Synopses & Reviews
The Key to Unlocking the Minds of Boys
There's a crisis in our society that's been developing for years. This crisis has captured the attention of everyone from the parent at the playground to the teacher in your neighborhood classroom to First Lady Laura Bush in the White House. Too many of our boys and young men are falling behind in school and life. Boys receive the majority of the Ds and Fs given all students, and they create 90 percent of classroom discipline problems. Eighty percent of all high school dropouts are boys, millions of American boys are on Ritalin and other drugs, three out of four learning-disabled students are boys, and colleges are struggling to retain male students. This startling trend is not only bad for boys but also for parents, communities, and for humanity's future in general.
"Wonderfully readable, The Minds of Boys fills a great void for parents and educators by offering practical ways to change the developmental course for boys at risk. Gurian and Stevens show us that we don't have to surrender our boys to depression or school failure: an essential piece of school reform!"
—Robin Karr-Morse, author, Ghosts from the Nursery
"Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens pull the pieces together in The Minds of Boys, including the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs of boys. This is a must-read for educators from preschool through young adulthood and for any parent or grandparent who is raising a boy. This book is well researched, offering concrete ways to help our boys develop and flourish in and out of school."
—Dr. Paul D. Slocumb, author, Hear Our Cry: Boys in Crisis
"The Minds of Boys is an excellent read. I found it enlightening not only as a neuroscientist but also as the mother of a young boy. It has absolutely changed the way that I think about boys (and men) and the ways in which they express their enthusiasm for life."
—Tracey J. Shors, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, Rutgers University
“…I found the authors’ thesis compelling” (Times Educational Supplement
“…practical…the authors offer step-by-step guidance to help boys…” (Human Givens, Vol 12 (3), 2005)
"…(Gurian’s) humane, thought-provoking strategy for engaging boy’s…" (The Times T2, 4th November 2005)
"The Minds of Boys
provides a valuable service not only to parents and teachers but also policymakers. Boys today are languishing academically. Gurian and Stevens provide important analysis and practical solutions."
—Christian Hoff Sommers, author, The War Against Boys
"Reading this book may be the greatest act of love you can do for your son."
—Scott Haltzman, M.D., author, The Secrets of Happily Married Men and founder of www.secretsofmarriedmen.com
"The Minds of Boys is a wonderfully practical and enjoyable book to read and a great companion to The Wonder of Boys. The strategies presented help to empower parents to demand social justice for their boys in school. I highly recommend!"
—Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D., author, Nurturing Parenting Programs
"The Minds of Boys is a gift to parents, teachers, and anyone else involved in raising or nurturing boys. It is filled with cutting edge neuroscience, yet has the warmth of a wise professional."
—Daniel Amen, M.D., author, A Good Brain Great
"Wonderfully readable, The Minds of Boys fills a great void for parents and educators by offering practical ways to change the development course for boys at risk. Gurian and Stevens show us that we don't have to surrender our boys to depression or school failure: an essential piece of school reform!"
—Robin Karr-Morse, author, Ghosts From The Nursery
"Gender plays a significant role in how children think, develop, behave and consequently learn. The Minds of Boys is a timely, practical approach to helping boys succeed in educational environments, extra curricular activities and in daily life. A must read for parents trying to provide the best for their sons!"
—Amy James, author of the Knowledge Essential Series including First Grade Success and Second Grade Success
"Michael Gurian pulls the pieces together in The Minds of Boys, including the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs of boys. This is a must read for educators from preschool through young adulthood, and any parent or grandparent who is raising a boy. Gurian's work is well researched, offering concrete ways to help our boys develop and flourish in and out of school."
—Paul D. Slocumb, author, Hear Our Cry: Boys in Crisis
"This book provides invaluable information for parents and educators to help them improve boys' academic and social success."
—Michael Merrifield, Colorado House of Representatives, Chairman, House Education Committee
"As the mother of three sons, I'm grateful to Michael Gurian and Kathy Stevens for their breakthrough contribution to helping us understand how a boy's mind really works. We've always known that boys and girls learn differently, but Michael and Kathy have really shown us for the first time how we specifically can help our sons fulfill their potential. I highly recommend The Minds of Boys to all parents, teachers, and anyone who really cares about the future of our society. It is a must read that is destined to become a classic."
—Michele Borba, Ed.D., author, Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me: The Top 25 Friendship Problems and How to Solve Them and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing
"Michael Gurian had the courage to talk about boys before it was popular. This book takes his work further and articulates the issues from a brain-based approach with supporting research. He then gives very practical examples for interventions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who works with boys professionally or personally. I found the book to be extraordinarily helpful."
—Ruby Payne, author, The Poverty Framework
"The Minds of Boys is an excellent read. I found it enlightening not only as a neuroscientist but also as the mother of young boy. It has absolutely changed the way that I think about boys (and men) and the ways in which they express their enthusiasm for life."
—Tracey J. Shors, department of psychology, Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, Rutgers University
Michael Gurian's blockbuster bestseller The Wonder of Boys
is the bible for mothers, fathers, and educators on how to understand and raise boys. It has sold over 400,000 copies, been translated into 17 languages, and sells over 25,000 every year, which is more than any other book on boys in history. To follow up on this first book, which launched the boy's movement, he has now written this revolutionary new book which confronts what he and a lot of other parents and teachers in this country truly believe to be a "boy's crisis".
Here are the facts:
- Boys today are simply not learning as well as girls
- Boys receive 70% of the Ds and Fs given all students
- Boys cause 90% of classroom discipline problems
- 80% of all high school dropouts are boys
- Millions of American boys are on Ritalin and other mind-bending control drugs
- Only 40% of college students are boys
- And three out of four learning disabled students are boys
So what can we do?
