I have been sent on a new research agenda by my classroom experiences and my school division’s professional development initiatives. When I started my Master’s work around three years ago, one of my interests was boys and literacy. I didn’t get to do the research in that direction because the interest I had in new literacies really grabbed me and I sent me into the blogosphere. The boys and literacy theme has re-emerged from my classroom and as literacy is a great interest of mine and the major focus of my school division, I’m starting this new venture.
I ran into a colleague today and he asked me what I was going to be doing in my classroom to address these concerns and I honestly answered, “I don’t know”. My first focus is going to be to read the research. I need to remind myself about the best practice and reflect on these particular individuals and see what strikes me.
So in the next while, if you are a regular you will be seeing my reflections on research about boys and literacy, particularly reading but I suspect I may branch from just reading. It’s about engagement. I want to understand the factors in engagement and the practical ways of enticing students, particularly boys to become engaged.
I was struck by this quote at the beginning of one of the articles,
“Do not train boys to learning by force and harshness, but lead them by what amuses them, so that they may better discover the bent of their minds.” Guess who? Plato! So I know I’m not the first to venture down this path and I will not be the last but it does raise the question of curriculum demands versus popular culture and the mix thereof.