I’ve been at leisure this week, mostly concerned with reading, my low-paying part-time job (writing), and organizing the vast number of files and folders generated by the 2011-2013 school year. I usually start that last bit when the “back to school” ads start airing on television.
As an ongoing project, I’ve been keeping track of the type of student who takes my classes. I’ve broken them down by gender, academic track, and income (as much as I’ve been able to discern) as a way to inform my future teaching. For example, I can tell you that, mirroring national trends, young women take my creative writing and journalism classes far more than young men.
In an effort to find out why, I turned the data into an inquiry task and posed it to students last year. Some of the results of that assignment can be found here. At the end of the next school year I plan to release a writing guide (likely as an e-book on a Creative Commons license, although I’ll print a class set) geared to high- and middle-school students, and I want to make sure it is applicable and approachable to writers of all gender and stripe.So, writers and readers, why aren’t more boys taking my classes and how can I make the writing text interesting to them?