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Gender Policy in Australian Schools

A Missed Opportunity?

Deborah Hartman

This paper describes the rise of boys’ education as a substantial social and educational issue in Australia in the 1990s, mapping the changes in Australian discourses on boys’ education in this period. Ideas and authors informed by the men’s movement entered the discourses about boys’ education, contributing to a wave of teacher experimentation and new ways of thinking about gender policies in schools. The author suggests that there is currently a policy impasse, and proposes a new multi-disciplinary approach bringing together academic, practitioner, policy, and public discourses on boys’ education.

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Crossing Divides

An Argument Catalogue of Submissions to the 2000 Australian Government Inquiry into the Education of Boys

Deborah Hartman

This article describes a study of a sample of submissions to an Australian government Inquiry into the Education of Boys, using a relatively new methodology for reviewing literature, called an argument catalogue. The study examines the usefulness of the methodology to an analysis of the complex field of boys’ education. The author argues that the argument catalogue approach offers a way of including and analysing all voices within the field, particularly the previously under-represented views of parents and practitioners and that despite complexities, there are commonalities that can be built on, which are critical to any positive change in this field.

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Gender Differences in Perceptions of School Life and Self-Concept

Considerations for Addressing Gender in Secondary School Settings

Victoria Clay

It has long been argued that gender considerations are an important factor in educational outcomes for students. The impact of social and of cultural beliefs concerning the value of education has often been implicated in gender differences in outcomes of schooling. While social constructions of masculinity warrant scrutiny both in society in general and in education, a focus on the social determinants of behaviour and attitudes does not always allow for full consideration of individual factors, such as affective or social-emotional determinants of responses to situations. This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative study of student perceptions of quality of school life and of student self-concept that was conducted in six different Australian schools. The findings of this study show that as well as gender differences, there were differences related to the school location, the socio-economic group the students belonged to, and the age of the student. These findings point towards the need to investigate gender in schools using an ecological model of gendered perceptions of school life that can take account of both individual and environmental factors.

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Michael C. Reichert and Richard Hawley

In a large-scale survey of effective teaching practices with boys conducted in 2008 across 18 schools in 6 different English-speaking countries, we collected lessons in a wide variety of subject areas (math, literature, science, art) shaped to fit boys’ particular learning needs and preferences. At a time of widely-published claims about boys’ relative failure to thrive in contemporary school settings, we surveyed schools dedicated to boys in particular—boys’ schools—in hopes of discovering the outlines of a pedagogy that might have broader relevance for boys everywhere. Nearly 1,000 teachers responded with detailed descriptions of teaching approaches that succeeded in engaging boys. Boys themselves—1,500 of them, aged 12-19—corroborated the features of effective instruction reported by their teachers. We suggest that the practices identified were “chafed” into being by sustained interactions between teachers and their male students. In this mutually-attuned, coordinated interaction between boy learner and adult instructor, we found qualities of responsiveness and connection echoing regulatory communication commonly associated with earlier periods in child development. Given current concerns about widespread gaps in many boys’ school performance, these stories affirming educational relationships could point the way to a clearer understanding of how best to engage boys in scholastic endeavor.

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"I Feel Older"

Investigating the Impact of a Father and Son

William John Jennings

This article reports on the impact of a school based father and son, “rites of passage” program on its participants in two Australian Catholic boys’ schools. The author conducted a mixed methodology study investigating quantitative differences between 15- to 17-year-old adolescent participants and non-participants in how they rated their “father relationships” and the impact that specific program elements (the “rite of passage,” planned conversations, and public acknowledgements) had on both program participants. The research found evidence to support the program’s positive impact on father-son relationships. As a result of planned conversations with their fathers in the program, participants reported feeling “older” and more mature.

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Reproduction, Resistance and Hope

The Promise of Schooling for Boys

Michael C. Reichert and Joseph Nelson

Extended editorial introduction to a double special issue on boys and schooling. Adopting a developmental perspective on boyhood, the editors frame these special issues on boys' education by reviewing research on their experience of schooling. In particular, they endeavor to illuminate boys' agency and opportunities they can find in schools for resistance to restrictive masculine regimes.

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Boys and Education in the Global South

Emerging Vulnerabilities and New Opportunities for Promoting Changes in Gender Norms

Gary Barker, Ravi Verma, John Crownover, Marcio Segundo, Vanessa Fonseca, Juan Manuel Contreras, Brian Heilman, and Peter Pawlak

This article presents a review of global data on boys' education in the Global South and recent findings on the influence of boys' educational attainment on their attitudes and behaviors in terms of gender equality. The article also presents three examples—from Brazil, the Balkans, and India—on evaluated, school-based approaches for engaging boys and girls in reducing gender-based violence and promoting greater support for gender equality. Recommendations are provided for how to integrate such processes into the public education system in such a way that provides benefits for both boys and girls in a relational approach.

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Introduction

Cinemas of Boyhood Part II

Timothy Shary

2007 that was released in the US as Like Stars on Earth . Through her sensitive study of protagonist Ishaan, an eight-year-old coping with a learning disability, she argues for many revisions in perceptions of boyseducation and behavior

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My Words, My Literacy

Tracking of and Teaching through the On-Field Language Practices of Australian Indigenous Boys

David Caldwell, Nayia Cominos, and Katie Gloede

context of Aboriginal boyseducation and sport, “while there is still much to do, sport as a welfare model and as a development tool has much promise” (2015: 193). This project and the associated language and literacy resources are a response to Rossi

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Introduction

Theorizing Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures in Contemporary Times

Garth Stahl and Cynthia Brock

:10.1080/02680939.2013.779791 . 10.1080/02680939.2013.779791 Stahl , Garth , and Pete Dale . 2013 . “ Success on the Decks: Working-Class Boys, Education and Turning the Tables on Perceptions of Failure .” Gender & Education 25 ( 2 ): 1 – 16