9 comments on “Here Come the Boys

  1. Bill, Thank you for this posting! I am a librarian in an all-boys school in the U.S. and I must say that our boys do read. Our blog includes some lists of what they chose this past year that may be helpful to others. For Form A scroll down to December: http://stabulldogs.wordpress.com/a-form/; Form B, http://stabulldogs.wordpress.com/b-form/ and our book club, http://stabulldog6.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-classics.html.

    Your list of books is very helpful and I am so glad to add this link to our pages!

    Tina H.

  2. Hi Tina,
    Thanks for looking in and thanks for the links. It’s always interesting to look at what others are reading especially in another part of the world. As you can probably guess from the blogpost I’m not really convinced that boys don’t read, just that they often have different preferences. I would be interested to know whether attending a single-sex school has any influence on reading development – a whole other research topic!

    Best wishes

  3. Hi Bill!
    Really interesting post. I was often heard to. Say that even if it was the back of a cereal packet, get them reading. I agree that stats & surveys can give us data but often the ‘solutions’ that come along with them are not appropriate to the whole picture. I love the idea of the library at the heart of a school but I suspect many have been taken over by IT and budgets are no longer focused on buying books.
    It needs a focus on reading across the piste rather than keeping on that the poor boys!

  4. Hi Julia,
    I think the library v tech debate is a false one. The library should be a multimedia centre where ‘books’ come in all forms. Similarly, if ICT is seen as separate from, rather than an integral part of, the curriculum, it can lead to fights over budget. In terms of the whole gender gap issue, I’m not sure how much of a gender gap there actually is – it may be more of a perception than a reality- and I am also aware that constantly bringing attention to it can potentially make matters worse. In an ideal world, and by extension an ideal school environment, boys and girls would be treated in exactly the same way.
    Thanks for your contribution,

  5. Bill, this is a great post where you have pulled together so many of the things we say about promoting reading in schools. Good role models are essential – we’ve been working hard to promote the idea of ‘teachers as readers’ and always ask our Subject Leaders to come to INSET sessions with a children’s book to recommend to others. A ‘read aloud curriculum’ is another thing that we’ve been working on in Coventry – getting our schools to list the books that they want all children to hear read aloud before they leave the school. School libraries are key; isn’t it sad that prisoners are entitled to a library but children aren’t – how can that be right! Like you we want them to be multi-media hubs – getting folks to realise that reading from a screen is reading is, we think, is one of our next challenges.
    Rachel Clarke, Coventry Primary English Consultant

    • Thank you for the kind words Rachel, and good to hear that what I’m saying makes sense from a primary perspective since my own background is in secondary English teaching. Much of my focus now is in what you call ‘reading from the screen’, particularly in moving image education, which I believe has long been the poor relation of literacy teaching and learning.

  6. Pingback: Quote by Donalyn Miller | Belletristic Book Babes

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