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canada: our time to lead


For the last few decades in Canada, as in most western countries, statistics have piled up suggesting that boys are falling behind girls in most measures of academic achievement. We wanted to know if the trend is real and sought to answer these questions:

  • Why is the progress of boys not keeping pace with the girls?
  • Does it suggest a crisis – on the homefront? In the classroom?
  • Has the mantra that "boys will be boys" somehow led to their neglect – and what, if anything, should be done about it?
  • How might such a trend reshape society and the economy in the future?

Most-viewed, most-discussed stories

  1. Failing boys and the powder keg of sexual politics Compelling statistics show boys rank behind girls by nearly every measure of scholastic achievement, yet the phenomenon is as polarizing as it is puzzling. More...
  2. Are we medicating a disorder or treating boyhood as a disease? For school children across the country – most of them boys – taking a drug for attention deficit disorder each morning has become as commonplace as downing a vitamin. More...
  3. The endangered male teacher The male elementary teacher is the spotted owl of the education system, the leatherback turtle, the Beluga. His presence is so endangered that in many public schools his numbers can be counted on a single hand. In some schools, it requires no hands at all. More...

Top scored Catalyst comment
The real problem is that as a society, we no longer value educated males. Look at the role models for our young men. I don't see many great thinkers on MuchMusic... Old Man in the Sea

Top scored Reader comment
Throughout public school, I was strapped numerous times each year ... Now they drug you. At least the old way I could fight back in spirit and maintain a sense of independence... Watchdog

Expert panel debate: Most viewed video
Are parents to blame?
Featuring Kathleen Gallagher, professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, child advocate Silken Laumann, McGill University professor John Bradley and Globe reporter Carolyn Abraham. More...

Most viewed interactive
Prescriptions for ADHD drugs by gender
: Figures compiled for The Globe and Mail by IMS Health, an independent firm that tracks pharmaceutical sales, show prescriptions for Ritalin and other amphetamine-like drugs for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder shot up to 2.9 million in 2009, a jump of more than 55 per cent in four years. View...

Most active live chat
Failing boys and why we should care , featuring Dr. Paul Cappon, president and CEO of the Canadian Council on Learning, and Globe reporter Carolyn Abraham. More...

Most active poll and results
In your opinion, what's the biggest impediment to a boy's academic success?
Of 11,714 votes cast:

  • 45% Feminization of education
  • 25% Cultural distractions (video games, TV)
  • 18% Poor parenting
  • 6% Lack of male role models
  • 6% Other

If women were still just 38 per cent of undergraduates, we wouldn't tolerate it. If women were 64 per cent of high school dropouts, we would be up in arms. The Globe and Mail