Not Just for Boys: Good Pedagogy is Good for All

Scott Hughes


This conceptual paper examines the education of boys through the filter of pedagogy and goodness. In this paper, I posit a distinction between instructional strategies (the toolkit of practical activities and strategies used to support children’s learning) and pedagogy (the relational and practical response to the needs of children in the lived moments of teaching). Through a discussion of the role model hypothesis, which posits that like-gender teachers are good for like-gender students, I argue that it is not only a teacher’s gender but also a teacher's non-gendered human qualities such as fairness and kindness that are most relevant to students’ learning. This paper concludes with discussion on strength and masculinity as being multi-dimensional constructs, and considers the notion of good pedagogy, which endeavours to place a multiplicity of all boys’ and all girls’ ways of being at the centre of practical and pedagogical thinking in order that they may flourish fully at school and in learning.

Keywords: gender; education of boys; pedagogy; goodness; role model

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