At the Center for the Study of Boys, our years of research and experience point to one clear conclusion: Building strong relationships between educators and students is the foundation of any successful model for teaching boys.

As Michael Reichert, supervising psychologist at The Haverford School and executive director of The School Participatory Action Research Collaborative, describes, “Most (boys) learn not because of some keen intellectual curiosity or a desire to do what is expected of them, but because they are influenced by a teacher with whom they are connected—whose presence they have registered.”

At St. Christopher’s School, we recognize the far-reaching effects of the student-teacher relationship and have designed teaching models that not only challenge and engage, but also work to create authentic connections between each student and his teacher. Though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching boys, there are several fundamental principles teachers can use to implement best teaching practices within their classrooms.


  • Create a classroom environment that  is structured and consistent where boys feel safe to succeed and fail.
  • Be knowledgeable and passionate about your subject matter and seek to make content relevant and engaging.
  • Offer varied instructional approaches to include opportunities for movement, hands-on learning, teamwork and competition, and choice.
  • Offer varied assessment methods; multiple ways for boys to show what they know.
  • Identify and support boys’ unique approaches to learning.


  • Be authentic.
  • Respect and value each boy; know him as an individual.
  • Use humor and allow boys to do the same.
  • Create trust and let boys know you care about them and about your subject.
  • Demonstrate fairness and consistency in expectations, words, and actions. 
  • Acknowledge and value failure as a potential learning opportunity.