Getting It Right for Boys-- and Girls

Getting It Right for Boys-- and Girls

Getting It Right for Boys-- and Girls

Getting It Right for Boys-- and Girls

Synopsis

Boys' underachievement is grabbing headlines in the education debate, and it has never been more important to solve the problem. This book offers clear and practical strategies to headteachers, classroom teachers and other professionals for ways to address the issue. The book looks at: *reasons for boys' underachievement *ways of adapting teaching styles to maximise learning gains for boys ... and girls *guidance on how to plan successful pyramid, whole-school and classroom approaches *practical strategies for subject leaders and teachers *examples of successful case studies After introductory chapters examining whole-school issues and strategies there are further subject-specific chapters that advise on particular teaching approaches.

Excerpt

The year is 2020 and I am in a virtual reality shopping centre. It is full of women, with just a sprinkling of older males. In fact, the heavily armed security guards are among the few men one meets and they are only there to protect visitors from the marauding bands of young and middle-aged men who roam the streets robbing passers-by. In the first two decades of the new millennium millions of young men were unable to find jobs, since few were as well qualified as the girls who entered the job market. By 2020, apart from a few men in work, the vast majority of adult males sit passively in their den at home, watching 500-channel television, with a tiny remote control built into the nail of their index finger so that they do not need to leave their chair. The rest are twenty-first-century footpads, lying in wait near food and leisure megastores, or outside storage and delivery centres, revving up their jetshoes, preying on the few unprotected vehicles carrying people or goods. It is a grim and bleak scene.

This nightmare 2020 vision of a stark and hostile urban landscape, blighted by indolent or predatory males, will not come true. It could happen, but it won’t. The reason it will be avoided is because something positive can be done about the problem of boys’ relatively low levels of achievement, which struck public consciousness so forcefully in the last few years of the twentieth century. In the Leverhulme Primary Improvement Project which I directed (E.C. Wragg et al., Improving Literacy in the Primary School, Routledge, 1998) we found boys lagging well behind girls in reading and language throughout primary school. This finding was common, but until the mid-1980s boys used to catch up in secondary school, and eventually more would take A levels or get into university. By the end of the twentieth century the picture had changed dramatically and girls out-performed boys at every level, from pre-school to university finals.

The strength of this book is that it looks at different aspects and explanations of boys’ relatively lower achievement and explores practical ways in which it can be addressed. The authors have direct experience of programmes and approaches which seemed to have an impact. Improving the achievement of boys, while not neglecting the needs of girls, is one of

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