03/28/2015 Jonathan Taylor

Yonkers Boys: a new charter school promoting the “science of the male”

I recently had the pleasure of speaking via phone with Ed Stephens, the founder of The Foundation for Male Studies. In case you are not familiar with his organization, it is one that promotes the academic study of experiences that are distinctive or unique to men and boys from a view that is – unlike much academic discussion on gender for the past forty years – empathetic to their experiences.

He informed me that his foundation is embarking on a new project: the creation of a new boys’ charter school called Yonker’s Boys, which promotes the “science of the male.” Here is the general idea, according to their website:

The school offers an opportunity for truly engaged learning alongside significant investment in one’s own learning. It aims to engage boys at the earliest level and to re-engage boys who have been alienated from current models of traditional schooling by “taking them where they are” and using tools that best suit male brain learning.

The combination of knowledge from the emerging field of male brain science, along with known educational principles, is set to engage boys in a lasting embrace of education, because it works for them.

Education starts in the brain. The brains of males differ from those of females and require a carefully planned encounter with learning to achieve boys’ inborn potential and place them on the path of lifelong learning.

The traditional, “one size fits all” school system doesn’t work for many (some might assert most) children today and it is clear from the statistics that it doesn’t work well for boys. Traditional schools lack the sensitivity to male learning, and the ability to tailor learning plans to the individual learners, rather boys are brought to ‘education’ and expected to learn as if learning was generic and unrelated to the needs of the male learner.

The ‘Yonkers Model’ places the unique needs and strengths of the male brain at the center of its pedagogical model. Programs are tailored to capitalize on boys’ needs for active instructional styles, hands-on learning, inspirational teacher leadership, project-based learning, materials that intrigue boys (particularly technology and gaming), connected with caring teachers and increased kinesthetic movement.

The ‘Yonkers Model’ utilizes the emerging bioscience and neuroscience of maleness, reinforced by the new research to which the ‘Yonkers Model’ lends itself, in a quest, not only to educate those who attend, but also, through their success, to advance a repair of male learning difficulties at all levels of education, by creating a new pedagogy for the dance of learner and learning, to light their fire.

Naturally, I was rather inquisitive regarding which professors, administrators, and community stakeholders would have Ed’s back in creating this school, and who had a substantial hand in shaping the pedagogy behind it. Ed gave me a few names and we discussed their experience and philosophy. I was impressed. Out of respect for his wishes I will refrain from disclosing their names at this time, however.

My views about single-sex schools have been mixed over the past several years, and (I still think) for good reason. However, I have no reservations whatsoever about endorsing a voice that wants to bring to public discussion instructional methods, classroom management, and discipline/conflict resolution strategies that would particularly help boys. The language of the school wanting to “meet boys where they are at” shows that they have the right perspective.

I encourage you to check out their website. We will post more news here as it comes along.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (9)

  1. DukeLax

    If the American public is constantly being bombarded with the main stream media rhetoric that women teachers are better at this, women teachers are better at that, ect, ect……..than why is it that Private schools in the US hire on Average 50% male teachers, while public schools hire on average 12% male teachers ( just enough to frisk for guns and knives at the door)????
    Are boys that attend private schools…the only boys that now actually get any sort of education at all in the US ( private schools still employ male teachers)??? While the boys sent to public schools learn the ways of matriarchal violence and chaos???

    • Malcolm James

      If you want men to become teachers, you have to make teaching a career which is attractive to men. Many aspects of teaching are attractive to men, but to attract men to actually enter the profession in greater numbers, the career has to make these men attractive as partners to women who don’t want to regard their partners’ income as simply a second salary.

      Research in the UK showed an inverse correlation between house prices (used as a proxy for general cost of living) in a particular area and the number of men entering the teaching profession, showing that men WILL go into teaching if the pay are conditions are right. The pay and conditions are better in the private sector, the job therefore has more status, so more men apply. not only that, the kids in private sector schools are far more likely to come from affluent homes with parents who support their children’s education in ways other than merely financial and discipline is likely to be much less of a problem.

      This situation has largely arisen as a consequence, intended or unintended, of 35 years of an ideology which regards the state as bad and wasteful and which has succeeded in cutting the real value of public sector salaries as result through pay freezes and below-inflation increases. The inherent satisfaction of teaching still draws in women who know that earning a modest salary is not a disadvantage when dating and that, once married with children, she can, if she wishes, give up the job or go part-time if it becomes too burdensome. Even if they stay in the profession full-time, the salary all too often is simply seen as a very nice top-up to the husband’s earnings. This is the iron law of labor economics, that if you can fill vacant posts with reasonably competent people (or simply people you can come to tolerate) at the salary you are offering, you don’t have to offer any more. I illustrated this in one of my articles for AVFMS where I quoted a physics teacher who was earning £35,000 p.a., as opposed to his colleagues teaching subjects such as history who were earning £27,000. Physics is a STEM subject where the shortage of women has been very well publicised. Physics (and maths) teachers are mainly men and attract a market premium, because if they won’t do the job for £27,000, there’s no-one else who will.

  2. Bryan Scandrett

    Must they call it Yonkers Boys? – bonkers yobs, yankers, on and on.

  3. Shamednomore

    Great news to see someone moving forward to help boys in the dismal field of education.

  4. sputnik

    Odd, but true: if you want to participate in the foundation of an all-boys school — and despite any noteworthy qualifications you may have — you probably want to keep your name out of the news for as long as possible?

    This whole business is a fascinating phenomenon.


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