(i) The best reading

Note: The following works are some of the key texts on boys and schooling. However, many of the pieces under “Further reading” below also are important.


Bristol, T. J. (2015). Teaching boys: towards a theory of gender-relevant pedagogy. Gender and Education, 27(1), 53-68.

Connell, R.W. (1994). Knowing About Masculinity, Teaching Boys and Men. In Lemaire, Joan. (ed.). (1994). Girls, Boys and Equity: A Practical Resource for Use in Schools. Sydney: NSW Teachers’ Federation Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Connell, R.W. (1996). Teaching the Boys: New Research on Masculinity, and Gender Strategies for Schools. Teachers College Record, 98(2).

Douglas, Peter, and Bob Lingard. (1999). Men Engaging Feminisms: Profeminism, Backlashes and Schooling. Buckingham & Philadelphia: Open University Press
1. Men Engaging Feminisms in Education.
2. Contemporary Masculinity Politics.
3. The Structural Backlash and Emergent Emotional Economy in Education.
4. Deconstructing the ‘What About the Boys?’ Backlash.
5. Programmes for Boys in Schools.
6. Towards a Pro-Feminist Politics of Alliance.

Epstein, Debbie. (ed.). (2001). Men and Masculinities. Special Issue: Disciplining and Punishing Masculinities. 4(2), October.
Epstein, Debbie. Disciplining and Punishing Masculinities: An Introduction.
Fitzclarence, Lindsay and Christopher Hickey. Real Footballers Don’t Eat Quiche: Old Narratives in New Times.
Morrell, Robert. Corporal Punishment and Masculinity in South African Schools.
Epstein, Debbie, Mary Kehily, Maitin Mac an Ghaill and Peter Redman. Boys and Girls Come Out to Play: Making Masculinities and Femininities in School Playgrounds.
Kehily, Mary. Bodies in School: Young Men, Embodiment, and Heterosexual Masculinities.
Redman, Peter. The Discipline of Love: Negotiation and Regulation in Boys’ Performance of a Romance-Based Heterosexual Masculinity.

Epstein, Debbie et. al. (eds). (1999). Failing Boys. Open University Press.

Fletcher, Richard. (1997). Improving Boys’ Education: A Manual for Schools. Men and Boys Project and Men’s Health Program, Family Action Centre, Discipline of Paediatrics, University of Newcastle.

Frank, Blye, and Kevin G. Davison. (eds). (2000). Journal of Men’s Studies, Special Issue: Boys, Men, Masculinity, and Education, 8(2), Winter.
Guest Editorial / Blye Frank and Kevin G. Davison.
Toxic shock: Understanding Violence Against Young Males in the Workplace / Jane Kenway, Lindsay Fitzclarence, and Lindsay Hasluck.
Boys on the road: Masculinities, Car Culture, and Road Safety / Linley Walker, Dianne Butland, and Robert Connell.
Where’s the Identity in Identification? Masculinity, School, and Self in Sweden and the Netherlands / Alan Segal.
Rethinking (Male) Gendered Sexualities in Education: What About the British Heteros? / Mairtin Mac an Ghaill.
Policing Masculinities: Investigating the Role of Homophobia and Heteronormativity in the Lives of Adolescent School Boys / Wayne Martino (pp. 213-236).
Habitus Issues: Teachers’ Understandings of Homosexuality and Body Image / Carmel DesMarchelier.
Boys’ Bodies in School: Physical Education / Kevin G. Davison.

Frosh, Stephen, Ann Phoenix, and Rob Pattman. (2002). Young Masculinities: Understanding Boys in Contemporary Society. Hampshire & New York: Palgrave.

Gilbert, Rob, and Pam Gilbert. (1998). Masculinity Goes to School. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin

Haywood, C., & Mac an Ghaill, M. (2012). ‘What’s Next for Masculinity?’ Reflexive Directions for Theory and Research on Masculinity and Education. Gender and Education, 24(6), 577-592.

