How do you change a culture of indifference to a culture of aspiration in all boys in public, secondary education?


Megan Froud-Davis


Megan investigated the concept of school culture and possible causes of student indifference. Using questionnaires and interviews with students, she found that while all students could identify that there were indifferent students in their school, none identified themselves in such a way, and most indicated contentment with their education. While most students identified that they received a masculinised curriculum, a few highlighted recent developments in Drama, Dance, Music and Art. Whilst some students suggested that the curriculum was driven to competition, aggressive achievement etc, for a large proportion of students this formed the basis of their aspiration at school and some expressed frustration with what they perceived as a more feminised curriculum. All the boys reported that a positive relationship with their teacher was important for aspiration, and that feelings of academic insecurity could be both caused and assuaged by their teachers.  All boys claimed that being given leadership responsibilities could have an impact on their aspiration and many who had been given such responsibilities claimed that it had transformed their attitude.

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