Engaging boys in the Arts

Year: 2002

Author: Harrison, Scott

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The problem of the "missing males" in the arts has been the subject of discussion for some time. This presentation examines the extent of this, particularly in performing arts, based on historical data and recent fieldwork. It reflects on the level of involvement by males in schools and in the broader community. In studying the cause of this trend, it discusses the construction of masculinity in the arts thorough societal forces including the media, school influences, peer expectations, parental wishes, teacher attitudes and texts. It also refers in detail to the nature of stereotypes that prevent boys from participating in the arts. As such as there is a focus on aspects of bullying as a contributing factor. The session will draw on current research and bring together some strategies for engaging boys through the examination of best practices employed by individuals, schools and broader communities.