Against a backdrop of role models, Ernest Jenkins III teaches a class at Oakland High School called “Mastering Our Cultural Identity: African American Male Image.” Photo: Jim Wilson, New York Times
Hoping to lift achievement for black male students, Oakland (California) schools have hired black Male Teachers to teach African-American history and culture in what’s called the Manhood Development Project, reports Patricia Leigh Brown in the New York Times.
“The No. 1 strategy to reduce discipline issues is engaged instruction,” says Christopher P. Chatmon, who runs the district’s Office of African American Male Achievement.
Rahsaan Smith, 13, is one of the few Manhood Development students growing up with a father and mother at home. Photo: Jim Wilson, New York Times
Many students have grown up without a father or male role model. Students form strong relationships with teachers and the program also brings in black male professionals and college advisers.
Chatmon’s office compiles an honor roll of black students with a 3.0 average or better. Three years ago, only 16 percent were male. That’s risen to 25 percent.
China is looking for male teachers to teach manhood, reports Javier C. Hernnandez, also in the New York Times.
Lin Wei, 27, a male sixth-grade teacher in Fuzhou, tells stories about manly warlords and soldiers. “Men have special duties,” he said. “They have to be brave, protect women and take responsibility for wrongdoing.”
Worried that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys, Chinese educators are working to reinforce traditional gender roles and values in the classroom.
In Zhengzhou, a city on the Yellow River, schools have asked boys to sign pledges to act like “real men.” In Shanghai, principals are trying boys-only classes with courses like martial arts, computer repair and physics.
The motto of West Point Boys, an all-male summer camp in Hangzhou, in eastern China, is: “We bring out the men in boys.”
When Mark Judge was hired as the only male teacher at a Catholic K-8 school, the boys were ecstatic, he writes on Acculturated.
. . . the boys literally formed a circle around me and started jumping up and down. There were requests to play football, questions about cars, inquiries into my favorite baseball player, light punches (from them) on my shoulder.
The U.S. should “encourage more men to become the kind of teachers our boys need,” he concludes.
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