House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Training. (2002). Boys: Getting It Right — Report on the inquiry into the education of boys. Canberra: Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Keddie, Amanda, and Martin Mills. (2007) Teaching Boys: Developing classroom practices that work. Allen and Unwin.
1. Gender justice and teaching boys.
2. Boys and productive pedagogies.
3. Jennifer: A fresh look at taken-for-granted ways of being.
4. Ross: Afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.
5. Rachel: Challenging power-driven’ notions of being male.
6. Monica: Schooling children for life beyond school.
7. Practices of persistence and hope.

Lesko, Nancy. (ed.). (2000). Masculinities at School. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Lingard, B., W. Martino, and M. Mills. (2009). Educating Boys: beyond structural reform. London: Palgrave.

Lingard, Bob, and Martin Mills. (eds.). (1998). Change: Transformations in Education, Special Issue: Boys’ Education, 1(2), November. Includes;
Introductory Essay: Issues in Boys’ Education / Bob Lingard and Martin Mills.
The Displacement of Girls as the ‘Educationally Disadvantaged’ Subject: A Genealogical tale / Debra Hayes.
Contextualising and Utilising the ‘What About the Boys?’ Discourse in Education / Bob Lingard.
Masculinity Crises and the Education of Boys / Rob Gilbert and Pam Gilbert.
New Times, Old Panics: The Underachievement of Boys / Pat Mahony and Sue Smedley.
Boys and ‘Second Chance’ Education: Same Jeans Different Consequences / Mark McFadden.
The Human Relationships Education Curriculum and Gender and Violence Programs / Martin Mills.

Mac an Ghaill, Mairtin. (1994). The Making of Men: Masculinities, Sexualities and Schooling. Buckingham & Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Martino, Wayne, and Bob Meyenn. (eds). (2001). What About the Boys? Issues of Masculinity in Schools. Buckingham & Philadelphia: Open University Press
‘What About the Boys?’ An Overview of the Debates / Victoria Foster, Michael Kimmel and Christine Skelton.
The Significance of Teaching English Boys: Exploring Social Change, Modern Schooling and the Making of Masculinities / Chris Haywood and Mairtain Mac an Ghaill.
Rethinking Masculinities: New Ideas for Schooling Boys / Michael C. Reichert.
Pushing It to the Max: Interrogating the Risky Business of Being a Boy / Martin Mills.
Challenging Boys: Addressing Issues of Masculinity Within a Gender Equity Framework / Lori Beckett.
‘Powerful People Aren’t Usually Real Kind, Friendly, Open People!’ Boys Interrogating Masculinities at School / Wayne Martino.
Boyz Own Stories: Masculinities and Sexualities at School / Debbie Epstein.
‘Learning to Laugh’: A Study of Schoolboy Humour in the English Secondary School / Anoop Nayak and Mary Jane Kehily.
‘Sad, Bad or Sexy Boys’: Girls’ Talk In and Out of the Classroom / Valerie Hey et. al.
Transgressing the Masculine: African American Boys and the Failure of Schools / James Earl Davis.
‘Someone Has To Go Through’: Indigenous Boys, Staying on at School and Negotiating Masculinities / Lee Simpson, Mark McFadden and Geoff Munns.
Naughty Boys at School: Perspectives on Boys and Discipline / Bob Meyenn and Judith Parker.
Boys Will Be Boys (If They Pay Attention in Science Class) / Will Letts.
Maths Talk is Boys’ Talk: Constructing Masculinity in School Mathematics / Anne Chapman.
Boys, Books and Breaking Boundaries: Developing Literacy In and Out of School / Christine Hall and Martin Coles.
‘I Like Smashing People, and I Like Getting Smashed Myself’: Addressing Issues of Masculinity in Physical Education and Sport / Michael Gard.

