What are your first thoughts waking up on a school day?
This question got blunt answers. Some examples in one school were:
Oh, my God.
Teachers will be disappointed with me
I’m not wanting to go
Lots to do
One Kangaroo Bay boy said he hoped that maybe there’d been an explosion, a fire or some disaster and there wouldn’t be any school today.
What is it about school that boys don’t like?
This is a familiar story. Boys feel school is too passive. It’s something grim that happens to them. It isn’t something they make or DO. And boys want to get going, leap and jump, slay dragons, and save the world. Not sit at a desk. Typical comments in one school were:
We just sit down all day
The same texts are all taught the same way
they have a rigid teaching style
We can’t take in all the stuff
they keep you quiet
the teacher just talks at us
Filling in worksheets
English- it’s boring, seems useless
Too much writing essays
It’s easy to see a consensus here. In the words of boys, it’s “sit down, shut up, write this down.”
How boys want to change school
Boys want school to change. The answers at St Stephen’s could almost have come from anywhere:
Want more fun [not just crosswords and stuff]
learning from experiments
more active learning
more teacher enthusiasm for the whole subject
the school should listen. But when we tell them what’s wrong, we get in trouble.
And at Kangaroo Bay, much the same:
You can’t tell teachers anything which would benefit everyone. They take it as a criticism of themselves. They get angry and yell at you.
There’s more on my website boyseducation.com.au. But if we want school to be more useful for boys, and make boys less trouble for everyone, we’ll have to listen to comments like this.