Research Reports

To date, the IBSC has completed five research reports on teaching boys.
Unlimited access for IBSC members only is available through the Member Center (members must login to access).

Relational Teaching with Primary and Junior Boys*Relational Teaching

(2016) – conducted at diverse schools in Australia, Canada, and the United States, with principal investigators Michael Reichert and Joseph Nelson.

While earlier research conducted by the IBSC strongly supports the critical nature of the relationship between teacher and student, this study asks how that relationship may be the same or different at lower grade levels where parents play a larger role and boys may be less likely to voice concerns.

“No factor is more important for the establishment and maintenance of a successful connection than the boy’s perception of the teacher’s attitude toward him,” the report notes. In their roles as “relationship managers,” however, teachers of younger boys may need help in noticing when a boy disengages. That and other relational teaching strategies employed by teachers are featured recommendations. (IBSC Members, read more.)

Mastery in the Practice of Teaching Boys

Mastery Practice in Teaching Boys(2016) – developed over 18 months through teacher training workshops; prepared by Victoria Marsick, Paddy O’Toole, and Bradley Adams.

From experts as well as classroom teachers, the professional development program of the IBSC has gathered practical insight and advice, expert “tacit knowledge” about educating boys. This study reports findings across three workshops in three different countries and educational systems conducted with master teachers identified for their exemplary expertise in teaching boys.

In seeking to elucidate mastery practice in teaching boys, this research examined the “performative components of their mastery practice in the classroom including those unique to each master teacher that, together, made up what we called his/her ‘special sauce’— enabling highest levels of teaching performance.” Researchers also asked: What are [the] mental processes that enable the … near instantaneous judgments that consistently promote optimal outcomes in particular, complex educational situations? (IBSC Members, read more.)

For Whom the Boy Toils: The Primacy of Relationship in Boys’ Learning
For Whom the Boy Toils

(2013) – undertaken by Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley in conjunction with 35 IBSC member schools.

In 2011, Dr. Reichert and Dr. Hawley continued their earlier research for the IBSC (“Teaching Boys: A Global Study of Effective Practices”), further exploring the nature of the facilitative relationship between teacher and student. Their goal was “to identify the particular understandings, dispositions, and skills that promote productive relationships, as well as those that prevent them or cause them to break down.”

The report’s findings show dominant patterns in relational learning, as well as eight relationship-enhancing gestures made by teachers in response to boys’ relational needs, and patterns at work in unsuccessful relationships between boys and their teachers. The research offers practical ideas for classroom teachers as well as school administrators. (IBSC Members, read more.)

Locating Significance in the Lives of Boys

(2011) – undertaken by Adam Cox in conjunction with 20 IBSC member schools in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This research began with a core belief: boys are capable of doing extraordinary things, and are eager to be asked to do things which are significant to them. Over this two-year project, Dr. Cox conducted interviews with boys, met with teachers, and made presentations to parents, in an effort to find “dimensions of significance” where boys find value, meaning, and purpose in their lives. He organized his findings into “clusters of significance” that focused on “Becoming Myself,” “Belonging and Influence,” “Pragmatic Transcendence,” “’Real-Time’ Achievement,” and “Origins and Traditions.”

Among his recommendations for “Schools of Significance,” Dr. Cox challenges schools for boys to help students find meaning in the work that they do. (IBSC Members, read more.)

Teaching Boys: A Global Study of Effective Practices
Teaching Boys

(2009) – conducted by the Center for The Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives.

This initiative began by asking 1,000 teachers and 1,500 adolescent boys at eighteen IBSC member schools to “describe a lesson or classroom activity that ‘worked’.” What they discovered in listening were the ways in which teachers were adapting lessons to fit boys’ interests and needs, and an appreciation for that approach from the students themselves.

The report finds “a powerful endorsement of active, project-centered learning: boys on their feet, moving about, working individually, in pairs, and in teams to solve problems, create products, [and] compose presentations to their classmates who are held accountable for the material presented.” It also notes that successful learning is built upon relationships of trust and respect. (IBSC Members, read more.)

Only IBSC Members have unlimited access to IBSC Research Projects and Reports through the Member Center (members must login to access).

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