Martino, Wayne, and Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli. (2003). So What’s a Boy? Addressing Issues of Masculinity and Schooling. Open University Press.
Part 1: Normalisation and schooling
1: ‘So what’s a boy?’ Normalising practices and borderland existences
2: ‘You have to be strong, big and muscular’: boys, bodies and masculinities
3: ‘That’s what normal boys do’: bullying and harassment in the lives of boys at school
4: ‘Getting into the cool group is like passing an exam’: boys talk about friendships at school
Part 2: Diverse masculinities
5: ‘It was never openly talked about’: the experiences of sexually diverse students at school
6: ‘If you’re a wog you’re cool, but if you’re Asian you get picked on’: multiple masculinities and cultural diversity
7: ‘One of the main problems at school would be racism’: Indigenous boys, masculinities and schooling
8: ‘You’re not a real boy if you’re disabled’: boys negotiating physical disability and masculinity in schools
Part 3: Sites of intervention
9: ‘There’s no opportunity for guys to get down and think about what they’re doing and why they are doing it’: boys interrogating ‘masculinity’ in schools
10: ‘It’s the politics of my school that upsets me’: the rhetoric and realities of school policies, structures and pedagogies
11: ‘It’s not the way guys think’: interrogating masculinities in English and Physical Education
12: ‘So what’s a healthy boy?’ Health education as a site of risk, conformity and resistance

Martin, Andrew J. (2002). Improving the Educational Outcomes of Boys: Interim Report, June 2002. Canberra: ACT Department of Education, Youth and Family Services.

Martin, Andrew J. (2002). Improving the Educational Outcomes of Boys. Canberra: ACT Department of Education, Youth and Family Services, December.

McCready, L. T. (2010). Making Space for Diverse Masculinities: Difference, intersectionality, and engagement in an urban high school. New York: Peter Lang.

Mills, Martin. (2001). Challenging Violence in Schools: An Issue of Masculinities. Buckingham & Philadelphia: Open University Press.
Introduction: Challenging violence in schools as an issue of masculinity.
1. Violence and the signifiers of masculinity.
2. The violencing of masculinity and the masculinization of violence.
3. Boyswork programs and the curriculum.
4. Implementing change: A question of pedagogy?.
5. Conclusion: Principles for action.

Pearce, Sharyn, and Vivienne Muller. (2002). Manning the Next Millennium: Studies in Masculinities. Black Swan Press. Includes;
Natasha Cortis and Eileen Newmarch – Boys in Schools: What’s Happening?.
Martin Mills – Boys, Schooling and Backlash Politics.
Helen Hatchell – Masculinities And Adolescent Males At School: Disrupting Or Recreating Homophobic Discourses.

Plummer, David. (1999). One of the Boys: Masculinity, Homophobia, and Modern Manhood. New York: Harrington Park Press.

Skelton, Christine. (2001). Schooling the Boys: Masculinities and Primary Education. Buckingham & Philadelphia: Open University Press
1. A History of Boys’ Schooling.
2. Theorizing Masculinities.
3. Boys and Primary Schooling: A Feminist Perspective.
4. Primary Schools and Local Communities.
5. Being a (School) Boy.
6. Male Teachers and Primary Schools.
7. Heterosexuality in the Primary Classroom.
8. Conclusion: Gender in the Primary Classroom.

Swain, Jon. (2005). Masculinities in Education. In The Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities. Eds Michael Kimmel, Jeff Hearn, and R.W. Connell. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Whitehead, Stephen (ed.). (2006). Men and Masculinities: Critical Concepts in Sociology. 5 Volumes.
Volume 2.
27. M. Mac an Ghaill. (1994). ‘Local student cultures of masculinity and sexuality’, The Making of Men.
28. J. Kenway. (1995). ‘Masculinities in schools: under siege, on the defensive and under reconstruction?’ Discourse.
29. J. N. Price. (1999). ‘Schooling and Racialized Masculinities’, Youth and Society.
30. D. Epstein. (1998). ‘Real boys don’t work: ‘underachievement’, masculinity and the harassment of ‘sissies’, Failing Boys?