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I Can Learn from You: Boys as Relational Learners
Michael C. Reichert, PhD and Richard Hawley
Harvard Education Press / Softcover / 2014-03-01 / 161250664X
Education / Men's Issues
price: $41.95 (may be subject to change)
208 pages
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In I Can Learn from You, Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley—the authors of Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys—set out to probe deeply into the relational dynamics that help boys succeed as learners.

Drawing on interviews with students and teachers in thirty-five schools across six countries, they examine the particular ways boys extend and receive empathy—modes of interaction that remain consistent across a wide range of schools, teachers, countries, and cultures.

The book shows how teachers can help boys form productive learning relationships and how schools can support the development of teachers’ relational capacities. At the heart of the book is the belief that educators must—and can—put relational teaching at the center of school life.


You cannot fool boys in school; they know whether or not you are interested in a real relationship with them. Teachers who are willing to reach out to boys, who can tolerate a little opposition, will produce excited, grateful learners. I wish every teacher in America were required to read I Can Learn from You before he or she stepped into a classroom. Our boys would be better off if they did.
— Michael Thompson, coauthor of Raising Cain

To read some pop pundits, boys’ academic underachievement is best remedied by changing classroom seating, recess, and temperature control. In this level-headed and sensible study, Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley show us the answer is far simpler and far more profound: boys’ relationships—with each other, with their teachers, with their sense of themselves—are what must be nurtured to enable boys to connect.
— Michael Kimmel, distinguished professor of sociology and gender studies, Stony Brook University, and executive director, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities

Our young men come to schools wearing an emotionally protective armor. I Can Learn From You shows educators how to deepen their connection with boys in a way that allows them to reveal the beauty beneath their armor and unlock their limitless potential.
— David Banks, president, Eagle Academy Foundation

I Can Learn From You is an essential read for everyone who cares about boys and who wants to improve their lives.
— Niobe Way, professor of applied psychology, New York University, and author of Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection.

I Can Learn From You: Boys as Relational Learners by Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley delivers an engaging, evidenced-based guide that dispels common stereotypes about boys (e.g., that they’re difficult to teach and engage), emphasizes the primacy of relationships in classroom learning, and outlines key components of teacher-student relationships that can facilitate boys’ educational success.
— Judy Y. Chu, Teachers College Record

This well-written book gives scholars and practitioners alike reason to reimagine “boys” and a set of characteristics that add specificity and actionability to the sometimes-nebulous concept of “relationships.”
— Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, Sex Roles

About the Authors

Michael Reichert is executive director of the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, a national research collaborative of independent schools in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania.

Richard Hawley is headmaster emeritus of Cleveland’s University School, where for four decades he taught, counseled, and coached middle and high school boys.

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