Boys and Learning

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Recently, I was enthralled with Andrew Fuller’s paper, ‘Teaching Boys’ because the LTR Language & Literacy Program is built on a pedagogy that has developed over some 50 years and it works particularly well with boys.

As I read the paper, I realized why it works so well and it was a ‘light bulb’ moment for me.  LTR teachers have high expectations for all, no matter the starting point and no matter how long it takes to gain mastery.  Respect for children’s enormous capacity to learn is paramount to success and the classroom culture is one of mutual respect – teacher to student, student to teacher and student to student.  The ‘listen, think, respond’ framework provides simple boundaries and reinforces respectful behaviour in all contexts across the whole day.

Quick fire quizzes are part of the daily routine and everyone becomes excited as the pace increases and success is achieved.  All learning begins with visuals which stimulate the listening, thinking and discussion.

LTR meets the needs of boys and builds their resilience because the learning is active and social and built on the belief that everyone can be a champion if they work hard and practise to improve.  Mistakes are accepted as a natural part of the learning process.  Early success is crucial to getting over the ‘I can’t’ barrier.  Listening, thinking, talking, doing (making, reading or writing), thinking, talking is the routine.

I have also realized that if the pedagogy suits the boys, it meets the needs of everyone and the result is well-being for all, even the teacher!