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Ken Harland and Sam McCready Centre for Young Men’s Studies Cookstown 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Ken Harland and Sam McCready Centre for Young Men’s Studies Cookstown 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ken Harland and Sam McCready Centre for Young Men’s Studies Cookstown 2014

2 Good leadership is essential at all levels of the school system if underachievement is to be addressed effectively. Leadership, in the context of reform, requires of school principals a much broader base of multi ‑ disciplinary skills and professional knowledge than before The need to improve the quality of leadership and management Emphasis on Transforming Communities and acknowledgment of the link between DISADVANTAGE – ATTAINMENT & LIFE CHANCES

3 Social Class (the causal link between poverty and low educational achievement is well established). Ethnicity Gender Geographical location Religious background Difficult home or family life (None of these are stand alone factors)

4 The nature of the teacher/pupil relationships Falling behind and not being able to catch up Boys felt that most subjects did not connect directly to the reality of their everyday lives outside of school. Feeling bored Being distracted Having to sit still and taking notes for large parts of the day

5  Perceived poor physical environments (School)  Incidences of bullying (School)  Boys in lower streams feeling they don’t get the same opportunities (School)  `What’s the point?’ (School)  Underestimated pressures around GSCE’s (School)  Disruptive behaviour (Classroom)  Violence and the threat of violence (Community)  A disconnect between school, family and community  Sense of alienation from adults (Community)

6  Barriers evident by, and within Year 8, and had been present in primary school  The lack of basic literacy and numeracy skills in some boys was inherited from primary school  Boys not well prepared for post-primary school  Poorer communication skills - especially with boys in lower bands  Behaviour of boys seen as more challenging (mostly in the lower bands)  Boys expect to be mammied

7 So What?

8 Imagine the ‘365 day` school. The school and the community An ethos in the school where boys are expected to achieve School discipline based on accountability for self and others (restorative/relational) Understanding what motivates boys - What makes them tick? How do you get the best out of them? – incentives, boundaries, structures, rewards, physical activity. The potential of parents as leverage Research says the most significant indicator of success was prior achievement (Prevention is important. Easier to turn them around) Focused support in nursery/school/youth centre

9 3 R`S – Relationships, (Mutual) Respect and (Giving them) Responsibility Formal and informal structures in school through which voice of pupils can be heard Critical and positive relationships with teachers/adults Gender stereotyping is challenged and minimised Tell them what you are for - not just what you are against. A positive ethos. Linking with other professionals to make the bridge to the community Better preparation in school for the ‘reality of life’ beyond school

10 A learning environment that engages, stimulates and excites boys that counters boredom and distraction Kinaesthetic approaches that encourages physical contact and movement Use of small group work, role plays and other methodologies that assist engagement, stimulation and motivation (particularly for those who are ‘falling behind’) Connect the classroom to the lives of boys (e.g. Monday morning ‘welcome and rap’) Using the ‘safe space’ exploring masculinity, their fears, aspirations, their lives, reflecting on moral issues associated with race, violence, homophobia. – extracting knowledge and meaning from their experience and ideas. Developing boys’ coping skills and strategies especially around violence Developing boys` capacity to use support services (within and without school)


12 Non formal education - Other support workers – e.g. youth workers Informal education - Community / including parents Formal education - School Young Person We are all Educationalists

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