Education Chat

The Problem With Boys

Thomas Newkirk, a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, and the author of Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture, answered questions on the growing concerns about the academic problems of boys.

March 15, 2006

Our Guest:

Thomas Newkirk, a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, and the author of Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture.

Kevin Bushweller (Moderator):
Welcome to today’s online chat about the academic problems of boys, whose struggles seem to worsen as they move from elementary to middle to high school. Those struggles have resulted in men making up a decreasing share of the college undergraduate population. Experts say that trend is particularly troubling because high-level skills are more important than ever. This topic is on the minds of many educators, policymakers, and parents, as shown by the large volume of questions we have already received for this chat. So let’s get the discussion started...

Question from Mike Huhndorf:
Do the problems we are experiencing come as a surprise? If not what has caused them? If they are how can we fix them?

Thomas Newkirk:
These problems have been around for a long time. So the question that you raise is a good one. Why are we paying attention to them now? The answer, I think, is that we are living in what Thomas Friedman calls a “flat world” where historic privileges--national and gender--are eroding. In the past boys could count of opportunities, no matter how well they did in school. Boys could make an end run around the educational system. The boys in school today will have to compete. And many of their traditional attitudes toward school and literacy will hold them back.

How to ‘fix” them is a complicated problem. But a first step is to longer hold to the view that boys are just not good at the literacy activites that are central to schooling. About 15 years ago, many women educators and leaders in math decided not to accept the view that girls were simply not good at math. And they have proven themselves right. We need to categorically reject the notion that boys are naturally not good at literacy.

Question from Karen Casabianca, Education Officer, St. Lucia, The Caribbean:
Is there any evidence that links the low performance of boys to the dominance of females in the teaching profession?

Thomas Newkirk:
I don’t know of any study that proves this, but it seems plausible ot me that the lack of male role models in elementary schools may contribute to the disengagement of boys. But I think female teachers can be effective if they are in tune with the interests boys bring to school. They may learn this from having male children, from experiences with brothers, or from working to keep in touch with boys’ interests. For some teachers this may mean going outside their normal zone of interests--for example, being familiar with professional wrestling, video games, and TV cartoons.

Question from Lisa Carothers, English Teacher, Waunakee Community High School:
What do the boys say? Has anyone formally interviewed them to get get their perspective about why they aren’t attending post-secondary schools or why they aren’t doing well in certain subject areas?

Thomas Newkirk:
A good book to look at is Michael Smith and Jeff Wilhelm’s, Reading Don’t Fix No Cheveys, published by Heinemann. There are extensive interviews with boys in that book, and they give real insight into the alienation boys feel in school. They tend to find reading, for example, as too anti-social, even lonely. They don’t feel that they have enough choice in school, and that the reading they are assigned often is unrelated to interests or passions they have. Not surprisingly, they see themselves as active and gregarious, and find that school involves too much time sitting and listening.

I also think that many high school students have not developed the reading base to be successful at the maore demanding reading expected in rigorous high school and college courses. I compare this to a runner who needs miles and miles of road work to be able to successfully compete. The roadwork boys lack in extensive, self-chosen reading--that will build a base for reading books like The Scarlet Letter. Without this base boys never develop the fluency and reading speed they will need. They come to these advanced courses are overmatched. Or they avoid the courses. As I’m sure you know AP English courses are taken mostly by girls.

Question from Elyse Davis, Sp Ed teacher, NYC Schools:
How is it possible that educated educators can focus only on raising girls’ scores and that the reading decline, since 1971, has gone unnoticed for 35 years... This is an unforgiveable oversight on the part of educational leaders in misreading trends...

Thomas Newkirk:
The issue of boys’ performance in schools was overlooked, I believe, because of the tremendous advantages males had in so many areas of life. If women were shut out of professions like medicine, law, business, it was natural to focus on opening these profession and encouraging young women to take the courses and develop the skills to succeed. I’m not sure this focus took away from boys. In fact, I think that in the area of literacy we need to do something similar to what happened with math for girls--to reject claims that boys are not naturally good at language, just as mathemeatics teachers rejected the idea that girls were “naturally” not good at math.

But I do think that in the late 1980s and early 1990s that was a misreading of trends that missed the difficulties boys were having. I recall reading claims that schools were really set up for boys, something I never experience as a young boy. In retrospect the AAUW studies that documented unfairness to girls were highly selective and dismissed major facts--e.g. that girls got higher grades.

Question from Lauren Martin, student, Augustana College:
In The War Against Boys, author Christina Hoff Sommers suggests boys learn better in all-male classrooms that utilize older, highly structured educational pedagogies (e.g. skill and drill). What are your thoughts on this? As same sex classrooms are NOT an option currently, how would you structure instruction so as to cater to both boys’ and girls’ diverse needs and learning styles?

Thomas Newkirk:
Unfortunately, Sommers has made the issue of boys’ learning part of the culture wars she wants to find with feminism and progressive education. It seems she wants to revert to form of instruction that is based on competition and tight structure, along with character education. In other words, she uses this issue to push the educational agenda of the Right.

If we are to meet these diverse needs, I think we need to cultivate in teachers the attitude of teacher research; that is, we don’t need a top-down solution, but an attitude of inquiry, and enough freedom so teachers can act upon their discoveries. Part of that inquiry is to link school literacy experiences to the passions and interests students bring in. Part of that inquiry is to help students, and boys, particularly feel successful in reading and writing, when they often start behind girls. Part of that inquiry is to know materials that can match up to interests and ability levels. For this to happen classes will have to be relatively small, and teachers must be given the support and assistance to do this work.

Question from Brenda Zarnowski, Reading Specialist:
My question relates to young adult males who are enrolled in colleges and whether or not colleges recognize the trend of the academic patterns of young men enrolled in colleges? What strategies and policies are academic institutions, college deans and college professors enacting so that the 44% of the young men who are enrolled in college are successful? It seems that the academic problems of boys should be addressed at the college level. Thank you

Thomas Newkirk:
I’m not sure that this issue is high on the list of colleges. The issue of gender in colleges usually translate to concerns--that are legitimate--about sexual harrassment of women. My impression, and it is only that, is that colleges have not come to grips with this issue of gender and academic performance--nor have they recognized it as one they need to deal with it. In a way, many of the boys with difficulties have not made it into college.

Question from Debra Pierce, Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education; Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana:
I believe the problem begins very early... with the way teachers approach and treat boys differently in the classroom, even in preschool. This is not done, I don’t believe, intentionally, but once teachers are made aware of the differences, they can make a conscious effort to avoid doing these things. (i.e.: addressing boys at a distance, while approaching girls within closer, physical space; focusing on behavior and not “trying hard enough” with boys; more complex and individualized verbal feedback to girls, etc.)

Thomas Newkirk:
This is a very good question that I’ll speculate on. I wonder if we send subtle messages that we don’t expect boys to be as literate as girls. In other words, I wonder if there is a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy at work here. Perhaps our culture suggests that a boy who chooses to read is not being masculine. Or we might tolerate boys who choose not to read because that’s the way boys are. Your question suggests that you have some ideas on this that I would like to hear.

Question from Jamie Unverzagt, teacher, Bauerschlag Elementary:
What do you consider the pros and cons of single gender classrooms?

What reseach has been done regarding gender differences?

Thomas Newkirk:
I have spoken to a number of educators who find that single sex schools have liberating effects for both boys and girls. They find boys are less likely to perform for girls and that girls are less self-conscious and more willing to talk in class. The research that I have seen is not conclusive, but I still think there is promise here.

But even in mixed classes I think we can do more to make them more interesting to boys. There can be more place for activity--for example using performace as a way of responding to literature. I also think that many female teachers need to be more aware of the lives and loyalties boys bring to school--particularly their interest in popular culture. There is also evidence, for example, that boys prefer nonfiction, and plot driven fiction.

Question from Carlos Rodriguez, Principal Research Scientist, American Institutes for Research:
What are the differences in academic problems and performance when disagregated by race and ethnicity, that is, for African American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander/Asian and White boys?

Thomas Newkirk:
With the No Child Left Behind Law there is a lot more evidence that is disaggregated. The results are not surprising. In terms of literacy African American boys are the lowest group in the area of literacy. Even in the area of mathematics, where boys traditionally do better than girls, African American boys fall behind African-American girls. Hispanic boys perform slightly better that African American boys but the gap between these racial groups and White boys is huge. These gaps open up early and are very substantial by fourth grade.

Question from Paul Bond, Tech Ed Teacher, Boston-Retired:
Why are you not promoting Technology education as a viable program for all students. Maybe boys are being overlooked educationally and school systems are not providing hands-on education that boys generaly excelled in.

Thomas Newkirk:
Technology can be very important in engaging boys with literacy, and schools are often on the tail-end of these possibilities. I particularly think that digital storytelling has tremendous possibilities. Schools are often locked in a print-only view of literacy, where much of the storytelling in our culture is multi-modal. It involves the integration of music, text, visuals, even animation. Since boys spend more time with this technology than girls, they are probably primed to utilize this technology. Part of the difficulty is teachers, themselves, are not familiar with these possibilities, and perhaps a bit scared of them.

Question from Jing Zhang, Information Specialist, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:
I feel one reason for academic problems of boys is the computer games. Apparently boys are easy to get addicted to computer games than girls. Is there any statistical evidence for this reason?

Thomas Newkirk:
The best statistical evidence I have found on computer games comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation Study, Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds. The study found, surprisingly, that heavy video game users actually read more than light users. I think this relationship is complex, with video games teaching some complex strategic thinking. My guess is a game like Final Fantasy is a lot more challenging than anything students are doing in school. Having said that, I do think that some kids become addicted and this detracts from social contacts and school work.

Question from Glenna Dillon, Student teacher, Tulare City Elementary Ca:
As a future teacher what do you suggest to get and keep boys interested in reading and language arts?

Thomas Newkirk:
I subscribe the the piggy-back theory of literacy. By that I mean that reading and writing “piggy-back” on the interests and passions of students. None of us reads just to read, or writes just to write. We do these things to engage with topics we are passionate about. Jeff Wilhelm calls these major interests “identity themes.” For many boys these will include sports, action-based fiction, and non-fiction that deals with startling facts or information (which is why we all loved dinosaurs as kids--and adults). It may be about car or sports heroes, or Star Wars. Teachers need substantial classroom libraries, and they need the skill to direct boys to books that match their interests and reading levels.

I also think that boys, early on, feel overmatched by many of the books they are expected to read. If they don’t feel successful, they will begin to identify themselves as non-readers or reluctant readers. You will see many of these non-readers just turning pages during independent reading time. Part of the difficulty is that schools typically assume reading is book reading, and for the reluctant reader a book can be a huge mountain to climb. We need to find more of a place for newspaper and magazine articles--for studies show that these make up the majority of reading for many adult males.

Question from Marvin McConoughey, retired:
Do perceived K-12 educational deficiencies for males translate into inferior college performance relative to females?

Thomas Newkirk:
The K-12 deficiencies have more to do with who gets into college than in college performance. At present the ratio is 57-43% female/male. Among the African-American population the ration is about 2-1. There may be performance differences in college (I’m not aware of studies), but the big story is the dramatic change in who is IN college.

Question from Anne-Marie De Witt, Senior Editor, Harcourt Achieve:
What YA authors do you recommend to help boys attach literacy to their concept of masculinity?

Thomas Newkirk:
A good place to start would be John Scieszka’s Guys Write for Guys Read. It has short essays by a galaxy of male writers who are popular with boys. Scieszka has been very aware of the need to appeal to boys.

Question from Lyndsey Barnett, Art Teacher, Coronado:
I seem to have a hard time with elementary age boys who are constantly shouting out or wanting to play while I am instructing. Do you have any instructional or motivational recommendations? Thanks!

Thomas Newkirk:
This is a hard one. Part of being in school involves learning to behave appropriately. In times past, there were a lot of places this was taught--cub scouts, Sunday school, etc. I think there is less support for this now. The longer a time students are expected to listen, the more likely it is kids will act up. You might want to consider shortening instruction time to mini-lessons, when kids are listening, and spend more time on activity.

Question from Emily Castleberry, Literacy Coordinator, UNC Center for Public Television, RTP, NC:
Since literacy and reading is key to all endeavors, how can boys be prevented from “falling through the cracks” in reading? What cues should teachers look for to see when they are losing boys in reading?

