Teaching Boys

Oh boy, oh boy.


I wanted to learn some tactics to teach boys so I picked up “Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys” by Michael W. Smith and Jeffrey D. Wilhelm.


The authors researched literacy in the lives of young men and the book includes their frank opinions about education. It is interesting to read what male students actually think of the education system and the majority said it wasn’t working for them. The authors suggested teachers should not overlook the importance of:

  • Control
  • Challenge
  • Goals and feedback
  • Immediate experience
  • Social
  • Getting away
  • Activity
  • Avoiding the routine

Pernille Ripp also blogged about practical ways to teach boys in How to Get Boys Reading Perhaps. Her ideas were:

  • Acknowledge the difference
  • Share your own demons
  • Have honest conversations
  • Read their books
  • Recommend, recommend, recommend
  • Loosen up
  • Let them choose
  • Let them read wherever they want
  • Give them different way to share their thinking
  • Think about your read aloud
  • Geed out with them
  • Add a challenge if needed

Although the two lists highlight different tactics, they both offer great ideas.

Do you think these tips are good tactics to use in the classroom to get boys invested in their education? Is there really a difference between how boys and girls learn? If so, should teachers use different approaches to teaching boys and girls?

Also, the book talked about tracking in schools and I could not believe schools still used tracking. Did you know tracking is still used in education today? Do you think that tracking is useful in education?

Get the discussion going and voice your opinion by leaving a comment!