From inside the shed
Schools know that boys cause many of the behavioural management problems, and that behavioural problems affect literacy and numeracy levels. In this article the author describes one program at his school which a group of Year 5 and 6 boys are engaged in a weekly project administered by a volunteer retiree, who was recommended through a local council program known as the men's shed. The volunteer's abiding interest was in making model boats. Each week, the boys would meet, and learn what was involved in creating the model boats, commencing with plans, and using everyday materials. The success of the program has resulted in most boys making significant changes: more confidence, more friends, improved marks, and social enhancement. It is hard to pinpoint what it is that has made the program such a success. Most probably, it is a combination of reasons: the hands-on nature of the learning; the expertise gained; and the kindness shown to them by Graham, the volunteer. [Author abstract, ed]
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