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Australian Directions in the Boys' Debate: Getting it Right or Going to the Right?

Date: 1 June 2005 Time: 0.00 pm

North-West Regional Seminar

Funded by the Gender and Education Association

Australian Directions in the Boys' Debate: Getting it Right or Going to the Right?

Dr Martin Mills, School of Education, University of Queensland

The 'what about the boys' debate in Australia, as elsewhere, is dominating the education gender agenda. This presentation will take as its focus the report of the recent Australian Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into boys' education, Boys: Getting it Right. It will identify some of the recommendations within this report that have acquired significant currency within Australian schools and systems. These include those relating to appeals for single-sex classes, for 'boy-friendly' pedagogies, curricula and assessment practices and for more male teachers. It will argue that this report, like many of the responses to current concerns about boys' education, is located within a politics that blames the feminist agenda in Australian schools for boys' problems. The presentation will also suggest that the silences in this report regarding the impact of homophobia and misogyny on issues to do with boys' education will do little to improve the education of boys or girls. The paper recognises that there are some issues regarding boys' education that do need to be addressed in school. It will conclude with some thoughts about how this might be done in ways that avoid the anti-feminist politics of many within the boys' lobby and thus support the work undertaken by those concerned about girls' education.

Furness Lecture Theatre 3

For further information contact: Dr Carolyn Jackson, Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
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