Teenage boys' perceptions of the influence of teachers and school experiences on their understanding of masculinity.

Year: 2000

Author: LEE, J

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

There is widespread interest in the education of boys in school. Research undertaken by Robert Connell, Mairtin Mac an Ghaill and others suggests that there are a range of masculinities displayed by teenage boys. Some of the multiple masculinities chosen are in conflict with accepted concepts of educational achievement. This paper is a report on a doctoral research project. This study is investigating the perceptions of Year 11 high school boys in two single sex Catholic schools. These adolescents share their understanding of what it means to be a man today. The teenage boys in the study identify aspects of school life that they perceive as influencing their sense of masculinity. QSR NUD.IST is used to assist in the analysis of data from interviews and focus groups. The paper explores the boys' views of the impact of teachers, coaches, sport, discipline and classroom experiences on their understanding of what it means to be a man. Implications of the data for educational leaders and researchers are presented. Recommendations for improving educational outcomes are made that draw on the perceptive comments made by the teenage boys.