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Male Education Workshop

Filed under: Events — Julie @ 7:50 am Tue 4th August 2009

Are today’s boys and young men more destructive and out of control?

What can we do to ‘hook’ boys in to learning and raise their achievement? Do we have different standards and expectations for boys and girls?

The workshop will answer these questions by examining a number of powerful ideas. These ideas impact on young males whether they are at preschool, primary, secondary, university or starting work.

  • Boys have wonderful qualities which need to be recognised and developed
  • Boys require rules, responsibilities, consequences, challenges and expectations.
  • School is wherever a boy can learn
  • Movement and the outdoors are crucial in a boy’s learning and development
  • The relationship between teacher and boy is a crucial factor for learning
  • There are powerful influences (entertainment, role models) in our homes and communities that harm our boys.

  • Strategies will be presented from these ideas, which if implemented, could have a powerful effect on a boy’s attitude to learn, achieve and succeed within school and community.

    Michael Irwin has worked in education for over 35 years and takes the refreshing counter position that boys are generally fine and not inherently toxic creatures that need ‘fixing’. He is currently a senior lecturer in Education at Massey University in Auckland, and his doctoral thesis entitled Boys’ Perceptions of What Hinders or Enhances Their Education at Secondary School investigated the way we educate boys in New Zealand. He has worked in the Scouting movement for 20 years as a District Scouting Commissioner in the Waikato and has taken Scouts to the top of many New Zealand mountain ranges and canoed down a number of large rivers. Michael has attended educational research conferences in Australia, UK and Finland and presented research on aspects of boys’ education. He is the father of two thrill-seeking, speed-loving sons. Author of Educating Boys – Helping our boys to succeed at school is available from Parenting Place bookshop.

    Date: Wednesday, August 12, 2009
    Time: 07:30 PM – 09:00 PM
    Address: The Parenting Place, 300 Great South Road, Greenlane. Auckland
    Contact Info: The Parenting Place – 09 524 1387
    For enquires email: [email protected]

    Single Ticket Price: $10.00 (Admits one person)

    17 Responses to “Male Education Workshop”

    1. alastair says:

      Thanks Julie, This is on Pauls-news and NZFVL also. The more influence we can have the better.

    2. julie says:

      Thanks Alistair. I changed the name of the post but I hope that doesn’t effect your posts. BTW, thank you very much for the work you did; regards the database. 😀

    3. julie says:

      Girls 13 Boys 0: Testing reveals gender gap in basic skills

      Tests carried out on children before they start school at five show girls are still streets ahead of boys, writes Richard Garner

      Girls are racing ahead of boys in a whole range of skills, from reading and writing to showing the ability to concentrate before they even start their first day of school. An analysis of the basic assessments carried out on every four-year-old before they start compulsory schooling shows a 20 percentage point gap already emerging in writing ability, with 74 per cent of girls able to use writing for a variety of purposes, compared with just 54 per cent of boys.

      For the first time, the Government has published a gender breakdown of boys’ and girls’ results in the 117 different point scores they can achieve in the assessments. It reveals that boys perform better than girls in only three of the 117 points. They top the scale for mathematical development — attained by 7 per cent of boys and 6 per cent of girls — and are better at getting to grips with new technology and at building and constructing objects. In every other area of the curriculum, however, girls are either streets ahead or equal to boys.

      “The fact there is a 20 percentage point gap between boys and girls in some areas of communication skills is worrying,” said Anne Mountford, of the children’s charity 4Children. “The economy is moving much more towards communications skills and girls seem to be tearing ahead. If we don’t act, boys won’t be job-ready for the world that is coming.”

      Read more

    4. alastair says:

      Thats fine Julie, It will keep developing. Presently I am working on keeping it up to date (V1.0) and adding statistics. I’m trying to Link Excal with word to have this happen automatically! I have added a field to the old database, for links and am presently working on the new database – better able to cope with multiple court appearences, and even multiple crimes. It will be an ongoing cross that I bear.

      What I would like from all, references (Links) to various misdemenours. The more eyes the merrier.

    5. rc says:


      In any of your searchings have you found anything that confirms anything positive about boys or men, and that phrases it in language like “boys and men are streets ahead of girls and women”?

      Or that women are unlikely to be ready for some imagined course into the future?

    6. julie says:

      Hi RC,

      I am not sure what you are asking from me? But I will answer how I perceive your questions.

      In any of your searchings have you found anything that confirms anything positive about boys or men, and that phrases it in language like “boys and men are streets ahead of girls and women”?

      I haven’t been searching for things that show boys or men ahead of girls and women per se; however I know for a fact that neither boy or girl are being taught things for the future. The jobs that they will have haven’t been invented yet.

      Or that women are unlikely to be ready for some imagined course into the future?

      Lol about the imagined bit. I think technology is heading us into the future and I think technology is decades ahead of us. I don’t think we are anywhere near prepared for what is coming.

