There is a significant problem in our schools: too many boys are struggling. The list of things to concern teachers is long. Disappointing academic results, a lack of interest in studying, higher exclusion rates, increasing mental health issues, sexist attitudes, an inability to express emotions... Traditional ideas about masculinity are having a negative impact, not only on males, but females too. In this ground-breaking book, Matt Pinkett and Mark Roberts argue that schools must rethink their efforts to get boys back on track.
Boys Don't Try? examines the research around key topics such as anxiety and achievement, behaviour and bullying, schoolwork and self-esteem. It encourages the reader to reflect on how they define masculinity and consider what we want for boys in our schools. Offering practical quick wins, as well as long-term strategies to help boys become happier and achieve greater academic success, the book:
offers ways to avoid problematic behaviour by boys and tips to help teachers address poor behaviour when it happens
highlights key areas of pastoral care that need to be recognised by schools
exposes how popular approaches to `engaging' boys are actually misguided and damaging
details how issues like disadvantage, relationships, violence, peer pressure and pornography affect boys' perceptions of masculinity and how teachers can challenge these.
With an easy-to-navigate three-part structure for each chapter, setting out the stories, key research, and practical solutions, this is essential reading for all classroom teachers and school leaders who are keen to ensure male students enjoy the same success as girls.
Matt Pinkett is a Head of English in Surrey with a personal and professional interest in gender in schools. Matt has written for a number of publications on this topic - and others - and also writes a blog in which he discusses teaching and masculinity. Mark Roberts is Assistant Principal at a mixed 11-18 comprehensive school in Devon. Previously, he worked at an inner-city comprehensive for boys in Manchester. Mark writes a blog about teaching English and is also a frequent contributor to TES on subjects including pedagogy, behaviour, leadership and educational research. Foreword by Mary Myatt.
Introduction Chapter 1: The Engagement Myth Chapter 2: Disadvantaged Students Chapter 3: Peer Pressure Chapter 4: Mental Health Chapter 5: Expectations Chapter 6: Sex and Sexism Chapter 7: In the Classroom Chapter 8: Violence Chapter 9: Relationships Chapter 10: Other Voices