Redefining Masculinity:
Helping Boys to be Better Men

Thursday evening, April 26 and Friday April 27, 2012
Landon School, Bethesda, Maryland

For decades and more, boys’ schools have played a unique and vital role in shaping men. Our emphasis on academic rigor, athletics and the arts, and character education has done much to create generations of men who have gone on to become leaders. In more recent years, boys’ schools have been especially innovative in inviting boys to explore a range of masculinities and to develop social-emotional intelligence. We believe that boys’ schools, by virtue of their expertise and focus, are uniquely positioned to nurture the development of good men for the multiple challenges of a changing world.

With this background, this conference is designed to focus specifically on our obligation to educate boys for responsible manhood, gender awareness and sensitivity, and respectful and equitable relationships with girls and women. We have a responsibility and a unique opportunity as boys’ schools to prepare our boys for coeducational colleges and universities, for the ,collaborative work place of the 21st century, and for the changing dynamics of family life and parenting. The challenge is all the greater because boys and young men everywhere are so often bombarded by negative gender stereotypes of masculinity and relationships.

Redefining Masculinity: Educating Boys to Become Better Men is designed to foster dialogue and encourage creative response to the social realities and obligations that call for the best our boys can be.

Our keynote speakers are Joe Ehrmann, who will challenge us with a new definition of masculinity. and Michael Kimmel, a leading expert in masculinity studies. The program also includes discussions and workshops focusing on curriculum, character education and healthy relationship programs; the role of women in our schools; school culture and climate; institutional modeling of gender awareness and equity; partnerships with other schools and the community; and student leadership and initiatives.

The conference will be relevant to schools with thoughtful programs and initiatives who may wish a “check-up” on their progress, to schools seeking direction, and to all those looking for new perspectives and approaches.

It will be of special interest to assistant or deputy heads, deans of students, and others charged with related responsibilities and interest in this dimension of their schools. It is aimed at both the senior and middle school levels. Schools might consider sending a team to the conference, to optimize the transfer of learning, team building, and thoughtful advocacy at the home school.