Gurian has the answer in this enormously fascinating and practical book which shows parents and teachers how to help boys overcome their current classroom obstacles by helping to create the proper learning environment, understand how to help boys work with their unique natural gifts, nurture and expand every bit of their potential, and enabling them to succeed in life the way they ought to.
Gurian presents a whole new way of solving the problem based on the success of his program in schools across the country, the latest research and application of neuro-biological research on how boys' brains actually work and how they can learn very well if they're properly taught.
Anyone who cares about the future of our boys must read this book.
Based on years of research and classroom application with teachers, school districts, parents, communities, and policy makers, this book presents for the first time a detailed, step-by-step program and strategy for helping boys learn the basics--reading, writing, math, science.
The Minds of Boys
In this fascinating and practical book, Michael Gurian—the author of the best-selling The Wonder of Boys—and Kathy Stevens show parents and teachers how to help our boys overcome their current classroom obstacles and failures. They offer clear-cut step-by-step guidance to help boys fulfill themselves, use their intelligence, work with their unique natural gifts, expand every bit of their potential, and ultimately succeed in life.
The Minds of Boys also presents a scientifically researched, field-tested program for helping boys learn the academic basics: reading, writing, math, and science. Drawing from the latest gender-based brain science and tested by the Gurian Institute and school districts across the United States, Canada, and Australia, the program speaks to specific differences in the way boys and girls learn, the best learning environment for boys' brains, how to help undermotivated and underperforming boys, how to use the arts and athletics to teach boys, how to teach and care for sensitive, aggressive, restless, or bored boys, and how to utilize the option of single-gender education at crucial periods of a son's life.
The Minds of Boys emphasizes that our schools cannot fix the problems our boys face without families becoming a centerpiece for the solution. Detailing how parents, extended family, teachers, coaches, and mentors can work together, this proven classroom program can help confront the current crisis in boys' education so that all our sons achieve success in life.
About the Author
is the New York Times
best-selling author of The Wonder of Boys
and nineteen other books, including A Fine Young Man
, The Good Son
, The Wonder of Girls
, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently!
He is a pioneer in the fields of family development and education and has appeared on Today
, Good Morning America
, and in the New York Times
, USA Today
, and elsewhere.
Kathy Stevens is the training director of the Gurian Institute and has worked in education, child development, and the nonprofit world for more than thirty years in programs as diverse as juvenile and adult corrections, teen pregnancy prevention, cultural competency training, domestic violence prevention, and women's issues.
Table of Contents
Part One: Protecting the Minds of Boys.
1. The Current Crisis.
Is There Really a Crisis?
Understanding and Fixing the Crisis.
The Next Step.
2. How Boys Learn.
A New Science.
The Mismatch Between Boys and Conventional Education.
Confronting an Educational Myth.
Ending the Myth of Gender Plasticity and Supporting the Way Boys Actually Learn.
A Boy-Friendly Model for Protecting the Minds of Boys.
Part Two: Starting Boys Out in Boy-Friendly Learning Environments.
3. Helping Boys Learn Before They Begin School.
Protecting the Learning Potential of a Young Brain.
Building Bonding and Attachment.
Boys’ Special Attachment Issues.
Ten Strategies to Promote Attachment.
The Importance of Emotions in a Boy’s Early Education.
The Core Philosophy of Choice Making.
Promoting Verbal Development in a Young Boy.
Balancing a Boy’s Fine and Gross Motor Development.
Calming the Hidden Stressors in a Boy’s Life.
4. Effective Preschool and Early Learning Environments for Boys.
Providing a Boy-Friendly Learning Environment.
Boys and Sensory Issues.
Music and the Brain.
The Outdoor Classroom.
Do You Have to Use Your Words to Use Your Brain?
5. Removing Key Environmental Stressors From Boys’ Lives.
Promoting Brain Health.
Screen Time: TVs, Videos, Video Games, Computers.
What a Boy Eats and Drinks.
The Beauty of Brain Health.
Part Three: Teaching School Curricula in Boy-Friendly Ways.
6. Helping Boys Learn Reading, Writing, and Language Arts.
What Parents Can Do.
What Teachers Can Do.
Do Heroes Read and Write?
7. Helping Boys Learn Math and Science.
What Parents Can Do to Help Boys Learn Math.
What Teachers Can Do to Help Boys Learn Math.
What Parents Can Do to Help Boys Learn Science.
What Teachers Can Do to Help Boys Learn Science.
The Importance of the Arts and Athletics in Academics.
8. Using Single-Gender Classrooms Effectively.
The Essential Search for Equality.
The Success of Single-Gender Classes.
The Importance of Teacher and Parent Buy-In.
Single-Gender Sex Education.
Bringing Single-Gender Innovations to Your School.
Part Four: Helping Boys Who Need Extra Help.
9. A New Vision of Learning Disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and Behavioral Disorders.
The Inherent Fragility of the Male Brain.
Changing Our Course.
Getting the Right Diagnosis.
Moving to Optimism.
10. Confronting Undermotivation and Underperformance in Boys’ Learning.
Undermotivated, Underperforming Boys.
Some Causes of Undermotivation—and Some Cures.
When Gifted Boys Are Undermotivated.
Motivating Our Sons.
11. What Parents and Teachers Can Do to Motivate Boys to Learn.
What Parents Can Do.
What Teachers Can Do.
Helping Gifted Nonachievers.
The Key Role of Men in Motivating Boys.
Leaving No Boy Behind.
12. Helping Sensitive Boys in Our Schools.
Fighting Gender Stereotypes.
The Emotional Lives of Sensitive Boys.
What Parents Can Do to Help Sensitive Boys.
What Teachers Can Do to Help Sensitive Boys.
Choosing to Succeed.
Appendix: Ten Tips for Handling Bullying Among Boys.
The Gurian Institute.
About the Authors.