Saturday, November 20, 2010
Sometimes, I get a surprise in the mail, a book I did not know was coming. Here's one of them: Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys by Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley.
One of my facebook friends is an educator in Pennsylvania who told me that a lot of our classroom education focuses on the way females tend to learn. I agree with her to a point. My experience is that a lot of classroom education focuses on the way teachers tended to have been taught, how teachers tend to learn. If you are a student who learns that way, you score high marks in school and are considered successful. If you need more project based learning, movement, learning in context, hands on, NOT sitting at a desk taking notes during a lecture, then students risk being considered a less-than learner and often are labeled lazy or a behavior problem. I really like this quote from page 230 of Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys, "Teachers who reflexively attribute all off-task behavior to attention deficits or behavioral problems may miss important signalsabout the effectiveness of any given lesson."
Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys offers readers evidence, anecdotes, strategies, activities that work with those kids, often boys, but not always, need something outside the "teacher as lecturer, deliverer of information" box.
I suspect that a lot of my blog readers who are parents and teachers to students (boys and girls) with unique learning needs will identify with a lot of the stories in this book and will gain insight and ideas from it. There are so many important points in the book that I can use with my girl - a lot of information, I already use and incorporate (Chapter 4, Motor Activity, for example; or Chapter 3, Lessons as Games). Some, know about and need to incoroporate more deliberately (Chapter 5, Role Play and Performance). Some of the lessons, we're on the path toward (Chapter 7, Teamwork and Competetion; Chapter 8, Personal Realization; Chapter 9, Novelty, Drama, and Surprise).
I like the emphasis on the importance of relationships in teaching students.
Rather than copy the TOC, I'll point you to it, HERE. Chapter 1 is available HERE. Reaching Boys, Teaching boys is a 264 page paperback list priced at $29.95.