Possible Factors In Underachievement Of Males Within Education Education Essay

Sociological studies in regards to the 'underachievement of men', throughout the United kingdom education system, seem to be dominated by the analysis of three central phenomena; the thought of bias and inequality which flaws the educational system, the prevalence of a modern day, 'laddish anti-learning culture' (Byers, S. 1998, "Never head theories, under-achieving males need sensible help, _The Individual_, 5th January 1998. ") and lastly, the psychology of the male head. Each one of these three interlinked themes or templates will be evaluated within this document, which will focus solely upon the explanations which may placed accountable for the discovered 'underachievement of young men', most notably, at a General Certificate of Secondary Education Level (G. C. S. E) throughout the British education system, and internationally, about the world.

The use of the term 'underachievement' is widespread throughout educational discourse, and is also predominately found in explaining "a recognized failure to reach confirmed potential". Scott. J. & Marshall. G. (2005:3). Sociologists, whose specialization lies within this specific field, have a tendency to view low academics attainment in conditions of factors such as prior attainment or socio-economic disadvantage, however in doing so, they acknowledge the danger of pathologising the underachiever, when in reality, responsibility may lie within the educational system itself. The word 'underachievement' although widely used, appears to be problematic; masking ideological assumptions that concern socially created, subjective and relative matters, which concern the group understudy. The underachievement of young men within the training system is undoubtedly an immensely complicated and contested field. Regardless of these issues, the English education system has continued to make use of the word with a combo of ubiquity and self-confidence.

Gillies, D. (2010). Educational potential underachievement and ethnical pluralism. Available: http://www. abdn. ac. uk/eitn/display. php?article_id=39. Previous utilized 16th Feb 2011.

Historical Background

The 'underachievement of young men' within the training system has came out as a continual problem throughout the previous decade. Remarkable illustrations from the advertising and speeches gave by the relevant specialists have created in a sense 'a moral anxiety' which has came up to characterise many of the debates that surround the intricate issue. Evidence from newspapers articles would suggest the underachievement of kids started in 1995. During this time the main professional newspaper, THE DAYS Educational Supplement transported headlines declaring assignment work was 'Not for wimps' Haigh, G. 1995, "Not for wimps", _ THE CHANGING TIMES Educational Supplementation_, 6th October 1995 and later asked 'Where have we go wrong?' Bleach, K. 1997, "Where do we fail?", _ THE DAYS Educational Supplement_, 14th Feb 1997. Education correspondents for broadsheet magazines likewise headlined articles which reviewed 'The Failing Intimacy' and needed schools to provide a 'Classroom rescue for Britain's lost males'. Foster et al. (2001) 'What about the guys?' A synopsis of the debates, in Martino. W. & Meyenn. B. HOW ABOUT The Young boys, Issues of Masculinity in Schools. Open University or college Press.

Acknowledgement of the underachievement of boys within the education system can be observed in Stephen Byers 1998 speech. The School Standards Minister, said: "We have to not simply admit with a shrug of your shoulders that young boys will be kids. " Speaking at the 11th International Congress for University Effectiveness and Improvement in Manchester, Mr Byers warned: "Failure to raise the educational accomplishment of boys means that a large number of young men will face a bleak future when a lack of requirements and basic skills will mean unemployment and little hope of finding work. " He disclosed new figures on the requirements of education at that time that had been reached by children. For example, in addition to young girls far outperforming kids at a General Certificate Secondary Education level (G. C. S. E), Country wide Curriculum assessments at seven, eleven and fourteen years also highlighted kids underperforming, within English Language in particular. Byers then went on to make an strike on what he described as the prevailing 'laddish anti-learning culture. (Byers, S. 1998, "Never mind theories, under-achieving kids need sensible help, _The Indie_, 5th January 1998. ") In response to Stephen Byers id of male underachievement, Ted Wragg also shared articles in the Times Educational Supplement, The Times Educational Supplementation Editorial. 1997, "Keeping Balance on the Gender Agenda", _ the Times Educational Product_, 23rd May 1997.

Within this content Teacher Ted Wragg warned unless the achievements of boys was advanced significantly modern culture would witness huge issues that would continue throughout the 21st hundred years. The then Chief Inspector for Classes, Chris Woodhead too believed the inability of boys, specifically working class kids to be one of the very most disturbing problems faced within the whole education system. As a result of such mass media hype education ministers needed all academic institutions to challenge the 'laddish anti-learning culture, (Byers, S. 1998, "Never head theories, under-achieving boys need functional help, _The Independent_, 5th January 1998. ") which have been permitted to develop. Taking such marketing build up and federal government vocalizations under consideration, it would show up something significant joined public consciousness during this time period.

