I Can Learn from You

I Can Learn from You Boys as Relational Learners

Michael Reichert and Richard Hawley
paper, 208 Pages
Pub. Date: March 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-664-7
Price: $30.00

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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.


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 boysand a set of characteristics that add specificity and actionability to the sometimes-nebulous concept of relationships.  — Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, Sex Roles

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About the Authors

Michael C. Reichert, PhD, is executive director of the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives, a national research collaborative composed of independent schools in partnership with the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania. The Center helps schools investigate the actual experience of their students using a participatory action research model and develop interventions based upon their findings. A psychologist who has worked in clinical, research, and community health contexts for over thirty years, Reichert maintains an independent practice where he specializes in work with boys, men, and their families. As supervising psychologist at Pennsylvania’s Haverford School since 1989, he has provided direct service to students and their families, acted as a consultant to teachers and administrators, and offered special programs. He has also served as director of an urban youth development program and conducted research on behalf of for-profit and nonprofit organizations, especially to inform programs with perspectives more grounded in the actual experience of participants. Reichert has written numerous publications based upon this work, including (with Richard Hawley) Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys: Lessons About What Works—and Why (Wiley/Jossey Bass, 2010).

Richard Hawley, PhD, is headmaster emeritus of Cleveland’s University School, where for four decades he taught, counseled, and coached middle school and high school boys. In 1994 he was named founding president of the International Boys’ Schools Coalition. His published work includes several novels, including The Headmaster’s Papers (Garrett County Press), which won a number of literary prizes. He has also published several collections of poetry, an opera libretto, and a series of nonfiction books about children and schools. His stories, essays, and poems have appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times, American Film, America, Commonweal, the Christian Science Monitor, Orion, and the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as in scholarly and literary journals. He lives in Vermont with his wife, painter Mary Hawley.

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