Thomas Newkirk:
Boys who experience early difficulty often take on the identity (and behaviors) of resistant or non-readers. These include delaying tactics and “fake reading.” Or they say, “I hate reading.” “Reading is boring.” What this often means is that they find reading to be embarrassing to them, even shameful. These students need success--material that they can read successfully that builds on interests they have. I think they also need strategies for dealing with difficulty--such as those taught in Reading Recovery.

Question from Debra Jennings, Executive Co-Director, SPAN:
In “drilling down” into the data, to what extent can the so-called “problem” be as a result of the impact of institutional racism on boys of color -- African-American and Latino/Hispanic. In other words, are white boys doing that poorly or is it that boys from “minority” populations are doing a lot worse than the statistical averages show. What should the institutional responses be to this?

Thomas Newkirk:
This is a very good question. On literacy tasks white boys perform considerably below white girls, but they perform better than African-american girls. So on literacy there is a gender gap in every racial group, but whites are performing at the higher end of the scale. So race and gender interact, I think, and African-american males are at the bottom.

I think that African-american males also suffer from peer pressure that equates doing well in school with “acting white.” As Black commentator Clarence Page has said, “With friends like that who needs enemies.” We need more African -american male teachers as role models.

Question from Lisa Carothers, English Teacher, Waunakee Community High School:
As a teacher of mainstream English classes, I modify assignments and tests based on student IEPs. Are we heading down a path where we should make modifications based on gender?

Thomas Newkirk:
I don’t think we are headed for IEP’s. But we may need to look at the literature chosen for English classes. I worry that many males have never had a real, involved experience with a book. Two books did that for my own son, Into Thin Air and Fight Club. Neither of these are on many reading lists, but they were compelling for him. We need to ask which books can take boys on the journey of a reader. Once a reader has entered a boy like that we can build on that experience. But we need books that can open the door.

Question from Grace Smith, ESL Teacher, Rutherford County, Tennessee:
Don’t you think many problems boys experience in learning goes back to the fact that there are many fatherless boys--no one to teach them by example, spend time with them, and such?

Thomas Newkirk:
Absolutely. In the PBS show, “Raising Cain,"Michael Thompson asks a teenager from Chelsea, Massachusetts who the main man in his life is. The boy answers right away, “I am.” At first I thought this was bravado, but as I thought about it, he is telling the sad truth. The number of children born out of wedlock, the prevalence of divorce where fathers leave, all make growing up so difficult for so many boys.

Question from Natalie Tomlin, 10th grade ELA teacher, Academic Transitional Academy:
What are the best ways to engage boys in writing, particularly when the prompts have to do with introspection? Most of my boys shy away from such topics, if not rebel all together.

Thomas Newkirk:
I think boys are longing to write stories that mirror the media they watch--which is not full of introspective realism. I heard of one school that had high schoolers write a novel in a month, something really long and involved. I would set boys loose on something like that. I believe they also like stories infused with humor and even the grotesque (I think a lot of the reality shows revel in almost freakish behavior). I realize that there are limits of appropriateness, but I think an invitation like this one wouldbe so appealing that boys would jump at it.

Question from Jeff Cooper Education Technology Consultant:
My son is a straight “A” student. He’s very bright and doesn’t need to apply himself to get good grades. How do we as parents and educators get our kids and students to transcend the nonsense of standards based NCLB curriculum and become self-motivated and engaged lifelong learners? Is this indeed possible in public schools today, or does the answer lie elsewhere (in the home, private or charter schools, etc.)?

Thomas Newkirk:
There is a classic aphorism, “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog know one big thing.” Maybe the way to help our kids, beside supporting them in school and being a safe “home base,” is to help them with that “one big thing.” There is something to be said for well-rounded kids who get the same score on SAT math and verbal--but for my money the greatest success comes to students who have a central passion that they throw themselves into. I think many kids find that “one thing” outside of classroom work--in band, outing club, sports, drama. As parents we need to say, “Go for it.”

Question from Rick McGarrity, Teacher 3rd grade, McKinnon Elementary, Salinas, CA:
Is anyone looking into a corralation between genders, the amount of time spent video gaming (handheld, system, or online), and school performance. Are we starting to see a “Drone Syndrom” in our society?

Thomas Newkirk:
There’s a very interesting book that begins to address this question, Stephen Johnson’s “Everything Bad is Good for You.” His point is that the media culture, including video games, is actually making people smarter. We are constantly being challenged to manipulate technology and that has turned us into better problem solvers (like me having to navigate this chat room for the first time) Another book, James Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach us About Literacy and Learning” makes a similar point.

