Better Boys, Better Men
Exploring Masculinity in Boys’ Schools
February 5 – March 1, 2024
An IBSC Online Class
Success today—both in and beyond the classroom—requires self-awareness, self-restraint, empathy, curiosity, collaboration, and strong communication skills.
Yet boys aren’t being taught these skills.
Boys are still being taught that their competency as ascending men requires: They shouldn’t cry; they have to handle everything on their own and always be “right;” they need to swallow back their feelings and always appear cool, in control; they have to be the top gun. So much of their identity is a performance for other people. This old masculine script doesn't prepare boys for a new world that requires a new toolkit.
Then there’s this: Boys are in the midst of an unprecedented epidemic of emotional isolation, loneliness, anxiety, depression, and, increasingly, suicide. This epidemic has existed for quite a while behind the curtain, but many of us didn’t realize it. A solution: We need to get boys talking in school—not as an alternative to receiving professional help but as a way to help them learn simple coping strategies, find the commiseration and support from peers they sorely lack, and start on the path to greater emotional well-being.
Join fellow boys’ educators in this global online class led by author Andrew Reiner to gain a deeper understanding of the subtle but profound ways boys are struggling today and how we can help them build greater resiliency, hone communication skills, and develop a new masculine identity that will help them thrive and succeed.
Take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to engage directly with Reiner using his book, Better Boys, Better Men: The New Masculinity That Creates Greater Courage and Emotional Resiliency, to:
- Examine the pressures boys are facing.
- Understand how boys and men are wired.
- Explore a new masculinity and how boys’ schools can:
- Develop new ways of talking to/with boys.
- Prepare boys for meaningful manhood.
- Undo toxic training.
- Leverage the power of vulnerability.
- Help boys fight loneliness.
- Raise empathetic boys.
- Help boys navigate a complex, changing gendered landscape.
Engage on your own flexible timetable in this three-week, asynchronous class. Each week Andrew Reiner frames the lessons of Better Boys, Better Men for boys’ schools. The class offers:
- Thoughts and questions for educators to consider while reading the text;
- Additional resources for educators, including research, articles, videos, and columns specific to the role of educators in boys’ lives;
- A case study to explore with fellow boys’ educators in the class; and
- A captivating discussion around a central question or theme in the reading.
It’s essential to read the book. You can easily buy Better Boys, Better Men as an eBook, audiobook, or hardcover.
If you have yet to read the book, expect to spend five to six hours per week engaged in the class. If you have already read the book, plan to spend three to four hours each week. Classes run asynchronously, so there is no specific time each week when you must attend online—you choose to participate whenever it’s most convenient for you. Classwork and assignments for each unit open Monday morning; please complete this work by the following Sunday evening. Grace periods are given, but interaction proves more effective when everyone in the class works on the same topic.
Take advantage of this amazing opportunity!
- IBSC member rate: US $445
- Nonmember rate: US $575
- IBSC South Africa member rate: US $355
Please note: Watch for login information for your online class the Friday before it opens. If you registered for the class after the Friday before it beings, watch for login information within 24 hours.
IBSC will refund 90% of registration fees if a written request is received two weeks prior to the class. No refunds will be made for cancellations received after this time. Schools seeking to register an alternate to replace a participant unable to attend should contact IBSC@theibsc.org.
Andrew Reiner is a writer and full-time lecturer at Towson University where he teaches men’s studies, writing, and cultural studies.
He created two popular courses: The Changing Face of Masculinity and Leading Lives That Matter. Reiner’s work has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NBC THINK, among other publications.
Released in December 2020, his book Better Boys, Better Men is a one-on-one with the reader about the many ways that the static, business-as-usual masculine identity we tolerate and encourage no longer serves boys and men—nor the rest of us—in a 21st century where boys need a toolkit that better reflects changing societal needs. After researching this topic exhaustively over four years to write the book, Reiner advances this conversation and adds in greater, more honest complexity. It goes beyond merely torching masculinity to offer constructive ideas about what needs to rise up from the ashes.