The impact of a positive classroom environment on boys and girls is significant to their satisfaction with school life, as well as enhancing academic progress and academic self-concept. Measures of school and classroom environments generally focus on social-emotional components such as: relationships between students and teachers; the student’s sense of connectedness with peers; feelings that learning is interesting for its own sake; a sense of achievement and a sense that learning is connected to opportunities beyond school. While these may be seen as aspects of good teaching they are also aspects identified in the literature as essential for improving educational outcomes for boys. Pedagogical practices which promote academic achievement in concert with the promotion of personal and interpersonal growth is essential for both genders. Yet little is known about quantifiable gender differences in satisfaction with school life and the differential response of males and females to the social-emotional aspects of classroom environment is under researched. This paper presents the findings of the first wave of data collection in a longitudinal study of male and female secondary students in Australia. The study is investigating the impact of targeted boys’ educational interventions at nine secondary schools on gender differences in perceptions of classroom environment, general self-concept and academic self-concept.
The International Journal of Learning Vol. 15, Issue 8, p. 1-10