Boys' Schools Understand and Celebrate Boys

The Boys' Schools Understand and Celebrate Boys brochure is available exclusively to IBSC members. Visit the IBSC Member Center to download a high-res version to print or a smaller file size to post on your school's website.

Boys' Schools Understand and Celebrate BoysBoys’ schools intentionally educate students to excel academically and grow into men of integrity, empathy, compassion, and courage. In a supportive single-gender environment, boys examine their values and build a foundation for making responsible decisions. Boys engage in self-exploration and dream of the men they want to become. From a secure base, they step out of their comfort zone and embrace the vulnerability intrinsic to the pursuit of mastery and the fulfillment of their potential.

Here’s how that happens.

Boys’ schools embrace the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional lives of boys and appreciate the intensity and complexity of boyhood. Educators at boys’ schools celebrate and value all that it means to be a boy.

Research shows that a robust, supportive teacher-student relationship is imperative to engage adolescent and younger boys in learning successfully. The IBSC-commissioned research study, Relational Teaching with Primary and Junior Boys, identifies the features of successful relational strategies. Educators blend academics, arts, music, athletics, and service to continuously engage boys’ minds and channel their zest for physical activity into learning. Flexible schedules keep boys active, ignite passions, and form habits for life. Faculty members skilled in the full range of boys’ emotions and vulnerabilities purposefully build supportive relationships with students, freeing them to express themselves and flourish in pursuit of all they might become.

Boys’ schools seek first to build men of good character and values.

In all they do, boys' schools promote well-being, develop resilience and empathy, and cultivate strong character and values. Using a variety of approaches, including character education curricula and mission-driven programs, boys’ schools guide boys to make responsible choices and live an honorable life. Opportunities to perform and contribute as part of an orchestra, sports team, or outreach service build courage, perseverance, and teamwork. Outstanding faculty members model integrity, mirrored by student leaders, peer counselors, and other mentors. Boys experience myriad ways they can express themselves, find affirmation, and mature into responsible, caring adults.

Boys’ schools create an ideal environment for students to imagine, explore, and reach their full potential.

Freed from the constraints of conventional gender roles, students in boys’ schools explore the full range of their personalities. Eschewing stereotypes, they play many roles: scholar, athlete, artist, musician, mentor, and friend. Boys’ schools encourage emotionally literate boys, who respond to others with empathy and compassion. Recognizing boys may express feelings differently, educators buoy them in navigating the expectations society may have for them. Emphasizing literature, languages, music, dance, drama, and the visual arts, boys’ schools create a safe environment for students to embrace their vulnerability, step into the unknown, pursue new passions, perform, entertain, serve, mentor, and lead.

Boys’ schools know that boys develop and learn in different ways.

Boys and girls grow in different ways. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) demonstrates how boys’ brains are wired to require movement, space, and rest. Learning more readily through action than words, boys may take longer to refine social, reading, and writing skills. Often more spatial and visual by nature, many boys demonstrate affinity for the abstract reasoning of mathematics, science, philosophy, and linguistics. Boys also learn better when material is presented in small portions and when they can connect learning to action, story, and outcome. Boys’ schools create a learning environment premised on what boys need. Passionate teachers implement kinesthetic and sensory experiences to fully engage and inspire boys and continue to refine their craft with cutting-edge research in the IBSC Action Research program.

Boys’ schools create a sense of belonging for all students in their communities and foster lifelong friendships.

United by a special bond of friendship, boys work together with gusto and purpose in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the performance hall. Many boys’ school graduates say the friendships they forged with peers and faculty remain among the most enduring and important benefits they carry with them. In multiple IBSC-commissioned research studies, Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley demonstrated the essential role of relationships in boys’ learning. Boys thrive where they first establish positive, trusting relationships with teachers possessing subject mastery and interest in their pursuits, quirks, and foibles. Female faculty members play a key role in fostering positive, respectful attitudes toward women. This relationship-based education model nurtures a boy’s growing sense of belonging and promotes empathy, courage, and resilience. A brotherhood of alumni stands ready to support these boys—now and in the future.

Boys’ schools prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.

Boys’ schools imbue character hewn on academic rigor, leadership, diversity, inclusion, stewardship, and civic responsibility. This provides a true compass for boys to navigate their journey to manhood and the tools for leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world. Boys’ schools engage in outreach and service learning, through which students contribute to the broader community, supporting and learning from those in need. Some team up with students at other schools in need of a helping hand. Many collaborate in community service and similar projects with girls’ schools. All such endeavors commit boys to causes bigger than themselves, forge respectful and supportive relationships with the greater community, and nurture better global citizens. In so doing, boys’ schools share a unifying goal: guiding boys along the path to manhood.

Remember to use the Why a School for Boys? brochure and video, too.