What the boys are saying:An examination of the views of boys about declining rates of achievement and retention
Trent, Faith Helen
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This paper summarises the views of 1800 Year 9 to 11 boys about declining rates of achievement and retention. The boys have been clear and largely uniform in their perspective of the issues and problems, and in their general view that the adult world is 'not listening' and 'not really interested'. They have been equally clear about what needs to be done to effectively deal with their concerns and to provide better, more relevant educational outcomes. In brief, they see themselves to be stuck with an unsuitable, out-of-date and culturally inconsistent learning environment that they cannot change. By the middle of Year 9, their school experience has firmly established a negative and necessary association between formal learning and what they understand as an institutionalised, unpleasant waste of time, dealing with matters having no obvious relevance to their lives and their perceived needs and interests, and demanding the kind of personal sacrifice and general disempowerment that makes the hazy promise of long term rewards simply 'not enough' for most of them.