Boys' underachievement in education has now become a global concern, taxing the minds of governments across the Western world. Boys and Schooling in the Early Years represents the first major study of its kind to focus specifically on young boys and achievement. It makes a powerful argument for the need to begin tackling the problem of boys' lower educational performance in the early years.
This book includes one of the most detailed and up-to-date analyses of national evidence regarding gender differences in educational achievement - from the early years through to the end of compulsory schooling. Together with original and in-depth case studies that vividly capture the differing experiences and perspectives of 5-6 year old boys, the book sets out the nature of the problems facing them in education and highlights a number of practical ways in which these issues can begin to be addressed.
This is essential reading for all those working in the early years, who are concerned about boys' lower levels of achievement, and want to know what they can do about it.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Rhetoric and the Reality of 'Boys' Underachievement 1. 'Boys' Underachievement': The Evidence 2. 'Boys' Underachievement': The Explanations Part 2: Theorising boys and Masculinity in the early years 3. Vygotsky, Bourdieu and the Social Contexts of Young Children's Development. Part 3: Case Studies of young Boys and Schooling 4. Worlds Apart: Introducing South Park and North Parade 5. Home-School Relations in South Park 6. 'Fish in Water': The Schooling Habitus of Young Middle Class Boys 7. Home-School Relations in North Parade 8. 'Fish Out of Water': The Schooling Habitus of Young Working Class Boys Part 4: Implications for Practice 9. Conclusions: Working with Young Boys
Paul Connolly is Reader in Education at Queen's University, Belfast.
'This book is a welcome antidote to those offering "teaching tips" on "raising boys' achievement" ... [and] is accessible and clearly written ... It is of particular importance in that it is one of the few books that directly explores how predominant approaches to early years pedagogy forecloses opportunities to confront gender-stereotypical behaviours.' - International Journal of Early Years Education
'Paul Connolly's book appears as a welcome and refreshing addition to the burgeoning literature on the subject. It is to be hoped that teachers will take up his suggestion for working with young boys in the 'Critical Gender Zone', working in school and with parents to challenge dominant forms of masculinity that limit engagement and learning.' - ECR Book Reviews
'His (Connolly's) work is a model of well structured clearly reported research.'
- Elaine Millard, Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Sheffield