Implementing boys' programs in schools: Debates and dilemmas

Year: 1997

Author: Mills, Martin

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In recent times the neologism "boyswork" has surfaced in educational discourse. This term usually refers to programs which have been implemented in schools as part of a (pro)feminist gender equity process. This paper looks at the ways in which these programs often enter the school system and identifies curricular and pedagogical problematics associated with this entry. Amongst those considered here are the effectiveness of implementing programs through such avenues of the curriculum as Human Relationships Education subjects, the use of outside agencies as program implementers and the sex of the presenters of these programs. In exploring some of these issues interview data obtained from teachers and boys in two Queensland State High Schools where such programs were implemented will be used. It will be argued in this paper that whilst such programs are limited in effecting long term change, they are nevertheless important as a means of bringing (pro) feminist discourses to bear upon current interpretations of "what about the boys" issues.