Despite mass media and government statements of boy's underachievement being a recent sensation, problems concerning young boys and academics schooling has, in fact, been a longstanding top priority in regards to to educational studies. Specifically the British philosopher John Locke, among others expressed great concern with regard the problems boys experienced in language and literacy, in the 17th hundred years. Similarly literature on schooling throughout the 1960s and 1970s cautioned instructors against grouping guys according to their academic capability as it led to less academic young boys developing negative attitudes towards education and academic institutions. Foster et al. (2001) 'What about the guys?' A synopsis of the debates, in Martino. W. & Meyenn. B. HOW ABOUT The Kids, Issues of Masculinity in Classes. Open School Press.

The intro of the National Curriculum alongside the induction of intricate examination and reporting types of procedures, many believe, was what at first highlighted the situation of male underachievement in today's society. From 1991 onwards students have been designed to complete Standard Diagnosis Responsibilities (S. A. T. s) at the ages of seven, eleven and fourteen. Responsibility sits with the educational establishments at this time to ensure pupils achieve the expected standards. Additionally schools undergo demanding inspection; such inspections look like central to the Educational Universities Act 1992, which introduced the execution of National League Tables. These desks rank schools matching with their pupil's performance in the Standard Assessment Responsibilities (S. A. T. s).

Many consider such a procedure was what arranged the field for the emergence of the 'boy's underachievement' issue. In order for schools to make it through they had to appeal to clients in the form of parents, plus they could only catch the attention of parents if indeed they could actually show they provided and sent a high standard of education. Academic institutions were judged to be useful by the nationwide league tables matching with their success in getting pupils to reach the required requirements at the age ranges of seven, eleven and fourteen.

In 1996 the Equivalent Opportunities Fee and any office for Standards in Education produced a joint record on performance distinctions between children in college. Their findings included females being more lucrative than boys or broadly as successful in virtually all major content. They reported girls tended to become more reflective than young boys and also better at planning and organising their work. Reactions to these results that children are doing less well in institution and are also suffering in other respects, such as the disproportionate amount of unemployment, as stated previously have mixed. Some have determined what they see to be always a crucial social problem of the 21st century. Others view it as solely an indicator of your male backlash, creating a sense of moral anxiety, aimed at clawing back increases in size made by women in recent years. In light of such diverse view things, when researching this area for myself it would appear necessary to mantain a feeling of balance before finishing upon any such conclusion.

Official reports on the academic performance of pupils in Northern Ireland, Great britain and Wales show women have been executing increasingly well compared to boys in conditions with their attainment at Basic Certificate of Secondary Education (G. C. S. E) level examinations in most subjects. As mentioned recently, this development has been the focus of considerable argument in both the 'popular' marketing and the academic press, with regular pronouncements from politicians and administration policy designers. The obvious heated issue over 'young boys underachievement' throughout the 1990s and in to the 21st hundred years is not only connected to Britain, figures suggest male underachievement is a problematic concern in Australia, Canada, The United States of America, parts of Western Europe and Japan. Epstein. D. Et al. (1998) Educating Boys, Learning Gender. Open University Press.

Focusing after the underachievement of males within the framework of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland in particular, I plan to focus upon Symbolic Interactionism as the foundation of my own theoretical research. I intend to consider Symbolic Interactionist debates over 'Britain's Lost Guys' and the undoubtable underachievement of kids compared to women in certain content, predominately at Basic Certificate of Secondary Education level (G. C. S. E). Symbolic Interactionists, unlike functionalists and discord theorists, have a tendency to limit their evaluation of education to what they directly watch taking place within the school room. Their main concentration is on educator, pupil connections and the conversation processes that happen within the classroom.

Symbolic Interactionists start to see the education system as playing a vital role in shaping just how students see simple fact and themselves. Interactionists such as Howard Becker see university configurations as creating serious difficulties for students who are "labelled" as less academically able than their peers. He thought such students may never be able to see themselves as "good students" and move beyond such product labels. Teacher objectives play an enormous role in scholar achievements from an interactionist's perspective which is a spot I would be thinking about investigating further in regards to to my own research.

