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Boys Don't Try? Rethinking Masculinity in Schools

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published April 18th 2019 by Routledge
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Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
...and a half
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely an insightful read and especially at first, I was reading and reading almost without pause - although for the first time in a while I have many sticky labels sticking out of it and highlighting within - and now I have finished I’ll try my hardest to put into practice, at least in my classrooms, as much as I can, especially to do with the ‘can do’ and the language we use in education with our next generations. Recommended to all teachers.
Katy Dee
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every teacher working in schools today should read this. Insightful and practical, with an accessible mixture of theory, research and the authors’ own experiences in schools, the chapters address (and often challenge) societal expectations around masculinity and how boys and girls are often indirectly victimised because of them. There are also helpful links made back to previous chapters which paints a stark and profound picture of how these issues weave together and rarely stand in isolation. ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Key takeaways:

There is no evidence whatsoever for a 'gendered' approach to teaching. Girls and boys do not need to be educated separately on in differential ways. The best way to teach boys is the best way to teach all pupils- with high expectations, consistency and positivity.

Humour is key to getting to pupils on side. I would liked more here than 'be funny', particularly as we are also warned not to use 'laddish' 'banter' to appeal to boys as this ultimately reifies toxic masculinity.

Richard Spear
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. Lots of practical things to apply as a teacher including:

1) Engaging boys in learning does not require making everything hobby related, competitive or related to the mythical VAK learning styles. But do follow Rosenshine’s principles of learning: begin each lesson with a review of prior learning, provide models (with scaffolding), guide practice, check for understanding, high success rate (80%).

2) sometimes private praise may be a better motivator for some students due to
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This book does a good job of incorporating research to argue the case for encouraging tender masculinity in schools. The focus of the chapters covers various facets of masculinity and how its influence changes how boys 'act' in and out of the classroom. The solutions offered are accessible to teachers in various stages of their careers and will hopefully encourage the spread of tender masculinity in classrooms around the country. My criticism would be the validity of some of the 'anecdotal ...more
Jessica Lucy Tresadern
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I considered myself a fairly enlightened teacher before I read this. What I found, to my surprise, were insights I had yet to consider. Pitfalls I still fell into. ‘Minor’ mistakes I made which could have major consequences.

I’m so glad I read this book. It’s allowed me to reconsider some of my teaching practices. Easy to read and utterly informative, it leaves you with brimming with ideas to create a classroom in which tender masculinity is the norm.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This gave me lots to think about, both as a teacher and as a mum to a little boy. It has made me conscious of the subconscious stereotypes I hold and how to tackle these to have an impact in the classroom. I’m looking forward to trying the ideas out when I return from maternity leave - I’m also more enjoying how it has challenged my thinking! (I thought I was more open minded than I was - looking forward to changing that too!)
Stephen Reed
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education, gender
5 stars not because I agree with everything here, but it is well written, engaging, researched, and above all a conversation that I feel we need to be having more in schools. Lots of good advice separates out in to advice for school leaders, and advice for teachers.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really great read..worth following these on Twitter.
Nina Rose
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really interesting and beneficial to all teachers working with boys. Personally, working in an all boys school, I took a whole lot from this and will definitely come back for reference and ideas.
Connor Wallace
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Food for thought. Well evidenced and very accessible. Conversational but authoritative.
Doug  Walker
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well written and structured usefully. The chapter on disadvantaged students really changed my teaching.
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