A boys-only public school could be coming to Toronto.
The education director of the Toronto District School Board is calling for a number of gender-segregated classes and male-friendly programs.
It comes on the heels of a new Africentric school that’s meant to curb a high dropout rate. That alternative program surpassed enrollment expectations and is still going strong.
Chris Spence believes that a focus on boys would improve learning and test scores, and keep them in school longer.
Dr. Spence has co-written a book on teaching young men, and argues that they learn differently than girls.
“There are advantages to having choice…There’s research-based evidence that boys are having difficulty and we know that they learn differently,” agreed Martin Long. The president of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto was speaking on CityOnline.
“In the big picture, in a publicly-funded education system, how much choice is the right amount of choice? How much consistency is the right amount of consistency?”
The segregated school, dubbed a male leadership academy, would be for children from kindergarten to Grade 3. A new grade would be added each year.
The plan already has one big supporter: Premier Dalton McGuinty says he likes the idea, acknowledging that boys need more help in terms of academics and behaviour development.
“I’m hearing a range of different opinions on this from my constituents,” trustee Josh Matlow admitted.
“A lot of people don’t have a problem with piloting boys-only classes, and seeing if this helps, but there is a lot of apprehension about creating a boys-only school.”