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Teaching Techniques to Effectively Reach Adolescent Boys Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Techniques to Effectively Reach Adolescent Boys Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Techniques to Effectively Reach Adolescent Boys Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW Answer Executive Director 2011

2 This Webinar Combination of research and professional experience working with adolescent boys Combination of research and professional experience working with adolescent boys Will focus on adolescent BOYS… not specific populations of boys Will focus on adolescent BOYS… not specific populations of boys

3 Let’s start with the fact that… The educational system is failing boys

4 Boys Are More Likely Than Girls To… Have discipline/behavior problems Be diagnosed with a learning disability or Attention Deficit Disorder Be placed in special education Drop out of school Score lower grades; usually behind in reading/writing

5 Boys have a unique learning style Girls: learn by watching or listening Boys: learn by doing – action-oriented tasks

6 What Does this Mean for Educators? Build in time to move around – good for different learning intelligences, too If a lot of sitting, get up anyway: Energizers Let them fidget – if put out toys, include something they can chew on (straws)

7 Boys Need to Touch Building a model of the reproductive system with Tinker Toys (need to know how things work) Creating body parts out of play-doh Actually handle contraceptive methods (again, how they work)

8 Boys Need to Touch (including people) Create space between learning stations: Boys & boundaries, not so much… Create space between learning stations: Boys & boundaries, not so much… Build in handshake/high five/knuckle tap at end of activity (validation) Build in handshake/high five/knuckle tap at end of activity (validation)

9 Boys have a learning style that is unique and different from girls’ Girls: can retain information longer than boys Boys: retain information if organized into a “form” or pattern and is relevant to them (e.g., how pregnancy happens)

10 What Does this Mean for Educators? Circle choice from a group of options: Pictures of b.c. options “Which ones are hormonal methods?” Multiple choice quizzes; Jeopardy (also adds in competition)

11 But it’s about more than the brain… Ears are different: cochlea in boys longer Takes boys slightly longer than girls to hear something Girls hear softer sounds, higher noises better; hearing is sharper Boys tolerate noise better

12 Strategies Repeat instructions and give in small steps: Get into small groups (wait) Take out a pencil (wait) Hand out worksheets (wait) Instructions: “Please circle…” Ask to repeat back what you’ve said: Common response: “I forgot”

13 Boys’ Visual Perceptions Perceive colors differently – less subtlety Perceive colors differently – less subtlety More sensitive to light More sensitive to light Will respond to visual cues before aural ones Will respond to visual cues before aural ones

14 What Does this Mean for Us? Use primary colors for handouts Adjust lighting in room Move around a bit when presenting – keeps boys engaged Use a visual cue to get boys’ attention/quiet down: Flash lights, raise hand

15 The Affective Domain Girls: process more emotions, through more senses, quicker and more completely Boys: can take hours to process emotions

16 “This Is How I Feel” Adapted from “Discovering Me: A Guide to Teaching Health and Building Adolescents' Self-Esteem” by Leslie Herod 1. I feel happy when… 2. I feel sad when… 3. I feel strong when… 4. I am proud of myself when… 5. Someone who doesn’t know me very well might think that I’m… 6. If someone I like/think is hot talks to/ texts me, I feel…

17 “This Is How I Feel” Individual writing and then group sharing Gives control to them; public recognition from peers Writing is physical for boys (press down hard on pen)

18 Teaching Suggestions Consider separating boys and girls (pros and cons) – research on single-sex vs. co-ed schools Spend MORE time with boys… bridge the gender gap in education READ… get to know the RESEARCH, and adapt your existing activities/programs

19 More Suggestions Gender of teacher: less important than respect Speak frankly and honestly Don’t avoid emotions; are taking your lead PERSONALIZE but maintain boundaries

20 Even MORE Suggestions Time to explore a hypothetical or example vs. straight answer Lots of space (get in others’ space) Involve them in rule setting Use humor

21 National Sexuality Education Training Initiative: In-person/Online National sex ed resources National Teen-to-Teen Sexuality Education Initiative

22 For More Information/Reading “Real Boys” and “Real Boys’ Voices” by William Pollack, PhD “The Boy Code” by Elizabeth Schroeder: “Boys and Girls Learn Differently!” by Michael Gurian “Teaching the Male Brain: How Boys Think, Feel and Learn in School” by Abigail Norfleet James

23 ACT for Youth Center of Excellence The ACT for Youth Center of Excellence connects positive youth development resources and research to practice in New York State and beyond. The Center provides: Support for youth-serving programs funded by the New York State Department of Health. Support for youth-serving programs funded by the New York State Department of Health. Youth Development resources: publications, narrated presentations, and the e-letter ACT for Youth Update. Subscribe at Youth Development resources: publications, narrated presentations, and the e-letter ACT for Youth Update. Subscribe at A home base for the ACT Youth Network. Visit the network at A home base for the ACT Youth Network. Visit the network at Was this presentation useful? Please give us your feedback:


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