Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


This project examined the unique needs of boys in education. Biologically and physically, male students’ developmental needs differ from their female counterparts. As a result, their educational needs are typically underserved and misunderstood in the standard co-educational classroom. This misunderstanding has led to a gap in educational achievement with girls outperforming boys throughout their school careers, from kindergarten through college. The purpose of this study is to establish the validity of boys’ differential needs. Five elementary school teachers, awarded their teaching credential within the past six years and within their first six years of teaching, were recruited to participate in an interview examining their knowledge of the specific needs of boys in education and their experiences regarding such. Questions were semi-structured in nature. Consistent with the literature review, results indicated abundant experience with sex-related differences in behavior but generally without the knowledge of why and without informed strategies to address them. Major findings included consistent conveyance of boys’ behavior as immature, encompassing references to self-control, distractibility, talkativeness, and impulsivity. Additionally, teachers unanimously reported feeling unprepared by their teaching programs for the different challenges they face in the classroom surrounding the topic of boy related needs. Based on these findings, a review of teacher credential programs is recommended in order to incorporate training that better equips future educators to deal with relevant issues of classroom management as well as developmentally appropriate milestones in students’ lives, biologically, cognitively and physically.

Included in

Education Commons