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GDI News Online

The Masculinity Issue 
Spring 2002 Issue # 2

Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)          55 Chapel St. Newton MA, 02458

Welcome to GDI News Online, a periodic newsletter from The Gender & Diversities Institute at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). Each issue highlights some aspect of GDI work, along with links to other sites and projects globally. We hope this is a useful resource. Feel free to share this electronic version with colleagues.

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Gender-fair Education for Boys Network
The Gender and Diversities Institute has a vision of a global clearinghouse and network committed to the gender-healthy education of boys and men. To learn more, click here.

Raising and Educating Boys: A Research to Action Report
A recent "GDI Forum" focused on the role of education in supporting the healthy development of boys. This forum was one of an occasional series of discussions that bring researchers and practitioners together to discuss emerging education issues. Based on this forum, the Institute developed a research-to-action document, designed to offer guidance to educators, families, and communities. Integrating research with the voices of four forum panelists--Susan Schaffer, co-author of Why Boys Don't Talk and Why We Care: A Mother's Guide to Connection, GDI Fellow Craig Flood, and Rich Catrambone and Alison McClaughlin, counselors in a local school--the monograph provides an overview of social and educational issues affecting the lives of boys. It attempts to provide a broad perspective, detailing differences in how gender stereotypes affect boys in different racial/ethnic or SES groups and boys with disabilities. This research-to-action report will be available in late July. It can be downloaded directly from our website or as a print copy. Individual print copies can be obtained by sending a check or money order for $8.00 (including shipping and handling) to the Institute.

Research By Others
Are Schools Failing Black Boys?
By fourth grade many African American boys are already falling behind in the classroom. This report examines what's happening, what can be done, and why it should matter to all of us. For more information, click here.

Boys and Girls and Violent Video Games
The good news, according to researchers from the University of Toledo, is that as far as children's preferences for and attitudes toward violent video games are concerned, gender stereotypes are beginning to disappear. The bad news is that girls are becoming more like boys, rather than the other way around. For more information, click here .

Boys to Men: Media Messages About Masculinity
Children Now, a national child advocacy organization presents key findings from a national poll of children and a content analysis of television programs, movies, and music videos most watched by boys. For information, click here.

Educational and Developmental Belief Systems Among African-American Parents of Kindergarten Children
This study extends previous research on parents' beliefs about early education and development to more ethnically and socioeconomically diverse subject groups by describing the characteristics of the educational and developmental belief systems of low-income African-American parents of kindergarten children. For more information, click here.

Empowering Young Black Males
The academic and social problems confronting Black male students are often exacerbated by the attitudes and practices of educators, which often suggest a lack of sensitivity or understanding of Black culture and the dynamics of male development. For more information: Statistics on educational attainment would suggest that many Black youth are at-risk in the nation's schools. However, a closer examination of the data indicates that Black males are at greatest risk. Click here for this ERIC Digest.

Factors Related to Aggressive and Violent Behavior Among Preadolescent African-American Boys
Drawing on theoretical and empirical studies, this paper hypothesizes that attitudes towards the use of violence and the use of aggressive and violent behavior among preadolescent African American males would be affected by verbal aggression in the home, violence observed in the community, family environment, and peer models. For more information, click here.

The Gender Gap: International Comparisons from Comparing Standards: The Report of the Politeia Education Commission
Boys underachievement in reading is far greater in England and Wales than other developed countries. This report aims to inform and take forward the debate about why English pupils, especially boys, underperform compared to their overseas peers. For more information, click here.

The Meanings of Macho, Being a Man in Mexico City
A study in one of Latin America's most populous cities, Mexico City, that examines how Mexican men see themselves, relate to women, parent their children, socialize among themselves, and talk about sex in their daily lives. For more information, click here.

Youth and Learning

Gender-Healthy Schools Support Boys and Girls
Gender-healthy schools are supporting both boys and girls in Boston and Cambridge, thanks to the vision of one innovative foundation. With funding from the Caroline and Sigmund Schott Foundation, the Gender and Diversities Institute is working with elementary, middle, and high school administrators, teachers, and students to create classrooms free of gender bias, harassment, and discriminatory practices that are barriers to academic achievement. Click here to learn more about how these schools are making education work for both boys and girls.

