2007 AC Archive (Boston)

14th Annual Conference
International Boys' Schools Coalition

Hosted by The Roxbury Latin School
Boston, MA, US
June 24-27, 2007

Pre-Conference Information

Schedule & Information

Workshops & Speakers




Conference Schedule & Information

14th Annual Conference: On June 24-27, 2007, The Roxbury Latin School hosted the IBSC's Fourteenth Annual Conference which featured educators from boys' schools all around the world and a number of internationally renowned guest speakers.

Keynote Speakers

Adam Cox

Adam Cox, a leading advocate for the social and emotional wellbeing of youth, initiated the Mighty Good KidsTM Workshop for Social and Emotional Development. This programe helps children with learning or attention problems, Asperger's syndrome, and other behavioural challenges develop social skills in a focused, supportive environment. He is the author of Boys of Few Words: Raising Our Sons to Communicate and Connect . In this work, Cox probes the reasons for and consequences of boys' relative difficulty in communicating their feelings. Further, he explores how nature and nurture combine with common "boy" issues like shyness, withdrawal, anger, and aggression to discourage the development of broad, deep, and verbally dexterous social and emotional vocabularies. As a practicing clinical psychologist, author, and lecturer, he helps parents and teachers apply the insights of scientific research to the everyday challenges of raising healthy children and adolescents.

Joe Ehrmann

To Ehrmann, society's expectations of masculinity that reward athletic ability, sexual prowess, and economic success are hollow and damaging. A former All-American football player at Syracuse University and former professional player for the Baltimore Colts, Joe Ehrmann now devotes his life to teaching boys and young men a new definition of masculinity, "strategic masculinity." This definition is based on two things: relationships and having a cause beyond yourself. He seeks to promote in young men the desire to excel as fathers, husbands, sons, and friends by helping them develop the capacity to love and be loved, by teaching them empathy, kindness, respect, compassion and appreciation. Joe and his wife Paula are co-founders of the Building Men and Women for Others (BMWO) organization, which addresses these issues of masculinity as well as the issues of violence and child advocacy.

Rob Evans

Rob Evans, Executive Director of The Human Relations Service, has worked with children, families, and schools for thirty years. He suggests that as life in schools grows steadily more complex, the pressure of rising demands affects the morale and performance of teachers and leaders alike, even in strong schools. The need to rekindle commitment and renew skills has never been greater. Rob does not advocate a particular set of school changes or exhort audiences to embrace change. He concentrates on the real problems real people and real organizations face when they want to change — or are pressed to do so. His programmes focus on the needs of faculty and leaders as they try to meet the needs of students. Rob invites us to rethink school accountability and shows how schools can help themselves and their families improve the raising and schooling of children.

Stephen Hall

A science journalist and, among other things, baseball lover, Stephen Hall interprets complex socio-scientific topics in a clear, accessible style. His latest work, Size Matters: How Height Affects the Health, Happiness, and Success of Boys-and the Men They Become , explores the biological, psychological, and cultural aspects of human growth, and grew out of Hall's experience of childhood and adolescence as a smaller-than-average boy. Hall illustrates that people, consciously or not, attribute positive qualities to tall boys and men -- qualities including charisma, leadership, intelligence, dependability, sex appeal, and the ability to provide. As Hall puts it, height matters because it "has an impact on social perceptions, romantic interactions, workplace hierarchies and our self-perception long after we've stopped growing.'' He argues that nearly everything that happens during adolescence is etched deeply into identity for life. Hall is also the author of several other books, including Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension and the prescientInvisible Frontiers: The Race to Synthesize a Human Gene.

Rushworth M. Kidder

Founder and president of the non-profit Institute for Global Ethics, Rush Kidder is widely known as a provocative speaker and stimulating author and brings more than 30 years of insights to his discussions of corporate and global ethics. Dr. Kidder’s latest book, Moral Courage, uses real-life stories from business, education, government, sports, and other areas to explain what moral courage is, what it does, and how we can develop it. Through his lively, compelling, real-life stories, he illustrates the fact that our toughest choices are not matters of right versus wrong but of right versus right. He is the author of seven other books, including How Good People Make Tough Choices, and also serves as executive editor of Ethics Newsline™, the world’s first weekly, Internet-based, ethics information service.

Thomas Mortenson

Senior Scholar at The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in Washington, DC, Thomas Mortenson is also the editor and publisher of Postsecondary Education OPPORTUNITY , a monthly research letter devoted to analysis and reporting on the demographics, sociology, history, politics and economics of educational opportunity after high school. Tom's policy research focuses on opportunity for postsecondary education and training and the ways public policy fosters or impedes access to that opportunity. He has a special concern for populations that are under-represented in higher education — most especially populations that have been denied access and opportunity in the pursuit of higher education.

Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychologyat Harvard University. Pinker's academic specializations are visual cognition and language development in children; he is most famous for popularising the idea that language is an "instinct" or biological adaptation shaped by natural selection rather than a by-product of general intelligence. A current topic of study is inflectional morphology: the ability to derive walked from walk or mice from mouse. He writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time, and Slate, and is the author of six books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate .

During the conference, delegates will have opportunities to pick from a wide-range of workshops, given by educators from member schools around the world. Workshops focus on best practices for teaching boys in all areas of the curriculum, report new findings and their application to teaching, and pursue ways in which our schools can understand and support “boys in their worlds”. There are abundant and rich workshop opportunities at all levels – junior, middle, and senior – and across a full range of interests. The workshop program is found here.

Other Conference Highlights

  • The programme will also include an evening at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum including a tour of the Museum Exhibits.
  • The library and museum overlook the Boston waterfront and are located on a ten-acre park landscaped with pine trees, shrubs, and wild roses reminiscent of the landscape of Cape Cod familiar to President Kennedy and his family. The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum is dedicated to the memory of the United States' thirty-fifth president and to all who, through the art of politics, seek a new and better world.

There will be several opening day events including a reception dinner on Sunday, June 24th at The Roxbury Latin School. Following the dinner "The Experimentalist," Gerard Senehi will entertain our guests.

Gerard Senehi is a psychic entertainer who experiments in all areas of the paranormal. He is recognized internationally not only as a brilliant performer but also as a true master of the art. After witnessing his work, world leaders have approached him to enlist his help for political and military causes. Top corporations have tried to lure him to predict world markets. Scientists from around the world have been baffled by his experiments some recognizing these as "the most convincing display of paranormal phenomena they ever witnessed." They have even put him through a multitude of tests some of which have shown "very unusual" results. Despite all this, Gerard Senehi insists that what he does is strictly art and entertainment.

Spouse/Partner Programme
If you have registered a spouse/partner, please note that they may attend the Sunday evening events at The Roxbury Latin School as well as the Monday evening event planned at The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. We have arranged for bus transportation for spouses/partners from the Sheraton for both evenings. On Sunday, June 24th and Monday June 25th, spouses/partners should meet in the hotel lobby at 5:00 PM for boarding the bus transportation.

Special outings have been organized:

  • Freedom Trail (Monday, June 25) and to the Museum of Fine Arts (Tuesday, June 26) have been organized. Spouse/partners should meet in the lobby of the Sheraton at 9:30AM on these mornings. Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate spouses/partners at morning and afternoon conference events because of space limitations at the school.
  • Spirit of Boston Sunset Dinner Cruise, 6:30pm, Tuesday, June 26, 2007. Cruise, dine, dance and enjoy breathtaking skyline views on this festive two-hour voyage around Boston Harbor. For details, click here, and note that the special promotional code is: IBSC. The Spirit of Boston is docked at the Seaport World Trade Center at Commonwealth Pier, directions are here. Important: please note that the conference day ends at 5:00PM. We would recommend taking the 5:20 train to South Station to arrive with plenty of time to board the ship.
  • Walking Tour of the South End. On Tuesday June 26 at 6pm Dave Manzo, who teaches Boston and Urban Analysis at Boston College, will be leading a one hour and thirty minute tour of the historic South End of Boston. The tour will begin from the hotel lobby at 6 o’clock and will conclude with wine and cheese from the rooftop deck of the Manzo home on Warren Street. Dave will provide a brief, introductory lecture before the tour to preview the areas that will be covered. The topics pertaining to the South end will include: Affordable Housing, Urban Planning, Victorian Architecture, and Garden Squares. Important: we would ask delegates to sign up for the tour during registration at The Roxbury Latin School Sunday, June 24th, and that the registration is limited to the first 15 people who sign up.

Conference Registration
Full conference registration includes admission to all sessions (keynote speeches, workshops and seminars, breakfasts, refreshment breaks, lunches, and the evening events on Sunday at The Roxbury Latin School and the Kennedy Library on Monday). Registration for partners includes evening events on Sunday at The Roxbury Latin School and the reception at the Kennedy Library on Monday evening. Conference activities on Tuesday will conclude late afternoon to provide delegates and partners time to enjoy the countless opportunities available in the Boston/Cambridge area.

