By Francis Wardle
In the nine chapters of Oh Boy!, Wardle addresses the why and how and what can be done issues of the specific needs of young boys in early childhood classroom environments.
From Chapter 1, which addresses the challenges young boys face in early childhood classrooms through Chapter 9, which calls for more male role models for boys, Wardle discusses how the needs of boys differ from those of girls, why boys are punished and expelled more frequently than girls, why more boys are sent to special education, what level of activities boys need, what teachers need to know about boys and about curricular approaches that both appeal to young boys and help them learn. Suggestions are made for changing classroom environment and for allowing more outdoor play.
Chapter 6 (Curricular Approaches) is especially impressive and helpful. Wardle writes in the chapter review that the “approach that is proposed in this chapter is grounded in a philosophy that focuses on physical activity, outdoor play, whole-child development and learning, the use of the arts to learn, and lots of exploration.” (p. 158-159)
Wardle does not skimp when it comes to explaining theories behind his suggestions, and the back sections of the book include multiple references for each chapter, as well as a strong Bibliography.
Reviewed By: Joyce Johanson