Fathers Brought to Book over Storytime; HOW MEN FAIL THEIR SONS

Daily Mail (London), May 16, 1997 | Go to article overview

Fathers Brought to Book over Storytime; HOW MEN FAIL THEIR SONS


Byline: TONY HALPIN

FATHERS were blamed yesterday for leaving their sons trailing in the classroom.

A study by a professor of education showed that most home reading with young children is done by the mother, leaving boys to assume that books are a feminine pastime.

The feeling was reinforced by the fact that most primary school teachers are women, said Ted Wragg, professor of education at Exeter University.

While girls forged ahead in the classroom at all levels, young boys were increasingly heading for the jobs scrapheap, he said.

`Employers are finding young lads unemployable - no knowledge, no skills and uncouth with it.'

Professor Wragg, a frequent critic of the Conservatives' education reforms, said boys were less literate than girls when they arrived at primary school, and never caught up. Fathers could help close the gap by reading with their sons for just five or ten minutes each day.

Boys were also turned off by many of the stories teachers gave them to read and wanted more traditionally `masculine' books on sport, adventure and non-fiction subjects. …

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