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Breaking Through Barriers to Boys' Achievement

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The second edition of this ground-breaking book includes revised and updated case studies, data and practical tips and advice on how to raise boys' achievement.

Table of Contents

1. Lack of independence prior to starting school/ 2. Less developed linguistically on entry to school/ 3. Forced to read and write before being physically or emotionally ready/ 4. Playtimes tend to be hyperphysical and `boysterous'/ 5. Many writing activities are perceived as irrelevant and unimportant/ 6. Difficulties with structuring written work/ 7. Reticence about spending time on planning and preparation/ 8. Reading fiction is perceived as a female province/ 9. Teacher talk and teacher expectations: gender bias/ 10. Emotional intelligence issues/ 11. Mismatch of teaching styles to preferred ways of learning/ 12. Lack of opportunities for reflection/ 13. Pupil grouping/ 14. Inappropriate seating arrangements/ 15. Ineffective group-work/ 16. Peer pressure/ 17. Inappropriate reward systems and lack of positive achievement culture/ 18. The laddish culture/ 19. The influence of street culture/ 20. Mismatch between assessment/examination methods and preferred ways of working/ 21. Lack of positive male role models/ 22. The use of non-performance enhancing drugs/ 23. Low self-esteem and limiting self-beliefs/ 24. Lack of engagement with the life of the school/ 25. Homophobic bullying/ 26. Parents' lack of understanding of the role that they can play/ 27. Intervention occurring too late/ 28. Teachers' lack of awareness of the barriers to boys' learning/ Appendix 1 Storybooks showing males in a positive light/ Appendix 2 The story of a boy/ Appendix 3 Hearing it from the boys: primary/ Appendix 4 Hearing it from the boys: secondary/ Appendix 5 The whole-school model (as applied in a Kirklees secondary school in 2006)/ Appendix 6 The cluster model/ Appendix 7 Subject networks/ Appendix 8 A local authority project involving 18 primary schools and one secondary school Bexley Kent 2010/11/ Appendix 9 The National Education Breakthrough Programme: the PDSA model

About the Author

Gary Wilson is a freelance consultant and author, and chair of the National Education Breakthrough Programme on Raising Boys' Achievement in the UK. He wrote "Using the National Healthy School Standard to Raise Boys' Achievement" for the DFE and in 2003 was made the country's first LEA school improvement officer with specific responsibility for raising boys' achievement.. He has advised and trained in over two hundred schools across the UK. He has appeared on Teachers' TV and Radio 4 several times. Gary Wilson also runs training sessions based on the book Breaking through Barriers to Boys Achievements with Osiris Educational.


Gary Wilson provides some challenging ideas about the way education is structured: food for thought and some recipes for action * Elaine Hall,, December 2007 * Without doubt the seminal text on this subject * Phil Beadle, Guardian *

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