October 2006

A Great Success!
The 13th Annual Conference at St. John's College, Johannesburg, South Africa, June 24-27, 2006

The 13th annual conference at St. John's College in Johannesburg South Africa was indeed an African celebration of boys' schools. The wintry chill was warmed by sun-drenched skies and the hospitality of our hosts. More than three hundred educators from far and wide were welcomed at the opening dinner in Darragh Hall. "I loved the African celebration - it was wonderful and brought the audience together as one!" Keynote speakersMichael Thompson, Eli Newberger, Tony Humphreys, Ian Thomas, Mamphela Ramphele and Robert Morrell gripped us with engaging viewpoints, interspersed with more than forty workshops and presentations.

Over the years, these conferences have won high marks for their quality and sense of community - and this was no exception. "This conference, my first, has left me inspired and motivated. Thank you for a wonderful experience!" said one participant. Said another, "I loved the whole occasion! Just being able to share with so many people who appear to be passionate about their calling to educate boys." And another, "informal networking is always the best aspect of this conference; the whole event has been outstanding."

Many conference goers also took advantage of their time in South Africa to visit Kruger National Park, the Cradle of Humankind, and Soweto - some missed Nelson Mandela by an hour! So much of what's good about the work of the IBSC runs on the generosity and talents of our schools and their staff: Hats off to Headmaster Roger Cameron and chief organiser Alan Thompson - and everyone on their team.

The 14th Annual Conference at The Roxbury Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts, June 24-27, 2007: Reserve the dates now!

As goodbyes were waved at St. John's, the torch passed to The Roxbury Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts, home of the 14th annual conference on June 24-27, 2007. Headmaster Kerry Brennan and his team are hard at work. The theme will be Boys and their Worlds - evoking those multiple worlds of imagination, action and experience that inspire and challenge boys. To date, confirmed keynote speakers are Stephen Pinker, acclaimed author of Blank Slate andHow the Mind Works; Robert Evans, author ofThe Human Side of School Change and Family Matters; and Tom Mortenson, controversial analyst of trends in boys' achievement in school and university in the United States. We have just learned that one of the conference evenings will be held at the magnificent and inspiring John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum! Stay tuned to this web-site for complete information as the conference takes final shape. "Details about registration and hotel reservation will be posted shortly. Applications for workshop presentations are now welcomed.

Go Team IBSC!

Since its first days, the IBSC has grown by leaps and now stretches around the world. Its mission finds such positive expression and resonance, fuelled in part by a growing body of research and by the spirit of commitment and energy in our member schools. The IBSC owes so much of this success to Executive Director Chris Wadsworth. When he gave notice that he was stepping aside, the board of trustees launched a new phase in this journey of building a community of boys' schools committed to best practices for boys around the globe. With Chris staying on as Associate Director, the Board appointed Brad Adams as the new Executive Director, as announced by President Rick Melvoin in May. Brad and Chris are now pleased to report that Kathy Blaisdell has joined us as Administrative Assistant. Says the new Executive Director; "I cannot imagine better colleagues to serve our members, at a time when we want to expand our programs and explore what it means to be truly global." In fact, the new team is very much a "virtual office" - with Kathy in Wiscasset, Maine; Chris in Cape Cod and Boston; and Brad in Toronto, Canada.

Board of Trustees: Arrivals and Departures

Graham Able

June also saw the handing on of the presidential baton from Rick Melvointo Graham Able, Master of Dulwich College in the United Kingdom. This is the first time that the President is from outside of the United States, another sign of the global reach of the IBSC. Graham's tribute to Rick Melvoin is found on this link. Rick continues as a valued trustee. Retiring from the board in June was Brad Gioia, Headmaster of Montgomery Bell Academy. President of the IBSC from 1999 to 2003, Brad has been one of great builders of the organisation, and deserves our full gratitude. Joining the board are John Kennard, Principal of St. Paul's School in Hong Kong; Grant Lander, Rector of Lindisfarne School in New Zealand, and Ellis Haguewood, Headmaster of Memphis University School in Tennessee, United States. For a complete list of 2006 Trustees, click here.

