Distant Voices, Different Voices: How Reading and Discussing Various Genres Promotes a Fuller Sense of What 'Masculine' Means — Michael Deschenes, St. Sebastian's School, United States

The ninth grade (age 14–15) English curriculum at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Massachusetts (USA), a grade 7–12 Catholic independent boys’ school, consists of a year-long literature course and a year-long writing course. The literature course allows the students to read and discuss literary works of different genres, from Homer’s Odyssey to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to Wilson’s Fences, while the writing course encourages the development of skills associated with various writing styles. Through a pre-survey, discussions with small student groups and a postsurvey, the researcher examines whether the two courses advance a boy’s individual voice, while each student also discovers what “masculinity” means. The result of this action research project is that analysing the different voices of others, and developing one’s own voice, provides a broader, fuller sense of masculinity than otherwise possible.

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Educator quote about IBSC Action Research

"I enjoyed listening to the students reflect on their perception of masculinity and how their courses have aided them in framing their own understanding of their place in the school and in the world outside our campus."