What about the Boys? Issues of Masculinity in Schools

What about the Boys? Issues of Masculinity in Schools

What about the Boys? Issues of Masculinity in Schools

What about the Boys? Issues of Masculinity in Schools


• How can teachers address the challenge of educating boys for life in the 21st century?

• What aspects of schooling are particularly problematic for boys?

• How do issues of class, race and sexuality impact upon boys educational experiences?

This edited collection brings together leading researchers from Australia, United Kingdom and the United States to explore issues of boys, schooling and masculinities within the context of the current concern about the education of boys. The contributors draw on detailed empirical research to highlight some important issues that are not addressed in public debates about boys in the media. Chapter topics include international perspectives on debates about boys; teaching boys; programs for boys in schools; boys and risk taking; boys and discipline; boys and sexuality; Afro-American boys; indigenous boys in Australian schools; boys and reading; boys and maths; boys, dance and sport; boys and science; girls' talk about boys. The book will be important and compelling reading for all teachers concerned with the education of boys.


We believe that a book of this nature, which attempts to develop further understandings about masculinity within the context of current debates about the boys, is timely, given the continued moral panic that persists about boys regarding their disadvantaged status relative to girls. Even as we write this preface, a national inquiry into the education of boys is under way in Australia, initiated by the Federal Minister for Education, Dr Kemp. Not surprisingly, many of the submissions to that inquiry continue to promote the view that boys are victims and are attributed a disadvantaged status (see Lingard and Douglas 1999). This tends to support the need for a book of this kind which is committed to problematizing the simplistic conceptualization of boys as a homogeneous group whose interests are set against those of girls (see Collins et al. 2000; Martino and Pallotta-Chiarolli in press).

Research undertaken with boys spanning Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States is brought together in this collection. The focus for each of the contributors is addressing issues of 'what about the boys' in relation to their own research and informed perspectives on boys and schooling. Many focus on what boys (and girls) themselves say about their experiences of schooling and sexuality and use their voices as a basis for drawing out what the implications might be for those working in schools. In this regard the chapters are written with a broader audience in mind – particularly teachers and administrators in schools with the view to using research to illuminate the effects of masculinity in the lives of boys and girls at school.

All of the contributors are concerned to highlight the impact and effect of certain forms of masculinity on the lives of boys at school, but locate their research and/or discussion within the context of the boys' education debates outlined by Foster, Kimmell and Skelton in the introductory chapter. Many . . .

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