Labelling theory, was developed predominately by Howard Becker who in Outsiders 1963 argued "underachievement to be created by society, in the sense communal groupings create underachievement by making the rules whose infraction constitutes low attainment and through the use of those guidelines to particular persons and labelling them so" Scott. J. & Marshall. G. (2005:341) Becker and Lermert in the beginning developed Labelling Theory, Hargreaves et al showed how it could apply within institution configurations and Rosenthal and Jacobson recommended that it might create a Personal Fulfilling Prophecy in university, such that children defined as excellent would in truth live up to such prospects.

In education, despite the Rosenthal and Jacobson research, labelling-based self-fulfilling prophecies usually operate to the downside of students. Specific categories of students, predicated on gender, ethnicity or indeed interpersonal track record, may be written off as incapable of achieving, establishing a structure of reference where their failings are observed and their achievements discounted. Individual students can also be labelled when you are told they'll never amount to anything, or for example they may be no proficient at a particular subject matter. Internalised, these brands are taken into new situations, including further and advanced schooling, therefore many imagine the inability of the student to be inescapable.

Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson conducted a land symbol study because of this approach in 1968. First of all, they examined a group of students in accordance with standard IQ assessments. The research workers then identified lots of students who they said may likely show a razor-sharp increase in talents over the year ahead. They prepared the teachers of these results, and asked them to watch and see if this increase have occur. Once the analysts repeated the IQ exams by the end of the entire year, the students identified by the researchers have indeed show higher IQ scores. The significance of the study lies in the fact that the researchers had randomly selected lots of average students. The experts found that when the teachers expected a particular performance or expansion, it happened. This phenomenon, in which a wrong assumption actually occurs because someone expected it, reinforces the notion of a self-fulfilling prophesy. Rosenthal. R. & Jacobson. L. (1992) Pygmalion in the Classroom, Teachers Expectations and Pupils' Intellectual Development. Crown House: Publishing Limited.

Ray Rist conducted research like the Rosenthal and Jacobson study in 1970. In the kindergarten class where both students and instructor were of BLACK origin, the educator given students to furniture based on ability; the so called "better" students sat at a stand nearer to her, the "average" students sat at another table, and the "weakest" students sat at the farthest table. Rist found out that the professor designated the students to a table predicated on the teacher's understanding of the students' skill levels on the eighth day of school, with no form of tests to validate such a location. Rist also found that the students the instructor perceived as "better" learners came from higher social classes, as the "weak" students were from lower public classes. Monitoring the students through the year, Rist discovered that the students closer to the educator received the most attention and performed better. The farther from the tutor students sat, the weaker that student performed. Rist continued the analysis through the next many years and found that the labels assigned to the students on the eighth day of kindergarten followed them throughout their academics quest. Rist, Ray (1970). "Student Community Class and Tutor Expectations: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Ghetto Education. Harvard Educational Review 40, 3, 411-451.

While Symbolic Interactionists have definitely analysed this do it yourself fulfilling process, they may have yet to get the exact manner in which instructors form such prospects of students. Irrespective of such an issue Personally i think the Do it yourself Fulfilling Prophecy may be a crucial deciding factor in regards to to answering my very own research question.

The real need for Rosenthal and Jacobson's findings at Oak University relates to the potential long-lasting effects of teachers' anticipations on the scholastic performance of students. It is appealing to explore some later research that analyzed the ways in which teachers unconsciously converse their higher prospects to the students whom they consider possess greater potential. A study conducted by Chaiken, Sigler, and Derlega (1974) engaged videotaping teacher-student connections in a class situation where the teachers had been informed that certain children were extremely smart (these glowing students had been chosen randomly from all the students in the category). Careful study of the videos mentioned that professors favoured the determined brighter students in many delicate ways. They smiled at these students more regularly, made more attention contact, and had more favourable reactions to these students' reviews in category. These researchers go on to statement that students for whom these high objectives exist will enjoy school receive more constructive reviews from teachers on their problems, and work harder to try to improve. What this and other studies reveal are those educator expectancies, while their influence is not the only determinant of the child's performance in college, can affect more than simply IQ scores.

Due in large part to Rosenthal and Jacobson's research, the power of educators' anticipations on students' performance has become an integral part of our understanding of the educational process. Furthermore, Rosenthal's theory of social expectancies has exerted its effect in various areas other than education. In 2002, Rosenthal himself analyzed the literature on expectancy results using meta-analysis techniques. He shown how "the expectations of psychological experts, classroom teachers, judges in the courtroom, business professionals, and health care providers can unintentionally have an effect on the responses with their research individuals, pupils, jurors, employees, and patients" (Rosenthal, 2002, p. 839).

Martino. W. & Meyenn. B. (2001) What about the Children, Issues of Masculinity in Colleges. Open University or college Press.

