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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Research on Boys

Did You All See This Article?

Disney has hired researchers to learn about ages 6-14. I was struck by one observation — boys liking small improvements in skills, rather than identifying with the absolute ace champion. Contrast the open-minded thinking, the effort, the money spent on understanding boys with, for example, summer reading lists that never include "how to" books, and where sports, if present at all, will be in some biography of Roberto Clemente, or a Matt Christopher novel. 

I say it again and again, the problem with boys and reading is how little effort adults spend in understanding boys. sure Disney has a lot of money and a big financial incentive to learn about boys. But, as the article says, they are making some of their information public. Couldn’t ALA enter into some partnership with them — offering all sorts of kudus and praise to Disney — and learn how to develop better boy-reading-gaming-using the library programs?

Comments

  1. Nan Hoekstra says:

    Chilling. That focused funded reach for the souls of boys is chilling. The motives are monetary. Only.

  2. Kathy E. says:

    Thanks for your insight. As a librarian, I’m going to pay more attention to what parents say their boys are actually reading. As for me, my 11 year old likes to read (video) Game Guides. ”

  3. Kathy E. says:

    Thanks for your insight. As a librarian, I’m going to pay more attention to what parents say their boys are actually reading. As for me, my 11 year old likes to read (video) Game Guides. ”

  4. John Coy says:

    We need to do a much better job of providing books that meet the genuine interests of boys. To do this we need to ask them what they are interested in and then listen, instead of trying to steer them to what we think they should be interested in. We’ve got a long way to go on this. Thanks for raising this issue.

  5. marc says:

    John:

    Exactly. When I spoke in the schools in western NY I learned that on the first day of deer hunting season the schools don’t take attendance. So many boys are out with their dads. And yet there are few, if any, books on how to hunt aimed at high school boys. I realize that hunting raises all sorts of issues. But what a contrast — boys out in nature with dads developing skills and no way for the librarian to tap into that interest and show the boys how reading could be of use to him.

  6. Library Lil says:

    And just try to find some books on hunting and fishing that are written at the high school level. Not much out there that I’ve found. Last books I ordered turned out not to have been written in the US.Pretty pictures but species that were roaming the woods around here.

  7. DEBRA HANSON says:

    John Coy, you said it! We’ve got to go to the source – the boys themselves (as Disney is obviously trying to do with its research). I stole 10 minutes with my Guys Read club boys this morning at the end of their meeting with their male mentors just so I could touch base and ask them what they needed for reading/learning/getting better at being who they wanted to become… they are very open and honest – they want magazines/books/people/activities that will help them become respected and good at something. They also want to DO things – not just sit and read about things all them time. They want physical challenges (can we have a contest? can we challenge our mentors to a game of basketball? Can we meet the people we are redaing about in ESPN Rise magazine?) These conversations are important and providing what they ask for and need is even more so…

  8. DEBRA HANSON says:

    John Coy, you said it! We’ve got to go to the source – the boys themselves (as Disney is obviously trying to do with its research). I stole 10 minutes with my Guys Read club boys this morning at the end of their meeting with their male mentors just so I could touch base and ask them what they needed for reading/learning/getting better at being who they wanted to become… they are very open and honest – they want magazines/books/people/activities that will help them become respected and good at something. They also want to DO things – not just sit and read about things all them time. They want physical challenges (can we have a contest? can we challenge our mentors to a game of basketball? Can we meet the people we are redaing about in ESPN Rise magazine?) These conversations are important and providing what they ask for and need is even more so…