Best practices for teaching boys

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Boys are the ones in trouble, they say. They are trailing girls in reading and writing, are more likely to get in trouble or be labelled as learning disabled, and are less likely to go to college. Educators, citing emerging brain research, say that the two sexes learn differently and that schools are more geared to girls than to their ants-in-the-pants counterparts. But they are adopting strategies to help boys succeed, from playing multiplication baseball to handing out stress balls and setting up boys-only schools. Nowadays, there is an urgent call for a more significant presence of male teachers in primary schools. Here are the results of an extensive research concerning gender differences that occur in school learning. We illustrate them also in order to promote more adequate teaching methods. We analyze nine kinds of difference between boys and girls in learning and in school behaviour, that should be taken into account in the first cycle of education and that are derived from international researches carried out in Western countries: movement and physical activity within the regular classroom curriculum, cognitive skills, emotions and feelings, relationship with the authority, relationships with peers, metacognitive skills, commitment and perseverance in working, reaction to failure, self-esteem. In order to verify the results of these studies and to guide teachers in the design first and then in the storytelling of teaching practices that take into account gender differences, we analyze the spontaneous teaching actions of 44 teachers - with students aged between eight and twelve years old -, who claimed to be attentive to the enhancement of specific feminine and masculine traits in their teaching activities. We identified indicators of gender differences, that teachers should consider, partially changing their teaching activities, if they want to offer both to boys and girls equal opportunities of school success. This research will provide future teachers with an innovative opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, participate in content-based discussions, share classroom materials, learn about web-based teaching resources, and exchange best practices for teaching boys.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED2015 Proceedings 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference March 2nd-4th, 2015 — Madrid, Spain
Pages5289-5297
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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