Teaching, tips

Do boys do better with male teachers?

Apparently not.

“In support of the gender-invariant model, academic motivation and engagement does not significantly vary as a function of their teacher’s gender, and in terms of academic motivation and engagement, boys do not fare any better with male teachers than female teachers.”

“Another key finding is that the bulk of variance in motivation and engagement occurs at the student level. Where there was relatively more class-level variance, the construct related more explicitly to class and teacher factors, such as teacher-student relationships where up to a third of the variance was explained at the class level. Hence, on the more mentalistic or intrapsychic dimensions there exists more variance at the student level, and as the construct involves factors external to the individual, the context plays more of a role. This finding holds implications for educational intervention. It suggests that student-level intervention rather than whole-class or whole-school intervention on motivation and engagement will yield the best results.”

Andrew Martin; Herb Marsh. “Motivating boys and motivating girls: does teacher gender really make a difference?” Australian Journal of Education, Nov 2005 v49 i3 p320(15). 

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 04/17 at 04:22 PM
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©2006 Montana Heritage Project

Classrooms as studios

Remote Access suggest that some teachers may want to think of their classrooms as studios:

While not a new idea, it has the potential to be much more important now then in the past. In these times where we want kids to be self - directed / self - driven learners who develop a creative sense of scholarship, the classroom as studio has great potential. Studios are busy places where activity hums. Studios are places of study, of thought, of creation and creativity. Studios are places where teams of people act together to create something of high - quality. Studios throughout history have been homes for artists, creators, scientists, architects and engineers. Studios are comfortable places with flexible furniture arrangements where people work though projects. Projects are brainstormed, created, evaluated, torn apart, and re - created in ways that are better.

Studios often don’t run on the clock. Studios ebb and flow with a rhythm of their own. People often work intensively for long periods of time and then break before returning to what they were working on before. As I begin working this week much more intensively on podcasting and vlogging with the kids in my class, the classroom as studio has a lot going for it. It is an intense, team - oriented, creative space where people are driven to create high - quality products. Studios are focused areas, and unfortunately in the case of the classroom, they may be too much so. In our splintered systems where kids need to “cover” hundreds of outcomes in a single school year, the studio may provide too much depth and not enough breadth to make legislators happy. Make no mistake about it, kids can focus and be creative for long periods of time if they are working on issues they are concerned with and about.

I’ve always liked to think of the idea of my classroom as a studio. A place where kids are comfortable, hard - working, involved, and organized. It bears more thought.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 03/13 at 05:24 AM
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©2006 Montana Heritage Project

Susag’s Wishes for Students

Received in an email from Dottie Susag: She says she reads this to students at the beginning of each class:

My wishes for you--

That you develop the SKILLS in reading, writing, and critical thinking, as well as decision making, to meet the necessary challenges of living in the twenty-first century.

That you develop the KNOWLEDGE of yourselves, of what you love and what you donít love, and that you grow in your wisdom to know the difference.

That you KNOW how to work for peace with yourselves, your families and your world.

That you achieve a sense of PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT and the consequent development of PERSONAL PRIDE.

That you realize you are an IMPORTANT PART of a much greater world outside yourself.

That you develop COMPASSION for the rights and personal dignity of others who may differ from yourself.

That you grow in your ability to COMMUNICATE this knowledge, wisdom, peace, and pride in yourselves to your worlds BEYOND these walls.

That you learn to LOVE WORDS and TO OWN THEM for yourselves. They are the means by which all our needs and others are communicated and received.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 12/23 at 12:47 PM
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