability to conduct proper conversations with the opposite sex, they're reduced to making weird and quite unsettling mating noises and stapling themselves to the furniture and stuff in order to attract attention. It's not good, people.

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