Keeping schoolboys up to the mark? No sweat, says education doctor

THE MAIL ON MALES: Canobolas Rural Technology High School principal Chad Bliss at the gathering of teachers from Orange and district, keen to garner more information on how they can help their male students foster an enthusiasm for learning. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0714teachers1

THE MAIL ON MALES: Canobolas Rural Technology High School principal Chad Bliss at the gathering of teachers from Orange and district, keen to garner more information on how they can help their male students foster an enthusiasm for learning. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0714teachers1

KEEPING boys, particularly teenagers, switched on to learn at school can be a major challenge, according to leading Australian expert on the subject Dr Ian Lillico who visited Orange on Monday to speak with teachers and provide them with strategies to encourage their students.

Dr Lillico was invited to Orange by Canobolas Rural Technology High School principal Chad Bliss.

“Like all educators we face challenges of keeping our boys engaged and keeping them enthusiastic and as Dr Lillico is considered to be top of his field we were keen to bring him here.

“We also invited other schools to share in the experience to create stronger outcomes for boys,” Mr Bliss said.

Dr Lillico focused on a range of issues which could impact on or impede the ability of boys to be enthusiastic about their curriculum.

This included a range of complex issues, as well as Dr Lillico saying it can be as simple as ensuring boys are correctly hydrated.

“Teenage boys may not sleep well which certainly impacts on them the next day at school and they may sweat a lot.

“It sounds simple but that’s why we encourage boys and girls to keep hydrated through the day to improve their concentration,” he said.

He also spoke extensively of the latest findings of research into teaching boys with ADHD.

Mr Bliss said Canobolas Rural Technology High School staff have worked hard over the last few years to provide a curriculum which appeals to boys and keep them on the path to learning.

“We have had improvements and we’ve found for example vocational courses where students have opportunities to attend TAFE are making a big difference,” he said.

Dr Lillico who spoke to the packed forum of teachers is a recognised international consultant who draws on more than two decades of action research in Australia and New Zealand as a teacher and educational leader now based in Western Australia.

He is author of a number of publications on educating boys.

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