Teach to Inspire Boys is an essential book for all teachers and schools worried about boys’ underachievement in schools. Why do boys underachieve? This resource offers practical tasks to keep boys inspired in the classroom, and to give teachers support when they find teaching boys a challenge.
Teach to Inspire Boys will provide you with:
Practical tasks for individual teachers and whole staff teams to help you analyse the current provision for boys in your school
Guide you in developing work to inspire boys
Sample pupil questionnaires
A sample of each task to exemplify the work in hand, though there is also the option to print the worksheets from duplicates in the appendix or from the CD which is included in the book
Practical ideas to try with either colleagues or the boys themselves. These ideas should be used as a starting point for your own thinking.
Summary of contents
The achievement of boys, or rather the underachievement of boys, is of concern to parents, teachers, educators, broadcasters and politicians alike. The trouble with boys seems to be that they exhibit behaviours ranging from generally boisterous to utterly disruptive, in a way that compromises their own learning and that of others. This can lead to low academic achievement, which can potentially trigger poor life-prospects and unemployment, ill health, low self-esteem, self-harm, abuse or involvement in crime.
While the problems are, in some cases, embedded in aspects of living that are beyond the school’s control, it is important that we are not overwhelmed by them. As educators we need to understand our pupils, work with them and try to challenge them. Our principle focus must be on what we can actually do; both in school and in conjunction with parents and the wider community.
This book is about working with those pupils who exhibit a range of challenging characteristics that are often associated with boys. The work outlined will not be appropriate for every boy and will sometimes include girls. The book is grounded in the day-to-day commotion of real school situations, including ways in which a school can interact with its community.
Teach to Inspire Boys focuses on what we can do in school to combat these obstacles, and offers practical advice on how to inspire boys to become valuable and high-achieving members of their class. We expect boys to not only be inspired themselves, but to in turn play their part in leading the school community by inspiring others. In short, we expect boys to be among your shining stars; to stand alongside girls in equal measure and to be ambassadors among their peers.
Part One comprises three short chapters to set the scene. These will consider:
The attributes of many boys, what we expect of them in school and how this sits with approaches to personalised learning
A brief look at some research that will make sense of what you encounter in your school day-to-day and which will reinforce the approaches outlined in this book
Some recommendations for additional reading including reports and guidelines by HMI, the DCSF, OFSTED and others. Much of the material recommended is readily available for immediate download from websites.
Part Two will outline practical solutions to supporting boys' achievement. Strategies will be grouped according to the four arenas encountered by boys on any typical school day. Specifically, we will support boys:
in the school overall
in the classroom
through individual attention, and
in the community, including the home.
Part Three will offer a structure for developing this work in schools.
You will find, both in the back of the book and on the CD, checklists to help you to raise these issues by stimulating discussion in staff meetings, and to engage teachers, learning mentors, learning support assistants, lunchtime supervisors, governors, parents and others in your work to raise boys' achievement.
The advice will be comprehensive but not exhaustive. That's because a central part of getting things right for the boys is the exact matching of your school setting with the needs of your boys. You must, from the start, select those approaches most relevant to you and add your own ideas to those outlined in this book. Use this book as a stimulus for discussion.
How to Use this Book
Part One: Understanding the Context
Boys: Anarchists or Ambassadors?
Boys: Born to Fail?
Boys: The 3 ‘R’s (Reports, Recommendations and References)
Part Two: Practical Strategies to Inspire Boys
Inspiring Boys: Around the School
Inspiring Boys: In the Classroom
Inspiring Boys: Through Individual Support
Inspiring Boys: In the Community
Part Three: Supporting Your Development Plan
Strategies to Support School Development
Part Four: Resources