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation also found that heavy video game users actually did more voluntary reading than light users. So I think we need to take an open attitude toward their effect on kids.

Question from Kathy Callan, Parent & Volunteer at Coolspring Elementary:
There are three third grade classes at Coolspring Elementary. The three teachers move about all three classes. One teaches math to all classes, one teaches the thematic unit, and one teaches language arts. This arrangement seems very confusing to the children and the parents. The boys seem to struggle the most with the disruption of teachers in and out. Are there any studies that so many teachers in the third grade (8 and 9 yeasr olds) is productive means to learning for the children (especially the boys)?

Thomas Newkirk:
I would trust your instinct and observations on this. If you perceive that it is confusing, it probably is. I rarely see this kind of arrangement earlier than fifth grade. It is so crucial for a student to establish a relationship with a teacher--and reluctant learners may take more time. In this arrangement there are three central teachers instead of one, which may make the relationship-building harder for both student and teacher (and parent). There may be studies on this (it is outside my research area) but that is my impression.

Question from Kate O’Brien, Certified School Nurse, Bridle Path Elementary:
Dear Professor Newkirk, I have two two sons, ages 9 & 11. I gave my oldest son the gift of a year (he has an August birthday and was extremely shy and young). I have not regreatted this decision. However, I did not hold my second son, born in May, he seemed eager to do his work so I let him go on. Around 2nd grade he had a substitute new graduate teacher, and he seemed to hate to do homework and hated to read. I knew the 3rd grade curriculum was heavy reading (Social Studies and Science) and I knew he would struggle. He also always would gravitate to younger children. I probably fostered this, since he was my youngest. I decided to remove him from the catholic school and switch him to public school. I also retained him in 2nd grade. I know there is literature about retaining students and the long term efect. But I knew I would have 10 more years of struggling if I did not retain him. My question is ~ What are the long term effects of retention and are they as bad as struggling for 10 years just to make it?? My son is really doing well and has adjusted well to his school. He seems to fit in more appopriately. Thanks, Kate O

Thomas Newkirk:
It sounds to me like you did the right thing. Boys who struggle with reading soon find ways to avoid it. They develop that “books are stupid” attitude. When students are retained, I think there is always the danger that they may think they have failed, but it sounds to me that you have handled that well, maybe pointing to the older brother as an example. There is research showing that students often do not gain from being retained, but I don’t think that would apply to this situation where the retention is initiated by the parent. If he is doing well now and feeling successful as you say, I think you clearly made the right decision.

Question from Ms. G. Burns, Parent:
Thank you for the opportunity to post a question. I am the mother of a 2 y.o. boy - an while my only concern now is that he gets enough play, I wonder if you could give us, parents, some tips on how to be our sons advocates within the schooling years, and what the Warning Signs are of a bad schooling environment.

Thomas Newkirk:
I’ll mention one warning sign. Many schools are now being pressured into a one-size-fits-all curriculum with scripted reading lessons and everyone on the same page. These systems have little room for the kind of individualized attention students need (systems like Open Court). I’d watch out for that. But the best way to evaluuate the situation is to see how your son is reacting--is he engaged, does he feel liked and respected by his teacher, is he able to make some choices, and does he feel successful, does he like reading?

Question from Gloria Anderson, Director of Student Services, Mountain Brook Schools:
If boys benefit from hands-on, experiential learning,as much research seems to indicate, how best to cultivate their ability to wrestle with long, demanding texts, which require hours of focused attention and which may not rewarding in the initial phases of their reading?

Thomas Newkirk:
I worry that boys are often overmatched in the reading they are asked to do. Some of these long books simply defeat them because they don’t have the fluency base to read them. So I think schools need to assess what kind of “reach” some books are for students. Even a great book like “Grapes of Wrath” is almost impossible for someone who has never read a book harder than “The BFG.”

In terms of how to deal with long reading assignments, the best advice I ever got was to learn to assess my attention span--and not to go beyond my limits. Few students can concentrate for hours at a stretch. A long task needs to be broken up into parts, with places for rest and recuperation. Otherwise their eyes just glaze over the page, which is not the same thing as reading.