A Great Day at "Catch the Curve," Toronto Boys' School Coalition Conference, August 28, 2006

For a number of years this local collaboration of independent and public boys' schools has held conferences for all faculty, as a warm-up to the impending year. The day begins with a speaker. Three years ago, Leonard Sax engaged in an absorbing debate with Professor Sandra Witelson on gender and brain research. In 2004, Michael Thompson spoke. Educators from all these schools then share their expertise and wisdom in workshops and displays; and some participate in a vigorous and ongoing action research program. This year's conference on Catch the Curve was hosted by Crescent School. Those interested in setting up a similar collaboration in their local region are encouraged to contact the Executive Director.

David Booth on Boys and Literacy

David Booth

At "Catch the Curve," teachers from Upper Canada College, Crescent School, Royal St. George's, St. Andrew's College and Sterling Hall School heard from David Booth, Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto. In a disarmingly provocative address, Professor Booth pondered the barriers to boy's reading, suggested some of the ways in which these barriers can be reduced, and indicated how the multiple and differently literate worlds they inhabit and navigate can be mobilized. David's comments are found here, and information about his research harbours at the Canadian Education Association

IBSC Conference on "Boys and Brain" at Scotch College,

Scotch College Cellists

Melbourne, Australia, October 2, 2006

On October 2, staff from Melbourne-area boys' schools will attend a one-day conference at Scotch College on brain research in relation to boys' learning and to teaching boys. We are increasingly recognizing the importance of this topic in helping teachers and students gain mastery. Key note presenters areDr. Michael Nagel, Dr. Joseph Ciorciari and Jennifer Jahnke. This is a highly focused and leading edge application of what we know about brain development to classrooms and learning. We look forward to a full conference report in our next communication. For more on the conference, click here.

Adam J. Cox, Ph.D.

Getting to Engagement: IBSC Conference in Toronto, Canada October 27-28, 2006: Register Now!

Busy Toronto will host a two-day IBSC conference on Getting to Engagement: Developing Effective Strategies for Communicating with Adolescent Boys on October 27-28, 2006. The keynote presenter is Adam Cox, author of the influential Boys of Few Words: Raising Our Sons to Communicate and Connect. The workshop program that follows is designed to explore and deepen techniques for effective communication with boys that build social-emotional literacy and storied resilience.

Ask Us About Action Research!

In February 2005, the IBSC board put its shoulder behind an action research initiative. The goal was to bring educators from member schools around the globe to the intense but practical work of action research collaboration. Two teams were selected and met at the IBSC annual conference in Washington D.C. in June, 2005. Over the course of year they embarked on two fascinating research journeys, and reported in Johannesburg. Read these reports here.

Di Laycock, teacher librarian at Barker College in Sydney, Australia, focused with her team-mates on the use of graphic novels in stimulating boys' reading. She says of her experience: "my participation not only enhanced my personal professional development, but also benefited colleagues in my school who seek to improve their practice. At Barker College, my team's research findings into boys' reading are currently influencing curriculum planning in the English department. In addition, colleagues who watched my action research evolve and who recognised the benefits of such a process have been encouraged to undertake their own research in order to reflect upon and improve their teaching. Since the project, my increased knowledge and understanding in the area of boys' reading has also enhanced my ability to participate in and contribute to the broader educational community in a variety of ways."

New teams are well underway with their work, and are on track to report at the 14th Annual Conference at The Roxbury Latin School in June, 2007. Interested educators in IBSC schools are encouraged to check Action Research updates in Members Only. Applications to participate in the 2007/08 action research project can now be made.

A Big Hello!

The IBSC family welcomes the following schools who joined during 2005/06:

• Anglican Church Grammar School
• St. Edmund's Canberra

New Zealand
• Christ's College
• Napier Boys' High School
• Sacred Heart College

South Africa
• Grey High School
• St. Andrew's College
• Pretoria Boys' High School
• Maritzburg College
• St. Benedict's College

United States
• Pacific Boychoir Academy
• Urban Assembly Academy
• Valley Forge Military Academy
• Webb School of California

Any questions or comments? We welcome any and all feedback about this e-newsletter and all IBSC matters. Please send your correspondence to: office@theibsc.org.

The International Boys' Schools Coalition is dedicated to the education and development of boys, the professional growth of those who work with them, and the advocacy and the advancement of institutions - primarily schools for boys - that serve them.