Some Ideas about Teaching





Many boys (forgive the generalisation) suffer from two key disabilities in History at this age:

1. They hate writing, and are poor at written expression
This is a major setback for GCSE History.

Give them strict writing frames. Teach them to recognise what kind of question it is and then to write their answer in a precise way. Specify minimum word counts and insist on them. Boys often prefer military-style discipline in the classroom, and they often write best if they are given a military-style strategy.
You will hear people say that the way to deal with boys' learning is to reduce the amount of written work, but not if you want them to do well at GCSE - if anything, they need to do more.


2. They are poor at logical reasoning
This too is a major disadvantage at GCSE. Girls are very good at the 'a - therefore b - therefore c' kind of argument that examiners want. Boys' ideas are more spontaneous and intuitive 'answer-grabs'.


Turn everything possible into enacted dramas, flow-diagrams, spidergrams etc., but remember that you will have to teach them to translate these into running logical text.
Boys ARE better at lists of facts and spacial/kinaesthetic reasoning. Teach them causes as lists of ideas + explanations.


Posted on: Oct 25 2005, 12:13 AM





To cite this page, use:   CLARE, JOHN D. (2005/2006), 'Boys',  at Greenfield History Site (