Podcast Episode 133: Are Schools Doing Enough for Boys?

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 132 of The New Family Podcast where we talk to a psychiatrist about the differences in how boys and girls learn.

In this episode we look at how boys learn differently from girls and explore whether schools are doing a good job of catering to boys’ learning styles. We’re joined by Dr. Shimi Kang, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author of The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy and Self-Motivated Kids. She is also founder of a 21st century life skills centre called DolphinPod, and a mom of two boys and one girl.

Globally we still have a very troubling disparity in access to education between girls and boys that disadvantages girls considerably. But in North America we have a situation where boys are not performing as well as girls in school, and in fact young women are out-graduating young men from university by a considerable margin. Dr. Kang talks to us about the neurological differences in how boys and girls learn, how those impact what goes on in the classroom, and what parents of boys can do to support their learning at home.

Here are some resources related to my discussion with Dr. Kang.

Dr. Shimi Kang’s website
Previous Episode featuring Dr. Kang: Helicopter Parenting and Over-Scheduled Kids

DolphinPOD: Life Skills for Future-Ready Kids Innovation, Leadership, and Wellness Summer Camps

The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids

Related Episode: Helicopter Parenting and Over-Scheduled Kids

Related Episode: Back To The Basics With Rest And Play

The one thing Dr. Kang wants all educators to understand about boys:
“That boys want to learn, that we all want to learn. Nothing feels better. We all get a blip of dopamine, that feel-good neurochemical, when we solve a problem on our own independently. Everyone’s had that experience and our boys are no different. It’s hardwired in them to learn. If they’re having trouble in school or they’re lacking motivation, there is no such thing as an unmotivated child. It’s just we need to find a setting and make the reasonable adaptations to help engage them. And sometimes that means changing classrooms, changing teachers or even changing schools because there’s a whole diversity of learning styles. Human beings are as different as our fingerprints and we’re all not going to fit the same box.”

Sponsor for this Episode:

This episode of The New Family Podcast is brought to you by COOSHA, the modern calendar app for today’s busy modern family. Start 2017 off right and download it for FREE in the App store or on Google Play! Learn more at

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Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by