The plan is to respond to boys performing badly in the city's classrooms by accommodating their bad behaviour. Boys shouldn't be asked to think, read, sit still, pay attention, or respect the authority of the teacher. They are not as able as girls to do these things and expecting them to is a form of "gendercide."
One serious plan for Toronto schools is that in boys-only classrooms, the boys will have clipboards rather than notebooks - presumably notebooks have something inherently feminine about them.
The belief that gives rise to such nonsense is that Western society has declared "war" on the male, and that this "war" begins in a most calculated way in kindergarten. Yes, that's right, kindergarten!
According to believers, boys now in the school system are underachieving because all extant modes of educating them are oriented towards females. Those educational practices have been supposedly implemented in the last twenty or thirty years at the behest and evil planning of second-wave feminists who promote the interests of girls only.
The literature about the issue is abundant; too bad the logic supporting it isn't.
First, proponents of this view ask us to accept that males born in the last thirty years have undergone a huge evolutionary change and have, today, innately different cognitive abilities, musculature, kinetic and reflex responses, and capacity for learning social skills and empathy.
The list of what today's males supposedly lack the capacity for is staggering. Stacked up against previous generations of males who have succeeded in the Western education system, today's boys are made to seem genetically deficient and unable to learn as their fathers and grandfathers did.
If we don't buy the far out evolutionary shift, we have a few problems.
First, history begs to differ.
Universities, tutors, indeed most schooling in the Western and other traditions employed the educational practices of reading, writing, and thinking, sitting still at desks or tables, in front of teachers, in libraries. In no way did students negotiate about scheduling or curriculum (another aspect of the plans in Toronto!).
To claim that centuries of these methods privilege females involves a radical re-writing of history. Women, generally, did not experience such educational methods until the late nineteenth century. Women weren't allowed at Oxford until 1878 and not as full members until 1920.
Finally, we have also to account for the millions of highly successful males educated in a supposedly feminized system. Are they wimps? Not real men? Genetically deviant?
We do have to address the poor performance of boys in our schools. But instead of a flavor-of-the-month pedagogy based on a popular, but illogical, backlash, we should find out what is really going on.
The war is not against males. The war should be against a pedagogy that treats them as genetically, cognitively, socially, psychologically, and physiologically deficient.