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Engaging the Male Mind
Austin Farber

Learning, just like teaching, is both an art and a science. The key to an all-boys boarding school is having teachers who understand the best instructional methods for engaging the male mind. While not every young man learns the same way, there is enough research to understand what techniques are most effective in an all-boy classroom. Teachers at Grand River Academy incorporate these strategies every day in the classroom. When researching male learning there are a few big takeaways:

1. It is a misnomer that boys do not like reading. When boys encounter books and other reading material that resonate with them, they can become engaged and curious readers. Creating a curriculum around readings that interest our boys can turn reluctant readers into those who are willing to answer every question.

2. Many boys are visual learners. Teachers and parents can turn this aptitude into a strength in the writing process. Adapting a written assignment into a visual representation through the use of graphic organizers or other strategies can remove the stigma and fear for boys who tend not to enjoy writing assignments.

3. Competition can be a way to reach every level of the male student. All boys can become engaged in classes with the incorporation of competition, such as games, debates, or full blow gamified classes.

4. Project Based Learning elements and strategies incorporate the male proclivity for movement and collaboration. The classroom is energized when the boy learner can manipulate information through their strengths and skills. The student is motivated to be involved in the creation of a product that demonstrates their knowledge.

5. Brain breaks can go a long way for anyone in our modern age of shortened attention spans. This pause ensures that students have the stamina to make it through a class. For many boys, breaks that involve physical movement are even better than just a respite from school work. Something as simple as a class walk around the building or planking in the classroom can help boys keep focus in class.

These are just a few of the ways teachers at Grand River Academy are creating boy-friendly environments in their classrooms. Not only can we meet individual needs in our small environment, our classes capitalize on research-based solutions for teaching boys.

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