Can't believe this came from the UK
Teachers told not to be gun shy
Robert Booth, London
December 30, 2007
BOYS should be encouraged to play with toy guns at infant school because it can help improve academic performance, according to British Government advice.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families said boys aged between three and five had fallen behind female classmates partly because teaching staff tried to curb their desire for boisterous play involving weapons. Boys were more likely to be interested in education and would do better if encouraged to pursue their chosen play.
Teachers' unions say that toy guns "symbolise aggression" and teachers ought to stop them being used. They also criticised the Government for stereotyping boys.
The guidance, Confident, Capable and Creative: Supporting Boys' Achievements, said national data for 2004-06 showed that in pre-school education, boys performed worse than girls across all areas of learning.
It is a pattern the Government says continues up to the age of 15 and 16. Better results can be achieved if teachers curb their "instincts" to stop boys from playing with toy guns and instead make better use of their interests.
"Sometimes practitioners find the chosen play of boys more difficult to understand and value than that of girls," the guidance states.
"They may choose activities in which adults involve themselves least, or play that involves more action and a greater use of the available space, especially outdoors. Images and ideas gleaned from the media are common starting points in boys' play and may involve characters with special powers or weapons. Adults can find this type of play particularly challenging and have a natural instinct to stop it."
It said this was unnecessary as long as staff helped boys understand and respect the rights of other children.
This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...778767028.html