What about the Boy's, Issues of Masculinity in Academic institutions is a publication which attempts to develop further understandings about masculinity. Such a piece of literature is timely given the continuing moral panic that persists about boy's disadvantaged position in comparison to women. Throughout this book the view boys are subjects and are attributed with a disadvantaged status remains through. Research undertaken with children spanning Australia, the United Kingdom and america is brought collectively in this collection. The emphasis for every of the contributors is handling issues of 'what about the kids' with regards to their own research and up to date perspectives on children and schooling.

Many concentrate on what young boys (and females) themselves say about their experiences of schooling and sexuality and use their voices as a basis for drawing out the actual implications might be for those working in colleges. In this regard the chapters are written with a broader audience in mind - particularly instructors and administrators in schools with the view to using research to illuminate the effects of masculinity in the lives of boys and girls at school. All the contributors are worried to identify the impact and aftereffect of certain kinds of masculinity on the lives of kids at university, but identify their research and/or conversation within the context of the guys' education debates specified by Foster, Kimmell and Skelton in the introductory section. Many also have indicated the particular implications with their research are for daily practice in classes and classrooms. In this particular sense, the study documented here has major implications for the professional development of teacher's in institutions and for university student teachers in tertiary corporations.

Sociologists like Bob Connell (1987, 1995) have been especially influential in pulling focus on how social, ethnical and historical factors have influenced the various ways that 'masculinity' comes to be described and embodied by kids and men. We start to see the contributors of this book building on this work. They high light that there are many types of masculinity that are performed out in the context of a intricate set of ability relations where certain types of masculinity are appreciated over others. Many also draw focus on the role of a dominating form of masculinity, which involves be defined towards femininity, and focus on that connection with the feminine for boys can often lead to other children questioning their sexuality (see also Frank, 1987, 1993). Other factors such as competition, course, ethnicity and geographical location are also taken up to develop an understanding of the various ways in which boys

learn to connect and behave using sociable situations and within particular educational establishments. In this particular sense feminist teachers and theories also notify the perspectives on boys and schooling elaborated in this reserve. Such perspectives have added significantly to producing valuable insights in to the links between gender and electric power (Davies 1993; Steinberg et al. 1997), specifically in conditions of illuminating guys' social routines and means of relating

at school.

All contributors know that schools are important arenas of power where masculinities and femininities are acted out on a daily basis through the powerful techniques of negotiation, refusal and have difficulties (Giroux and McLaren 1994). Quite simply, these papers illustrate that we now have indeed communal constraints and vitality imbalances in educational sites, but that gender regimes tend to be more moving and contradictory than theorists supposed in the seventies and eighties (Jackson and Salisbury 1996; Kenway et al. 1997). In this sense, each section included in this collection creates on studies into young boys at school which were performed by Kessler et al. (1985), Walker (1988), Mac

an Ghaill (1994) and Epstein (1994).

The contributors also suggest ways frontward and beyond the popular and simplistic views which stress the necessity for young boys to reclaim lost place. There is a powerful discourse of overlook informing lots of the popularist debates about the males which continue steadily to assert that provision for the educational

needs of young ladies has been at the expense of guys (Yates 1997). Additionally, the theory or assumption that boys are somehow patients or 'losers' now fighting with girls who've suddenly end up being the winners is also refuted firmly by the many positions that are taken up in this publication. Compounding such a position is the view that biology needs to be given similar consideration in growing a knowledge of children' behaviours and learning orientations. This debate is still promulgated within the framework of the debates about the kids (see submissions to Australian inquiry into kids' education at http://www. aph. gov. au/house/committee/eewr/Epfb/sublist. htm) as if appeals to natural sex dissimilarities and essentialism are somehow outside the effects of certain power relationships (see Fausto-Sterling 2000). As Peterson (2000) has lighted, appeals to biological determinism have been used

historically to enforce a binary categorization of gendered behaviours always within the framework of and in response to the perceived vitality gained by women. Additionally, as Lingard and Douglas (1999) have lucidly illustrated, the debates about the young boys in the nineties have been characterized by a strong backlash against feminism and this continues to be the case as we get into the new millennium. If we are indeed to encourage diversity and citizenship in multicultural societies it is crucial that issues of opportunity, gain access to and allocated success before grounded in debates about gendered educational benefits. Collins et al. (2000) have dealt with this in a recent governmental statement on the factors

influencing the educational performance of men and women in college and their post-school labour spots.

