Boys Acting Differently: Choice, Engagement and Learning

By Craig G. Deed and Chris Campbell.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teachers may change their pedagogical approach in order to engage male students in the upper years of primary school, such as the use of group work, outdoor or hands-on strategies and negotiated curriculum. Such action is based on an assumption that disengaging students have the capacity to respond positively – to move from a pattern of resistance to a new ‘negotiated’ role of engagement.
This paper presents case study research from two Grade 5/6 classes in regional Australia. Teachers used pedagogy that allowed students to make choices about what and how they learn. Teachers and students were observed and interviewed. Students also used an online recording space where they could make reflective journal entries, post work samples and comment on their perceived behavioural, emotional and cognitive engagement. The paper reports how students characterised making choices about their learning against the background of past patterns of educational disengagement; choices the students made; and the impact of these choices on the norms of school life.

Keywords: Disengagement, Resistance, Agency, Choice, Boys

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp.149-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 559.572KB).

Dr. Craig G. Deed

Lecturer, School of Education, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Australia

Current research includes study of grade 6 boys responses to innovative curriculum that aims to engage them in schooling; and interventions at Year 8 that allow students to reconceptualise themselves as self-regulating learners. Also developing online pedagogical strategies that involve tertiary students in deep learning.

Chris Campbell

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University, Australia

Chris is a lecturer in information technology in education. Her research interests include ICT in primary education, e-learning and digital resources. Current research projects include: (1) information technology influences on students’ learning goals and their capacity for self-regulation; and (2) online journaling to promote Year 6 boys self reflection and capacity to reconceptualise themselves as effective learners.


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