Title: How to Understand and Improve Boys' Learning
Author: Mike Fleetham
Publisher: LDA 2008
Format: Paperback, A4 Size, 64 Pages
"... makes you look at boys in a whole new light from the way their brains develop differently to planning activities .... " Anne Ingle
Boys are often seen as a challenge in the classroom. They appear to underachieve, exhibit disruptive behaviour and lack motivation for learning.
This practical and insightful book will support you to make a difference in the lives of the boys you teach. It will help you to understand them and show you how to use that knowledge to improve their classroom contributions.
- explore the factors that influence boy's behaviour and learning
- learn how boys' brains develop
- appreciate and utilise boy's values
- be aware of the cultural and social influences on boys
- how to value boys' strengths
- plan for the unique challenges boys present
- match needs to specific classroom activities
- create boy-friendly lessons and classrooms
Introduction Page 1
Introduction Page 2
Boys' Language 1
Boys' Language 2
"This is an essential book for all professionals working with children. It is ideal for teaching assistants, teachers and SENCOs. Each time you read and revisit the book you discover another innovation to use in your setting. In its essence it is thought provoking and makes you look at boys in a whole new light from the way their brains develop differently to planning activities.
The excellent explanations for special educational need conditions such as dyslexia are a great resource and promote inclusive education. The inventive activities that can be incorporated into planning and supporting the curriculum are inspiring. In effect it does make a difference to classroom activities.
How to Understand and Improve Boys learning is an excellent resource book for students studying for their NVQ 3, trainee teaching assistants and for trainee teachers. Another inspiring and thought provoking book from Mike Fleetham !"
Ann Ingle, Teaching Assistant and Trainee teacher, Nottingham
"This book is split into 2 sections – I want to Understand Boys, and I Want to Teach Boys Well. Topics covered in the first section are: boys’ brains, boys’ values, boys and their families, boys and their schools, boys and society. The second section looks at how to value and use boys’ strengths, how to support boys in their challenges and how to establish boy-friendly teaching.
The book is set out in a way that it is very easy to dip into – lots of bullet point list, information boxes, tables, and a good smattering of cartoon-style pictures. It also has links to useful websites, and further reading. It works well as a Help Manual for both teachers and parents, and also includes activities for whole-school training purposes.
As a teacher of both Primary and Secondary pupils (aged 5-16) in Scotland, I really enjoyed reading this book. Broadly speaking, the first part sets out the theories and science behind boys and their learning, while the second part gives practical advice on how to apply this at home or school. It is packed full of usable tips and advice. These include using online questionnaires with boys so that they (and you) can discover their learning preferences; how to give appropriate praise; how to provide boys with clear criteria for success; how to help boys develop the language of emotions; using learning circles to develop boys’ communication skills; strategies to hook boys into learning and keep them hooked. There is a really useful checklist at the back of the book – an aide memoir when preparing learning activities to make sure boys’ needs are catered for.
In summary, another excellent book in Mike Fleetham’s ‘How to’ series of books. I recommend it as a practical, easy to read guide that you can quickly dip into. In Scotland, we are about to embark fully on the new Curriculum for Excellence. One of its main aims is to promote active learning – this book shows simple and practically how to do this." Alisa Seatter
"This is an easy to read and understand book, which provides a valuable insight into how boys learn and why they seemingly struggle in a majority of classrooms. Although I was aware of some of the issues it was good to have them explained in more detail.
There are examples of techniques to help engage boys in their learning and ideas to help improve their learning environment. This book should be essential reading for anyone working in education."
Sue Carpenter, Teaching Assistant & Primary PGCE Student
"The book is set in two sections, the first section looks at factors that influence boys’ behaviour and learning, how boys’ brains develop and how culture and society influence boys. This section of the book is informative in a clear and concise way without being too complex. The section on how the male develops is especially interesting as it shows how the male and female brains differ and what is needed to stimulate them both.
The second section explains how to teach boys to value their strengths, plan for unique challenges they present, match needs to specific classroom activities and how to create boy- friendly lessons and classrooms. This second section is a more hands on and direct approach as to what boys need in order to succeed in school. The focus ranges from type of instructions they need to how to encourage their emotional development. The tasks are practical and therefore are easy to apply although gender specific would enhance your learning environment.
I would recommend this book to anyone who works with boys in a setting where a more through understanding is needed of what makes a boy tick and how to help them to succeed." Claire Glover, Key Stage Coordinator
"Working as a primary school teacher across the primary age range I have found that this book has been beneficial in developing my understanding and further confirming my beliefs and experiences that boys do approach learning differently from girls.
The book is organised clearly into two main parts. Part one focuses on the background knowledge on how boys brains work, what boys value and how boys function within their family, school and society. I feel this background knowledge is important in identifying key factors on how boys think and how as teachers we can gain a deeper understanding on how we can support their learning.
The second part of this book focuses on how educators can support boys with their learning needs. It offers valuable guidance and suggestions on how to approach these needs using acclaimed theories of learning, like, using different learning styles, identifying multi intelligence profiles and a variety of emotional intelligence approaches. This will lead to successful teaching and learning and therefore improve any practitioners approach to boys learning.
The overall language and layout of the book is easy to read and is ideal as a reference to improve boys learning. It does not overuse technical vocabulary and looks at boys learning from different perspectives. Key information and suggestions given could easily be incorporated into everyday practices within school as well as at home. As a result of reading this book I will incorporate suggestions into my teaching and learning, as I have a deeper understanding and I am more aware of the gender differences to learning. This book is a worthwhile read especially if you want to make a difference! "
Kay Vanner, Leading Learning Coordinator