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Summary

There is a significant problem in our schools: too many boys are struggling. The list of things to concern teachers is long. Disappointing academic results, a lack of interest in studying, higher exclusion rates, increasing mental-health issues, sexist attitudes, an inability to express emotions....

Traditional ideas about masculinity are having a negative impact, not only on males, but females, too. In this ground-breaking work, Matt Pinkett and Mark Roberts argue that schools must rethink their efforts to get boys back on track.

Boys Don’t Try? examines the research around key topics such as anxiety and achievement, behaviour and bullying, schoolwork and self-esteem. It encourages the listener to reflect on how they define masculinity and consider what we want for boys in our schools. Offering practical quick wins, as well as long-term strategies to help boys become happier and achieve greater academic success, the audiobook:

  • offers ways to avoid problematic behaviour by boys and tips to help teachers address poor behaviour when it happens.
  • highlights key areas of pastoral care that need to be recognised by schools.
  • exposes how popular approaches to 'engaging' boys are actually misguided and damaging.
  • details how issues like disadvantage, relationships, violence, peer pressure and pornography affect boys’ perceptions of masculinity and how teachers can challenge these.

With an easy-to-navigate three-part structure for each chapter, setting out the stories, key research and practical solutions, this is essential listening for all classroom teachers and school leaders who are keen to ensure male students enjoy the same success as girls.

©2019 Matt Pinkett and Mark Roberts (P)2020 Taylor & Francis

What listeners say about Boys Don't Try?

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A powerful book that educates and challenges

This book took me by surprise. I was expecting to discuss gender issues, challenges faced and ways to support. I was not expecting ti come away unpicking my own unconscious biases and really exploring why I feel the way I do.

recommend you read it, for all, but especially if you have felt the gender based stereotypes in society have affected you. And lets be honest, that is all of us ..

4 people found this helpful

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nothing new

if you know that high quality teaching is the most important factor for progress, you need not read this

3 people found this helpful

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Great book, awful accents

Really interesting book with some new takes on boys in the classroom. I found a lot of the ideas I could apply quite quickly and I have seen results which is huge.

The VO artist has a habit of reading quotes from people in their accent but they didn't really commit to the accents. You end up with a weird, half American twang to some of the quotes and it is completely unnecessary.

4/5, would recommend it to teachers for sure.

1 person found this helpful

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Good, Bad, Major, Minor

The Good: The narration was great. The book is well written and interesting. I agree with the identification of the problems and about 70% of the solutions provided.
The Bad: The later chapters are not as good as the first few chapters. The two main parts that stood out were a definition of rape that assumed men couldn't be raped when reprimanding a student for the misuse of the word. The second thing is explaining the biological perspective of some of these behaviours as basically impossible and taking the polar opposite view of purely social sources of the problem. As always both contribute to the problem and properly identifying that is key to fixing it.
The Major: The part talking specifically about testosterone seems a complete misrepresentation. It explains differences between males and females not between males. The lack of nuance here is surprising given the previous parts.
The Minor: I have a hard time understanding why setting is bad when done properly as outlined in the book. Other than the best teachers being in the higher sets I see no problem with setting but this may be an ideological difference.
Overall: Overall I think it's a good book highlighting issues boys face in schooling. While I think it could have been worded better in parts, it definitely gives you something to think about. Now to Read Testosterone Rex and another book on Testosterone by Carole Hooven to get the full perspective

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Really insightful

Such a great read/listen. Challenges your current way of thinking and provides you with resources and ideas to begin tackling the issues head-on.

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provoke moving

Just a thought provoking book , which has made me to think differently about my role as a teacher , father and human being.

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captivating!

Very engaging and a topic that needs to be discussed more. I would thoroughly recommend!

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Essential reading for educators and parents

Really well communicated information about gender issues and clear advice for school leaders and teachers. Links to research made explicit and narratives really help to illustrate experiences of students and teachers in school.

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Fab book

As a teacher, this book has been invaluable. I encourage every teacher, new or experienced to read it.

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Not just for teachers

Should be read by any adult who has dealings with children and young people.