Pre-Conference Extended Workshops & Registration
The IBSC is pleased to announce that two Pre-Conference Extended Workshops will take place on Sunday, June 24. These workshops are designed to provide an intensive exploration of special topics of interest. To register for a Pre-Conference Extended Workshop, you must complete and submit a separate registration form, and again make payment. Since the workshops are held simultaneously, please note that you may register for only one workshop

The Pre-Conference Extended Workshops will take at The Roxbury Latin School on Sunday, June 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 P.M. Registration includes bus transportation from the Sheraton Hotel to The Roxbury Latin School, refreshments and lunch.

Pre-Conference Extended Workshop A: Striving for Character and Excellence in a “Win at all Cost” Sporting Culture
We are living in an extremely competitive and outcome oriented culture that is influencing schools, programmes and families across the country. In particular, the pressure to perform in the sports arena has increased dramatically over the past decade. This focus on outcome has challenged many boys’ schools to reevaluate their values and mission statements as they define what winning means for their students, teams and communities.

With an over-emphasis on college scholarships and elite teams, administrators, coaches, and educators at the youth and high school levels are increasingly under the scrutiny of parents with high performance expectations for their children. Many attend practices, offer their opinions freely, and coach their children from the sidelines. While schools continue to strive for athletic excellence, they are struggling to keep a healthy perspective that serves the physical, emotional and intellectual development of their student/athletes.

In this workshop, administrators, coaches and educators will address the following questions: How has this competitive sporting culture challenged the school’s athletic mission? In what ways do schools need to redefine and or clarify their values with their teams and overall athletic community? How can coaches, educators and administrators: a) help relieve athletes of parental and other pressure that may impede their performance and enjoyment? b) manage challenging input and behaviour from parents? and c) teach character in a competitive and outcome oriented sports environment?

This workshop offers developmental tips for educators to better understand male student-athletes at different ages as well as a guide to address the crucial questions above. Highly interactive discussion and extensive Q & A will be incorporated.

Workshop Leaders:
Dr. Richard Ginsburg is a clinical psychologist and sport psychology consultant in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Medical School. He is Co-Director and Co-Founder of the MGH Performance and Character Excellence Institute (PACES).
Dr. Steve Durant is a clinical psychologist and sport psychology consultant in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Medical School. He is Co-Director and Co-Founder of the MGH Performance and Character Excellence Institute (PACES).
Dr. Nicole Danforth is a sports psychiatrist who specializes in the assessment and guidance of athletes, coaches, teams, and parents. She is the Medical Director of the PACES Sports Psychology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School.

Pre-Conference Extended Workshop B: Starting Up Action Research in Boys’ Schools
Given the bustling pace of school life, Heads, curriculum and student life leaders, and teachers may think that “research” is mystical and undoable. But Action Research turns this up-side down. Everyone can engage in and be inspired by meaningful research that speaks directly to everyday questions: how can we work together to make our teaching and schools better for boys’ learning, and how do we really know that our work is effective? Once hooked, many in fact become “life-long” Action Research practitioners and boosters.

This intensive workshop will interest teachers and school leaders who want to know how Action Research links best teaching practices to the overall rigour of the school curriculum, focuses professional learning, and aligns teaching with mission. It takes participants on a guided, hands-on tour of the essential steps of Action Research – identifying an area of enquiry, developing a precise research question, conducting a literature review, developing a research plan, collecting and analysing data, and reporting and sharing findings with others. They will learn how to set up Action Research groups in their schools.

Teachers will leave this workshop with an understanding of the power of this model for best practice teaching, and will be ready to embark on their own projects as advocates for Action Research in their schools. Curriculum and student life leaders will understand how Action Research bridges professional learning and the development of effective strategies and programmes that support boys and learning. Heads will find out how Action Research can help support school mission and move a strategic plan forward, and create a “professional learning community” dedicated to the success and well-being of boys.

Workshop Leaders:
Di Laycock, Barker College, Australia, is the current coordinator of the IBSC Action Research Project.
Mary Gauthier, Upper Canada College, Canada, is the founding coordinator of the IBSC Action Research Project.
Susan Droke, Presbyterian Day School, United States, was a member of the first IBSC Action Research team, 2006/07

Hotel Accommodations
The IBSC has negotiated special conference rates at the Sheraton Boston Hotel ($189 per night plus 12.45% tax for single or double occupancy) which will be available to conference delegates from June 21 – 30. IBSC will provide bus transportation from the Sheraton Boston Hotel to The Roxbury Latin School on Sunday afternoon (and from the John F. Kennedy Library to the hotel following the reception Monday evening). The Sheraton Boston is a ten-minute walk from Back Bay train station where delegates will catch the train for a 15 minute ride to and from The Roxbury Latin School in the mornings and afternoons.

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