      If that is not what you meant can you please rephrase the question?

    7. alastair says:

      One place Males are Streets ahead, though I am not certain that we want to be, that is death and injury because of industrial accidents.

    8. rc says:

      As I read the article you quoted in the Independent, I was struck more by its tone than what it was trying to say. Some examples:

      -“Girls 13 Boys 0”
      -“girls are still streets ahead of boys”
      -“Girls are racing ahead of boys in a whole range of skills”
      -“boys perform better than girls in only three of the 117 points”
      -“In every other area of the curriculum, however, girls are either streets ahead or equal to boys”
      -“girls seem to be tearing ahead”
      -“How well they played with others and relationships with adults. Girls won 8-0″
      -“Girls triumphed in all of nine points on the scale.”
      -“Included adding and subtracting. Boys scored their first triumph, with seven per cent succeeding in the hardest task (which included mental recall) as opposed to six per cent of girls. But girls came out on top at the other eight points.”
      -“Girls only 4-2 ahead”

      I expect some of my women readers – using their superior communication skills – would be able to detect a subtle message.

      Moving on to what the article presents as its content, what the government considers worthy of testing in order to declare this impressive ‘triumph’ over boys is highly amusing. Apparently girls take more interest in “showing interest in the classroom and how well youngsters dressed“. Score 1 for the girls then.
      They also showed a greater aptitude to “write a simple shopping list or a letter to Father Christmas”. Another victory. They are better “at reciting nursery rhymes”. They have greater respect for other’s culture. And how about this coup: they are better at “simple songs, expressed feelings and preferences about artwork, drama and music”.

      I must say I’m a little embarrased for all the boys that they could be so thoroughly trounced at acting like girls – and by mere girls at that! Disgraceful!

      As for the spokeswoman for a charity declaring “The economy is moving much more towards communications skills … If we don’t act, boys won’t be job-ready for the world that is coming.” then I think she is sadly under-employed – just think how useful she would have been 2 years ago on Wall Street with such economic prescience.

      A few decades ago, it was common knowledge that girls started primary school with a minor aptitudinal advantage in reading and writing, and boys likewise were known to be stronger in arithmetic. Looks like nothing’s changed except how it’s being sold.

    9. julie says:

      RC, this whole idea of ‘men are victims and women are victims’ really needs to be set aside.

      We have spent decades fighting each other as a sex when in reality we should be working together. In our history both men and women were suffragettes for the vote. From there we should have cared for each other but things got out of control.

      Statistics and research are the way forward to understand what is needed and what is not. Without this research and statistics we are not caring for democracy.

      If we don’t care for men then we become a woman rules society. If we don’t care for women then we become a men rules society.

    10. rc says:

      Interesting turn of direction Julie, I take it you didn’t find the newspaper article as tongue-in-cheek as it reads.

    11. julie says:

      No, RC I didn’t take the article as tongue in cheek. I took the article as something worthwhile. But it has already been a draining day so I am not the best to converse with right now. 😉

      Do you want to join me on another site where men and women are discussing such things?

    12. rc says:

      No thanks Julie. I prefer doing to discussing, and for men to achieve anything for themselves, they must act outside of women’s knowledge. Bye.

    13. BG Smith says:

      Not sure if I can make it due to Mauri Ora meeting commitment,
      but hope you have seen or heard about the recent NZ book..

      Educating Boys: Helping Kiwi Boys To Succeed At School by Michael Irwin

      Plus there a 2007, FC magazine article on NZ Boys in Education…

    14. John (Doe;) says:

      Sounds like there’s a lot of hurt there RC. Hope you are able to work that out. I mean that sincerely.
      Try not to think of it as a them vs us. As Julie pointed out, it’s not about putting men back in control of society, it’s about getting balance. There’s a good reason why women’s lib was started, but unfortunately, the current flag bearers have forgotten what it was and we are now in an situation where the nanny state has a distinct feminazi slant.

    15. julie says:

      I get what RC was saying now.

      He was commenting on the way the article was written. It came across as girls were winning something and men were losing something or girls are winners and boys are losers.

      I guess when you read statistics around education that I sometimes do, one can be just looking for certain things without looking at the way it is presented.

      I do agree with RC, that is was rather petty.

    16. julie says:

      Wonderful article on Thanks for sharing it.

    17. rc says:

      Pardon me if my meaning was obscure, but Julie has it picked.

      As I read through the article she quoted, I began to think the use of triumphalist language so over the top that by reaching the end I had stopped taking any of it seriously. It reminded me of those conversations you hear in pubs when the All Blacks and Wallabies are playing on the TV, and a busload of Aussie sports fans roll in the door. Amusing in small doses, but time to leave if it goes on too long.

      You are a little too generous with your concern, but it’s appreciated all the same.

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