In series with the positions adopted in that article, we believe that insurance policy formulation and curriculum development in classes must prevent the popularist tendency to assert a binary oppositional and 'competing victims' point of view on the factors impacting on the public and educational experience of children. This is only going to lead to homogenizing and normalizing boys and girls based on biological sex dissimilarities and, hence, reinforce the very variants of masculinity that your research

shows have damaging consequences for both the previous and the last mentioned. This e book, therefore, emerges as an effort to provide a more informed point of view on the communal procedures of masculinity impacting on guys' lives at university. We hope that it will have the effect of moving the debates beyond the feminist backlash rhetoric which persists in casting guys as the 'new subjects'. If anything, as the contributors of the book argue, the issue that should be dealt with is the investment that lots of children, men and classes have to advertise a particular version of masculinity which is with their detriment in the sense so it restricts them from developing a wider repertoire of behaviours and ways of relating. Until a committed action is made, specifically by men and males themselves, to addressing the role that sexuality, homophobia and misogyny continue to play in how many of these define and negotiate their

Masculinities, we think that very little will change.

Connolly. P. (2004) Kids and Schooling in the Early Years. Routledge Falmer Press.

Boys underachievement in education has become a international concern, prioritised highly b specialists throughout the world. Kids and Schooling in the first years signifies the first analysis of its kind to target solely upon young men and their success within the education system. Throughout this publication this is a robust argument for the necessity to begin tackling the situation of employer lower educational performance in the early years. This turned out entirely beneficial as it offers one of the very most in depth analyses of national statistics regarding gender variations in educational success from the first year's through until compulsory schooling. Together with original and in depth circumstance studies which vividly catch the differing encounters and perspectives of 5-6 season old males, this book pieces out the nature of the issues facing young children in education and features lots of practical ways that they can start to be resolved. This is entirely relevant as i am worried about boys lower degrees of achievement.

This book comes after the sandwich model: for the filling up, juicy case studies of two contrasting classes in North Ireland; and, around the outside, nourishing chapters of theorizing, a critical overview of the rhetoric and reality of the issue, and an in depth talk of the strategies had a need to sort out everything out. Of the, essentially the most useful is the section that sets the factual record upright, dismissing some current "explanations" of guys' under-achievement: it isn't their brains, neurons or testosterone that are to blame; it isn't a question of young girls holding boys back, or the feminization of colleges, or an epidemic of laddish habit. Somewhat, Connolly argues, the key factor in boys' poor educational performance in accordance with females is "masculinity itself" or, somewhat, masculinities.

This is the rationale for the situation studies that follow: one institution within an affluent, peaceful, middle-class area, and another in a significantly disadvantaged working-class area, riven by sectarian assault. It is also the starting place for the author's research questions: what exactly are the dominant kinds of masculinity in the early years, and just how do they influence guys' attitudes towards schooling?

Between Oct 2001 and June 2002, Connolly put in a day weekly in each one of the two primary colleges, observing five and six-year-old guys, and interviewing children, educators and parents. Within the middle-class university, dinosaurs are cool but reading is rubbish, while, on the other side of the tracks, level of resistance to school extends to dizzy heights. Children in this university are not without enthusiasms, but these look like football, fighting, wrestling, pulling down young girls' trousers and marching with the neighborhood loyalist flute strap. The section on home-school relations in this school is even more depressing, as parents explain how the teachers discourage their children from even entering for the 11-plus.

Bad news at all times then, like the research process itself: specifically, there are a few dodgy interview questions that virtually invite the young boys, across the class divide, to assert their innate superiority: "If you got a choice, might you want to be girls or young boys?"; "Would either of you want to be a gal?" The young boys' answers fall season smoothly into the stereotyped trap well prepared for them.

Nevertheless, this e book asks some serious questions, not least of which is: why do we fret so much about gender differences when social category has a much better impact on achievements? Furthermore, what makes so many instructors apparently so willing to simply accept their pupils' low degrees of achievement on access as a sure and certain guide to the near future? And, last but not least, when are we going to learn what Bronwen Davies tried to teach us long ago (in Frogs and Snails and Feminist Stories) about the need to exceed male-female dualism, so that people can position ourselves, and our pupils, as neither men, nor female, but individuals. I'm yet to be convinced that studies such as Connolly's are going to help us take this remarkable step forward.

Head. J. (1999) Understanding the Children, Issues of Action and Achievements. Falmer Press.

