Boys need regular doses of action to focus on study

March 12, 2008

Short, regular doses of exercise between lessons helps boys concentrate and learn more in class, says a specialist in educating boys, Dr Michael Irwin.

Dr Irwin, an Auckland-based senior education lecturer at the University's College of Education, says five to 10-minute bursts of vigorous activity, such as skipping or running, several times a day will help boys settle. It is one of the key points he will make at a seminar on boys education later this month. The seminar is a precursor to an international conference on boys’ education at the University's Auckland campus later this year.

“Overseas studies have reported a significant improvement in learning if this practice is followed,” he says. Girls would also benefit if schools were to adopt the practice of building in mini-exercise routines, but biology and socialisation meant that boys generally have a greater need for regular physical activity.

He also recommends that schools create “communities of men” – including fathers, older brothers, uncles and grandfathers – that are involved in school activities.

Organising camps, lunches and other events for boys and their fathers or significant male carer would compensate for the “dad deficit” experienced by many young boys, he says. “There’s a saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child'; I think boys need to be associated with a community of men as mentors in raising them to be fine young men.”

Of concern is the lack of positive male role models for boys, whatever their family circumstances. “We need to re-look at the whole issue of the place of males in society and their role in raising children. Education for boys is about looking at the end product. What type of young men do we want to produce? I think we need to look at the whole person.”

Source: Massey University

Explore further: Empower bystanders to stop bullying, says professor

Related Stories

Empower bystanders to stop bullying, says professor

August 12, 2015

It's back-to-school time for many kids across the country—but for students who are subject to bullying, school can be a daunting place to spend eight hours a day. One UT expert suggests empowering bystanders to help put ...

Boys plagiarise more than girls at school

March 27, 2015

Research by the University of the Balearic Islands has analysed the phenomenon of academic plagiarism among secondary school students. The study, published in the journal Comunicar, confirms that this practice is widespread ...

China university 'expels student over genetic blood disease'

January 23, 2015

A student in Beijing is suing his university after he was allegedly expelled for having the rare hereditary blood disease haemophilia, reports said Friday, the latest case in China's long history of medical discrimination.

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.