Educators have for many years sought to understand why boys underperform in schools and what can be done about it. In Breaking through barriers to boys' achievement, Gary Wilson provides the full picture as to why boys of all ages underachieve and what can be done to start solving the problem. He presents the 28 barriers to boys' learning, including early language development, 'laddish' culture and lack of male role models. His emphasis is very much on turning out respectable young men who have a 'caring masculinity'.
This revised and updated second edition includes new case studies, data and practical tips and advice. You will find tried-and-tested strategies which will help you to:
- effectively engage boys in the life of the school
- engage boys in the curriculum, with particular emphasis on literacy
- create the right culture for learning
- develop emotional intelligence in boys
- develop self-esteem
- provide opportunities for reflection
- turn the 'peer police' into a positive force for good
- teach in ways that will hit all the right buttons for boys, but will not disadvantage girls
Breaking through barriers to boys' achievement provides a practical toolkit that will enable every teacher, department, key stage or school to determine precisely which barriers impinge upon their work with boys and to plan a way forward. It also provides a range of whole-school models for developing effective projects for raising boys' achievement.
Gary Wilson is a freelance consultant and author, and chair of the National Education Breakthrough Programme on Raising Boys' Achievement in the UK. He wrote "Using the National Healthy School Standard to Raise Boys' Achievement" for the DFE and in 2003 was made the country's first LEA school improvement officer with specific responsibility for raising boys' achievement.. He has advised and trained in over two hundred schools across the UK. He has appeared on Teachers' TV and Radio 4 several times. Gary Wilson also runs training sessions based on the book Breaking through Barriers to Boys Achievements with Osiris Educational.
1. Lack of independence prior to starting school/ 2. Less developed linguistically on entry to school/ 3. Forced to read and write before being physically or emotionally ready/ 4. Playtimes tend to be hyperphysical and `boysterous'/ 5. Many writing activities are perceived as irrelevant and unimportant/ 6. Difficulties with structuring written work/ 7. Reticence about spending time on planning and preparation/ 8. Reading fiction is perceived as a female province/ 9. Teacher talk and teacher expectations: gender bias/ 10. Emotional intelligence issues/ 11. Mismatch of teaching styles to preferred ways of learning/ 12. Lack of opportunities for reflection/ 13. Pupil grouping/ 14. Inappropriate seating arrangements/ 15. Ineffective group-work/ 16. Peer pressure/ 17. Inappropriate reward systems and lack of positive achievement culture/ 18. The laddish culture/ 19. The influence of street culture/ 20. Mismatch between assessment/examination methods and preferred ways of working/ 21. Lack of positive male role models/ 22. The use of non-performance enhancing drugs/ 23. Low self-esteem and limiting self-beliefs/ 24. Lack of engagement with the life of the school/ 25. Homophobic bullying/ 26. Parents' lack of understanding of the role that they can play/ 27. Intervention occurring too late/ 28. Teachers' lack of awareness of the barriers to boys' learning/ Appendix 1 Storybooks showing males in a positive light/ Appendix 2 The story of a boy/ Appendix 3 Hearing it from the boys: primary/ Appendix 4 Hearing it from the boys: secondary/ Appendix 5 The whole-school model (as applied in a Kirklees secondary school in 2006)/ Appendix 6 The cluster model/ Appendix 7 Subject networks/ Appendix 8 A local authority project involving 18 primary schools and one secondary school Bexley Kent 2010/11/ Appendix 9 The National Education Breakthrough Programme: the PDSA model