IBSC Action Research Findings

Each year, IBSC identifies a theme and invites teachers and administrators to collaborate to investigate teaching strategies to improve best practices in educating boys.

IBSC Action Research reports and posters by year are listed below:

In July at the 2018 IBSC Annual Conference in Gold Cost, Queensland, Australia, IBSC action researchers present research on Adaptability in a Changing World.

You may sort research projects by theme, year, researcher, school, or country.

IBSC Action Research Reports

  • Collaboration and Team Learning (2016-17)
Using Phillips Exeter's Academy's Harkness Technique to Enhance Listening Skills in Year 12 Mathematicians — Nick Adams, Eton College, United Kingdom

A class of twelve Year 12 boys from Eton College participated in an action research project as part of their Mathematics A-Level course. The aim of the project was to evaluate the effect that delivering the Mathematics syllabus in the style used at Phillips Exeter Academy, based on the Harkness methodology, would have on the boys’ listening skills.

  • Maker Movement (2014-15)
Making Prototypes to Encourage Creativity and Support CAD Learning in Grade 8 Boys — James Moloney , Anglican Church Grammar School, Australia

How can utilising physical prototyping when teaching CAD skills enhance creativity in Grade 8 Makers?”

This study seeks to investigate two issues. Firstly, investigate if student creativity is being stifled by the requirement to produce virtual products prior to manufacture, Secondly, determine the effectiveness of directly linking physical prototypes to the CAD processes when students generate designs ideas.

  • Creativity through Digital Technologies (2012-13)
How Does the Use of Gamemaker Software Foster the Development of Creative Problem-solving Skills in Boys? — Ben Marr, Scotch College, Australia

How does the use of Gamemaker software foster the development of creative problem-solving skills in boys? If boys constructed their own computer games in a classroom that encouraged risk taking, cooperative endeavour, competition and challenge, would they create new products; products that were tangible evidence not only of boys' creativity, but also of boys constructing meaning from the interaction with the gaming software and with other boys?

  • Creativity through Digital Technologies (2012-13)
What Effect Does Formal Creativity Training Have on Student Self-perception of Creativity When Learning to Use Photoshop in the Digital Art Classroom? — Bill Bedard, Selwyn House School, Canada

This action research explored the idea of enhancing a digital art class with an approach to formal education in lateral and parallel thinking developed by Edward de Bono. The research question was “Would this intervention affect self-perception of student creativity while learning Adobe Photoshop in a Grade 9 Art class?

Real Men Don't Rape — Andrew Renard, St. Andrew's College, South Africa

How can boys’ understanding of masculinity and manhood be enhanced and broadened through literature in the language arts curriculum?

Real men don't rape. Working from this statement, my research explored two further questions: Can literature have any impact in changing boys’ attitudes towards rape? If so, what types of literature are most effective in achieving a change in attitude?

  • Positive Relationships, Positive Learning (2007-08)
Peer Mentoring: A Program for Guided Transition from the Junior to Senior School — Catherine Lamont, Trinity Grammar School, Australia

Can a guided transition program for primary students entering their first year of senior school assist with their learning?” This action research project evaluated an existing school peer support program, with the primary aim of tailoring the existing transition program, its infrastructure and its desired outcomes, so that it might better meet the needs of boys in the 21st century 

  • Positive Relationships, Positive Learning (2007-08)
Taking Bullying Out of the Classroom — Margot Long, St. John's Preparatory School, South Africa

How can the inclusion of an intensive program on bullying improve boys’ understanding of the problem and reduce incidences of bullying? The aim of this project was to raise awareness about the problem of bullying in the classroom and in the school; to teach better ways of dealing with conflict and issues of self-esteem; and to improve the learning experience for boys who would benefit from working in a safe, encouraging and supportive environment.

  • Boys and Digital Literacy (2006-07)
Are Digital Technologies Able to Enhance Learning by Promoting the Use of Varied Learning Stules in a Group of Boys with Learning and Behavioural Problems? — Peter de Lisle, Hilton College, South Africa

Prensky (2005) and many others maintain that games and gaming produce an engaged experience, and that this is applicable to boys in particular. In contrast school is boring or “enraging”. So it is argued that games are therefore the best way to create innovative instructional design for boys. (Barab et al. 2006; Squire and Steinkuehler 2005)

  • Boys and Digital Literacy (2006-07)
Does e-Communications and Writing Through Shared Web Spaces Such as Wikis and Google Docs Enhance the Learning Experience for Boys? — Andrew Holmgren, Fairfield Country Day School, United States

The purpose of this project was to determine if e-communication and writing through the use of wikis and Google Docs contributed to the overall quality of work and level of engagement for boys in grades six, seven, and eight. Preliminary findings suggest that the more comfortable one is with the internet, the more responsive one will be to online shared spaces.

  • Boys and Digital Literacy (2006-07)
Does the Use of an Organized, Systematic Teacher Generated Webpage Affect a Boys' Individual Success in School? — Marlene Sclar, Landon School, United States

The goal of this action research project was to develop a grade level homepage on the school’s Intranet that would enable 6th grade boys to “take charge” of their life at school. Results show that this homepage had an overall positive impact, and was successful enough that the boys requested a similar page for next year.

  • Boys and Digital Literacy (2006-07)
What Aspects of Video Gaming and Other Forms of Digital Expression Appeal to Male Learners, and How Can Educators Use These Techniques and Attributes to Enhance Learning? — Lynne Weber, St. Mark's School of Texas, United States

Digital learning certainly made a difference in the boys’ level of motivation and excitement about the subjects they studied. The only drawback was our own (the teachers’ and librarians’) relatively limited knowledge of technology. We had to let the boys find their own way after we gave them the tools to do it, and they seemed to have no problem figuring out the technology.