Boys need regular doses of action to focus on study

Mar 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: Budget cuts are harder if people know the benefits of research

Related Stories

Boys plagiarise more than girls at school

Mar 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 practi ...

Water fleas prepared for trip to space

Dec 22, 2014

Local 'Daphnia' waterfleas are currently being prepared by scientists at the University of Birmingham for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be observed by astronauts.

Tech summit addresses industry's lack of diversity

Dec 10, 2014

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson spent most of this year pressuring the technology industry into facing up to the glaring scarcity of women, blacks and Latinos at companies renowned as great places to work.

Recommended for you

Report details benefits of investment in basic research

3 hours ago

Last year was a notable one for scientific achievements: In 2014, European researchers discovered a fundamental new particle that sheds light on the origins of the universe, and the European Space Agency ...

Heinz Awards honors six for solving critical human issues

Apr 23, 2015

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher who has developed artificial human "microlivers" that can safely test the toxicity of drugs without endangering lives is one of six people chosen to receive Heinz Awards.

User comments : 0

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.