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MirandaNet Fellowship Casestudy

Membership List | Publications | Research | Specialist Area List | Braided Learning Ejournal

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From Girls to Boys

“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.”

Jocelyn Pride

Year of posting: 2006


In recent years, the education of boys has sparked a great deal of debate in all educational circles and become a current political issue at all levels of government. Many explanations are offered regarding this issue and a body of literature has been written to promote discussion and explore solutions. Underachievement of boys in a school context seems to be in contrast with the fact that once boys leave school they seem to do much better than girls, e.g. advancement within industry, promotion to top jobs within Government etc. (Spender 2004) Therefore we need to focus on how boys are being catered for in schools. Recognising there is a difference between the learning needs and styles of girls and boys is paramount to the overall development of relevant curriculum. That is not to generalise and say “all girls and all boys” can or can’t do this or that. (Hawkes 2001)


consructivist model technology robots simulation Papert


My personal experience was enough to challenge my educational beliefs and practices. For the past seven years I have taught Year 6 in an all boys’ school that has a tradition dating back 150 years. My previous position, for 4 years was teaching Year 6 in an all girls’ school also with a long tradition of educating girls. The differences I found would fill pages! To say my first year in the boys’ school was challenging would be an understatement. Although I had taught in an all boys environment before, the direct comparison of Year 6 girls to Year 6 boys prompted me to really analyse the differences and set about developing a further understanding of the needs of boys to enhance the learning opportunities within my classroom. I read as much as I could lay my hands on and also enrolled in a Master of Education (Information Technology) course at Melbourne University where I spent the next four years studying part time. It was at Melbourne University in 2001 that I was first introduced to robotics and suddenly everything clicked into place and a passion was ignited. Robotics, together with a range of activities brings together the various elements I believe are necessary to incorporate a successful constructionist model within a classroom environment.

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