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Research 2016-2017 Year-End Review

Mission Statement The Center for the Study of Boys was established by St. Christopher's School in 2014, being a global leader in educating boys. The Center is dedicated to promoting best practices in engaging and teaching boys through research, professional development, and programming. It will serve the St. Christopher's community—teachers, parents, and the boys themselves—and will also be a resource both locally and globally for those interested in understanding and

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Professional Development

Programming layout by Grant Mistr ‘17


Research Relational Teaching with Lower School Boys

2016-2017 Saints Action Research Team

What Works for Teachers, Boys, and Parents

Collaboration and the Power of Successful Learning Groups

in forging positive relationships with their teachers, but boys? From 2014-2016, St. Christopher’s participated in a research cohort of four primary schools in the United States, Canada, and Australia to tackle this question. Through parent surveys and focus groups, teacher surveys and interviews, and focus groups with boys in grades K-5, we were able to identify factors that contribute to positive student-teacher relationships as well as barriers to success. In our data, it was clear from all three perspectives–students, teachers, and parents–that no factor is more important for the establishment and maintenance of a successful connection than the boy’s perception of the teacher’s attitude toward him. When boys believe that their teachers care about them, see them as competent, respect their views, and desire their success, they tend to

This year was the second year of the Saints Action Research Team. Led by Laura Sabo (Saints Action Research Coach and IBSC Action Research Advisor) and assisted by Marsha Hawkins, the team consisted of teachers from across faculty during our Professional Day.

2016-2017 Saints Action Researchers and their Research Questions Amy Buerlein: How do second grade collaborative literacy groups foster and enhance student engagement and interest in authentic independent reading? Laura Lanois: How might participation in a mindfulness learning group foster productive collaboration in 9th grade students? Laura Partee: classroom community in Kindergarten boys? Jon Piper: group collaboration in 6th grade Global Thinking students? Austin Sutten (IBSC Action Research Program): How might using experiential education scenarios foster collaboration in the classroom setting for 9th grade boys?

The 2017-2018 Saints Action Research Team will explore the theme of “Boys and Adaptability in a Changing World.”

IBSC Character Education in Schools for Boys Research Project 2016-2018

St. Christopher’s has been accepted to participate in a major research project sponsored by the IBSC designed to explore Character Education in Schools for Boys. We will serve as one of 47 boys’ schools participating in the research; the schools span nine countries, and include both public and private schools of every size. The project utilizes a well-researched framework for schools to evaluate current practices, processes, and programs in character education; sharpen strategy and planning for character education; develop meaningful and authentic outcomes; create standards for accountability, reporting, and professional learning; and communicate this focus and consensus to the wider school community. The research project was launched in the fall of 2016 and will conclude in 2018.


Local and Global Outreach

“We love and understand boys.”

Community Partners Luncheon: In September, we welcomed to from the Greater Richmond community, September 14, 2016

This core belief of our Second Century Vision guides all professional developWe regularly gather feedback from our boys and use their experiences (both good and bad) to inform our next steps as educators. We begin each school year with a review of survey data we collect from our boys each spring in which we ask them to tell us how “known and loved” they feel. Throughout the our successes and challenges with our boys and continue to grow in our knowledge of best practices for reaching and teaching boys. This year, St. Christopher’s faculty have been engaged in conversations with boys’ schools educators from across the globe through the Boys’ Global Inspiration Network. Connecting boys’ school educators from around the globe to develop shared understandings about important issues facing boys and boys’ schools, the goal of the Boys’ Global Inspiration Network is to create spaces for conversations and connections to wrestle with key questions and challenges of our time from a boys’ school and a global perspective. Among the topics explored by St. Christopher’s teachers were the following: What does it mean to be a 21st century gentleman? What does it mean to have a performance culture that is boy centered? What international virtual exchanges and opportunities are available that are useful in building and expanding the global community for boys?

Campus visit from and presentation to Undergraduate students in University of Richmond Gender Studies class, November 1, 2016 Presentation to the Kiwanis Club of Richmond: “Educating Boys” November 14, 2016 Campus Visit from Dr. Hugh Chilton, Director of the Scots Research Centre at Scots College, Sydney, Australia, January 10, 2017

International Boys’ Schools Coalition Board of Trustees and Committee Meetings: January 14-15, 2017, The Harrow School, Eton College, London, England Panel presentation to University of Richmond Psychology class on Child Development: “The Merits of Single-Sex Schools,” March 22, 2017 Research Partnership Meeting with Dr. Danielle Dick, Director, College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University, March 27, 2017 Conference Presentation proposal for the 2017 IBSC Annual Conference: “Building Research and Innovation Cultures in Boys’ Schools” Panel presentation representing the Scots Research Centre (Scots College, Sydney, Australia), the Tony Little Centre (Eton College, London, England), and the Center for the Study of Boys, June 2017

Professional Development


Programming Journeys to Manhood with the Syracuse 8 October 6-7, 2016

The Center for the Study of Boys Journeys to Manhood speaker series continued this year with a panel presentation from members of the Syracuse 8. The challenges faced by the Syracuse 8 football players who boycotted against racial injustice 40-some years ago are still relevant and existent today. These introductory remarks from Jonathan Zur, program moderator and President and CEO of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, set the tone for panel discussions held at St. Christopher’s School October 6 and 7. “We must lean into these conversations,” Zur tions that were their ticket to a college education, positions that could have lead to prestigious NFL careers. The players sought rights to compete fairly for any position on the starting team, better academic support and better medical care for injuries

John Badalament, The Fatherhood Project (grades 1-3) November 15-16, 2016

In November, we welcomed to campus John Badalament of The Fatherhood Project. In his parent presentation on Tuesday, November 15, John shared research about the staying connected with our sons in a rapidly changing world. On Wednesday, “Dialogues with Dads,” a father-son program in which dads and their sons enjoyed breakfast together and then took a “quiz” to see how much they knew about each other. The interactive program was a success and several fathers asked for more programs like this one.

book, Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse 8. The October 6 evening program was free and open to the community and nearly 400 community members attended. On October 7, boys in grades 6-12 heard the story of the Syracuse 8 in a large group presentation. Throughout the day, members of the session over lunch with Varsity athletic captains from St. Christopher’s and St. Catherine’s.

The Mask You Live In program for 8th graders April 14, 2017

ings of the documentary The Mask You Live In and presentations from Joe Ehrmann, the 8th graders took part in a half-day program exploring issues of what it means to group discussions led by 12th Grade facilitators. Following the program, we sent the 8th graders an anonymous survey in which 78% of respondents rated their Senior

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Center for the Study of Boys Year-End Review 2016-17  

Center for the Study of Boys at St. Christopher's School

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