Attention is directed at general areas of learning and diagnosis before analyzing the response of males to specific things within the curriculum. Personal, interpersonal and health education concerns are tackled. http://www. dropshippers. co. za/

This text aspires to increase understanding of the potential causes of underachievement, violence and even suicide between teenage kids. Suicide has dramatically increased among young guys and academics underachievement is common. The writer argues that it's therefore important to understand the young guy psyche. The written text addresses questions such as: has male patterns in school worsened, or has press hype inflated the proportions of a "good account"; what's at the root of male assault; and are natural or sociable explanations telling the complete story? The writer shows that it is only by engaging kids in arenas of thought and sense that we can understand and help triumph over the difficulties encountered by kids today.

The issue of young boys work and patterns in school has generated considerable general population interest and has definitely polarized view, with some professing it is the greatest social issue of our time, while other asserts it is only a manifestation of male backlash intended to divert attention and resources from the need of girls and women. The first of the two sections within this e book contains a review discussion of the various explanatory models natural, social and subconscious. Emerging note is schools and teachers subject in educational performance can be produced and we need not see the faltering or difficult boys as inevitably stuck in their current position. Mind believed the key to successful involvement was at understanding the males and attempting to see things of their perspective.

Martino. W. et al. (2003) so what's a guy, addressing the issues of masculinity and schooling. Start University Press.

So what's a bay? is a timely level. It comes at a critical point in the increasing debate regarding guys and classes. Juxtaposed against an extremely strident and frequently times stark media, this reserve offers a sober and contemporary view of children and their place in that puzzled environment called "school. " However, not content to simply cite data and/or duplicate refrains found anywhere else, the creators have averted the "boy turmoil" trap and raised the debate by firmly taking an attractive, narrative approach. One can notice and appreciate the voices of children (all varieties of different boys) through this size!

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The e book is divided into three, roughly similar parts. Part 1, Normalization and Schooling, places the general scene and brings the audience into the lives of males with discussions regarding body image, appearing masculinities, bullying/harassment, and friendships. The next part, Diverse Masculinities, delves into the central issue of how kids see themselves, their growing sexuality, ethnic/home conditions, the way they have emerged by others, and exactly how various boys (and sets of boys) behave and inter-react. Part 3, Sites of Intervention, discounts more specifically with institution environment and curriculum implications, and considers how the various identified university environments condition and re-shapes males' self/other images. It really is in this last section that the overall theme of masculinities is outlined in discussions straight related to pedagogical issues.

At the end of the book, and somewhat independent, the authors provide a brief four-page realization. It is a shame these pages weren't slightly broadened, as they summarize an authentic methodological plan that could well be replicated by others thinking about boys and schools. Further, the writers place their own research within the continuum of son/male literature that is little by little getting into the mainstream research literatures. Nonetheless, all the sections follow in a rational and interconnected manner and give the reader an in-depth look, via children' voices, into expanding masculinities, institutions and relationships.

The sub-title of this book (Addressing issues of masculinity and schooling) is important. The authors are careful to stay away from the sensationalist figures and comprehensive gender evaluations that too often confuse discussions involving boys and academic achievement. This isn't a volume of statistical columns, failing rates, gender evaluations, and/or chest thumping demands for schools to resolve another societal problem. Alternatively, the writers carefully, and with understanding, allow boys to share with their own experiences in a non-judgmental manner. This is not a forced booklet and there is no obvious axe that requires grinding. The writers are to be congratulated for allowing the various narrative images to come quickly to the fore and also, notably, for permitting specific readers an chance to react on an individual and/or professional level to the situations and testimonies.

Additionally, the authors have left the safe earth of what might be termed mainstream "boyology" and delved into several seldom-viewed sub-areas that are too often neglected. For instance, the problems of skin color and emerging erotic orientations are openly reviewed. Furthermore, a tone is directed at aboriginal youth who have to negotiate intricate and competing university and cultural conditions. As well, the concerns of young boys with physical challenges are raised. Plainly, the creators have vanished out of these way to offer a wide range of young boys' voices and to do so in a narrative format that catches the intimacy of the storyplot at the same time as positioning it within a realistic context.

In the Preface, Martino and Pallotta-Chiarolli cogently remember that "our primary target is to problematize the ways that adolescent males, from diverse backgrounds and locations in the Australian framework, negotiate and perform their masculinities, both at school and in the wider modern culture. . . . " (p. xii). The creators have indeed fulfilled their main aim and a UNITED STATES reader should not be dismayed by the reference to the Australian framework. True, there are times when specific words/phrases situate the son, but the stories are generally universal and will resonate with anyone even remotely acquainted with adolescent children in other contexts.

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