One of our English Teachers, Victoria Gilbert and Progress Manager, Leisha Pentlow carried out an action research project looking at motivating boys in lessons. This is a summary of their project.
Does using positive relationships and encouragement to build self-esteem improve progress in boys?
Use of Boosters.
Boosters are self-belief, learning focus, value of schooling, persistence, planning and monitoring, and study management.
Summary of what you did to adapt your practice.
Teachers adapted styles of learning through one-to-one and small intervention groups, using encouragement and a growth mindset to build self-esteem and confidence in preparation for GCSE exams. planning differentiated resources and further encouraging students to feel comfortable to ask for individual support, guiding students to manage their studies by independently devising their own revision timetable, and attend after school revision sessions with mentor.
How did you test and review the impact of your research?
Impact of research is evidenced through teacher peer observations of using strategies to improve engagement and learning outcomes. Also, student interviews that revealed further strategies which were implemented, and students fed back as successful at motivating them to engage with the learning. For example, use of praise and reward cards home, and instant phone calls when class learning outcomes had improved.
Summary if impact so far
To summarise, although there have been clear signs of improvement to self-esteem and attitude, students developed limited independence. For example, when attempting exam responses independently in exam conditions, they relied heavily on support and encouragement. The impact on their self-esteem and attitude to their own success has increased. Working with other students as a whole has improved, and also their attitude towards staff.
Recognise lack of progress can come from a lack of self-esteem and belief in own abilities. Boys sometimes have a fear of failure and can self-sabotage. Impact of strategies may have been greater if students have been identified earlier.