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
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
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
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
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,