Alternate teaching tackles boys' blues

13th February 2004 at 00:00
Cape Talk Radio recently mentioned the findings of a piece of UK research.

It seems that if pupils are positioned boy- girl then the boys achieve superior academic results than if they are allowed to sit together.

I took early retirement from teaching in the UK in 1994. I was a PEteacher throughout my career but for the last five years I taught French. At the end of those five years half of my timetable was French, having started with just one class in Year 7.

From the outset I organised my class on the above lines. In addition, for one-and-a-half years pupils in my personal tutor group had to sit with a member of the opposite sex. At the end of each French unit the pupils had a test. Over those five years my groups always scored higher than other parallel groups.

Obviously I was keen for my groups to do well. I always gave lots of homework and marked their books before the next lesson, and was a firm disciplinarian. But I always maintained that the superior results were in the main a result of the seating plan. The boys were unable to mess about and waste their and the girls' time.

Rob Pearce PO Box 599 Noordhoek Cape Town, South Africa

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