Question from Jessica Margolin, Board Member Fremont Education Foundation; Parent:
Given that junior and high schools currently require kids to select off a reading list, and give the “obsessiveness” of reading in one genre or even works by one author, can you suggest any techniques for overcoming the “agoraphobia” that hits kids (or adults in bookstores!) as they look at a list of 500 books and declare that they don’t see anything they want to read? How do you get “trial”?

A different way to think of the same question: How do you get people past the anxiety that they’re letting themselves in for an emotional experience that they might find unpleasant? Are there bridges?

Thomas Newkirk:
I like the term agoraphobia--I’d never thought of it that way. On the one hand I think this obsessiveness is not all bad. I was that way with the Hardy Boys. I read as many as I could get my hands on. In fact, the research shows that too few students in the middle school years develop a passion for any book reading.

One clear bridge to new reading is to read aloud to kids. For example, a student who loves mystery and won’t leave a particular series might enjoy hearing Holes read aloud. That might plant a seed for future reading. Janet Allen in her many books describes variations on reading aloud.

Question from Aviva Bower, Professor of Educational Psychology, The College of St. Rose:
Hello Dr. Newkirk, Can you give us some suggestions on what we can do to help teachers bring popular culture and boys’ ways of talking about popular culture into reading and writing practices in school?

Thomas Newkirk:
I would make a bigger space for fiction writing and cartooning. Once the door of fiction is opened, boys will draw on their pop culture models, and it will help if the teacher is familiar with some of these models. I would also pay special attention and give praise to the drawing of young children. I think first-graders are ingenious in the ways they convey action in their drawings. Finally, there is research that the most popular shows boys (and girls) watch are comedies. I think we live in an age of parody now.

Too often in schools, the focus of writing is on autobiography, introspection, and realistic fiction--which are not the type of stories boys love outside of class.

Question from Michelle Reese, mom and freelance writer:
At what age does Newkirk recommend intervention? As the mom of a preschooler, I’m seeking advice on how parents can address the reading gap early on.

Thomas Newkirk:
I think the best way of helping our children with literacy is not to turn home into school and phonics lessons, but to make reading, writing, and storytelling part of the fabric of the day. Even 2-year-olds like to do pretend writing and scribbles (so have lots of paper and markers around); they love to be read to. Soon after they love to read street signs. Around 5 they try out invented spelling where they write sounds in words they hear. When my kids were young I would write silly questions to them that they would answer “Do you have 3 ears?” I think all of this “teaching” pays off, but what a glorious time it is. Save everything your child writes. We still have a fan letter to Michael Jackson that our oldest daughter wrote (but didn’t send).

Question from Martin Kennedy, Office of High School Renewal, Boston Public Schools:
I just observed a high school history class where the teacher read aloud TO the students from a challenging book. Any thoughts on this methodology? BTW, this was a young Black male student teacher.

Thomas Newkirk:
I would need to know a bit more about the purpose for reading aloud. It may have been a way of promoting listening comprehension; or it might have helped students when they read the passage independently later on. I know that Janet Allen describes a number of effective ways of using reading aloud in “Never Too Late.” In general we could use this tool more.

I actually started my teaching career in Boston, in a tough Roxbury school where most of the students were Black males. It had the lowest reading level in the city. They loved to be read to. There were passages in “Manchild in the Promised Land” that I read so often I had them about memorized.

Question from Linda Gaidimas Content Coach, Wells Jr. High School:
How should a middle school literacy program reach out to boy?

Thomas Newkirk:
I think it is crucial at this level to build a background in fluent reading. Unless boys (and girls) have that they will be overwhelmed by the reading they will do in high school. And the research shows that in middle school, boys and girls tend to do less voluntary book reading than elementary school students.

The crucial factor, it seems to me, is the teacher’s knowledge of adolescent literature, fiction and non-fiction. My friend Nancie Atwell know these books so well that she can find the right book for the right kid. It’s like reading is going to happen. Mixed with this independent reading there can be well-chosen books for the whole class

Kevin Bushweller (Moderator):

Thank you for joining us for this fascinating discussion about the academic problems of boys and how schools can help solve them. And a special thanks to our guest, Thomas Newkirk, for his thoughtful answers to your questions. This chat is now over. A transcript of this chat will be posted shortly.

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