Gender-Healthy Schools: A Video for Educators and Parents
The Institute is now in the final stages of producing two videos that demonstrate the positive changes schools can make when they become gender-healthy. Based on the experience of schools within our Gender-Healthy Schools Project, the videos provide a framework for gender equity in education, link that to positive student outcomes, and share the daily experiences of teachers and students. Both are designed for general audiences, including parent groups, teachers, students, school boards, and community groups. The first version is a short introduction designed to begin discussions, to be part of a workshop, or to be integrated into a course. The second version is approximately 28 minutes and can be used to more fully describe the positive impact of gender equity for both girls and boys in K-12 schools. This can be integrated into longer training sessions, used as part of cable or television programming, or help frame a series of discussions. Each video offers examples of what gender healthy education looks like. They capture the excitement and engagement of teachers and students in "ordinary" classrooms and points to the positive impact gender equity has for all students. Both videos will have a short users/discussion guide. Available this fall they can be purchased or rented directly from the Institute. Check our website for a brief clip from the video. For more information on obtaining the video check our website later this summer or contact the Institute directly.

Gender Equitable Schools Benefit Everyone
High-performing schools are equitable schools. Excellence is not been attained if there are achievement and outcome gaps by gender, race/ethnicity, class, or other factors. Recognizing and working on the issues that disadvantage boys and young men is a vital component in gender-fair education. WEEA Resource Center director Sundra Flansburg provides a perspective on how gender equity in education includes all students. Click here to read her commentary.

Gender-fair Education for Student Achievement
For over 25 years, the WEEA Equity Resource Center at EDC has supported field-based gender equity projects designed to improve educational outcomes. While many of these projects directly address key disparities for girls and women, others support the development of gender-healthy education for everyone. Click here to learn more about these projects.

Projects By Others
Guys Read Literacy Initiative
A literacy initiative from explaining that something is not working for boys, but there is little or no direct research on gender and literacy, and not much in the way of support for boys' literacy. There are literacy programs for adults, for students of English as a second language, for women, and for prison inmates. There are no literacy programs for boys. For more information, click here.

Succeeding at Fairness: Effective Teaching for All Students
Developed by Myra Sadker and David Sadker, School of Education, American University, Washington, D.C. This flexible three-day tiered teacher in-service training program increases the effectiveness and equity of classroom teaching. It does so by helping participants understand gender-related research and increase their own gender equitable classroom interactions. Contact: David Sadker, phone: 202-885-3728 For more information, click here.

The Fatherhood Project
A national research and education project developed by the Families and Work Institute that is examining the future of fatherhood and developing ways to support men's involvement in child rearing. Its books, films, consultation, seminars, and training all present practical strategies to support fathers and mothers in their parenting roles. For more information, click here.

The Mentors for Violence Prevention (MVP) Program
Founded in 1993 by Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sports in Society, MVP equips young students with leadership skills and motivates them to play a central role in solving problems that have historically been considered "women's issues": rape, battering, and sexual harassment. Teachers select the candidates for this program from three main groups: athletes, traditional leaders, and fringe leaders. For more information, click here.

Technology Updates

We've included information related to our last issue--technology--which arrived after this issue went out. We thought you'd find it useful.

Increasing Diversity in the Digital Economy
In December 2001, the Gender and Diversities Institute participated in the National Policy Association (NPA) fact-finding "Digital Divide Economic Opportunity" conference in Kansas City, Missouri. For more information about the discussions, challenges, and recommendations presented in this conference, click here here.

Girls & Ecology & Action (GEA)
This European initiative is aimed at encouraging young girls to enter the world of science, technology, and ecology. The GEA is a collaborative across four countries-Italy, Germany, Austria, and Spain-and has several components. These include a GEA Network, a database containing articles, information, and materials, and additional resources. The site is in Italian, German, and Spanish. For more information, click here.

Conferences and Events

This list is a sampling of upcoming conferences. They may be helpful in developing gender-fair education for boys. They and others covering a wide range of topics are posted on our website. If you would like to publicize your conference on our website, please send this information to us by clicking here.


This is a list of projects and publications that you may find useful in learning more about the issues presented in this edition of GDI Online News. If you would like to suggest some resources on our site, please send this information to us by clicking here.

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