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ERIC Number: EJ871097
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0155-2147
Making Boys at Home in School? Theorising and Researching Literacy (Dis)Connections
Nichols, Susan; Cormack, Phil
English in Australia, v44 n3 p47-59 Dec 2009
The relationship between home and school is often raised in public discussion about boys' education as an aspect of boys' overall lower achievement in school, and particularly in literacy, relative to girls. A critical review of two influential Australian and one UK government commissioned reports into boys' education sets the scene for our analysis in this paper. Analysing these reports, we demonstrate that their conclusions are drawn on the basis of minimal research engagement with students' out of school lives, relying instead on extrapolation from boys' orientations to school activities. We then examine conceptual resources developed by researchers taking a socio-cultural lens to relationships between students' in- and out- of school lives. We describe how we have drawn on these resources in designing and implementing a research project in collaboration with teachers in six schools in South Australia In this paper, we report how, given the constraints of a mostly school-based project, we nevertheless were able to generate significant knowledge about students' encounters with literacy practices outside the formal classroom. What we learned as a result of our analysis of multiple data sets raises questions about the models which construct conflicting relationships between in and out of school learning, and how these models map onto gender. At the same time, we show how resourcing teachers to generate knowledge about boys' out-of-school literacies produced some pedagogical changes which benefited the "boys of concern" and all students. (Contains 7 figures, 4 tables and 1 note.)
Australian Association for the Teaching of English. English House, 416 Magill Road, Kensington Gardens, SA 5068 Australia. Tel: +61-8-8332-2845; Fax: +61-8-8333-0394; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom