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Motivation of boys in Textiles KS3

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by mkiddle, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I am undertaking some research into the lack of motivation from KS3 boys within Design Technology Textiles. I thought I would open the discussion to the forum to see if any teachers had stand out cases that support the ideas that boys struggle with motivation within textiles and on a personal level why they think this happens. Also alternative stories of interventions that have been successful in raising motivation / attainment would also be of much interest.

  2. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    You don't think it's the wrong course for them to do then?
  3. I have found that in year 7 and 8 the boys tend to be just as motivated as the girls, some of them better than the girls. The problem occurs when it comes to choosing options for GCSE. All students at my school have to do a technology subject. I was off sick during options evening and was told by set 1 students that the HOD told their parents that if they want a good GCSE they should choose Graphics (his subject).

    I would say that the problem is not the lack of motivation by boys but the negative influence of colleagues who still refer to ttextiles as needlework. I have a well resourced classroom with embroidery machines, CAD software, sewing machines and overlockers but no facilities for sublimation printing. I introduce CAD/CAM in year 7 and this year have trialled using Word as a design tool with a year 8 group. My low ability year 9 group have produce some wonderful design ideas for cushions using Word.

    I think as textile teachers we have to be more innovative and move away from making garments if we want to appeal to boys. I think we need to blow our own trumpet and sell our subject, we are professionals not there for doing repairs and running up costumes. I didn't enter the profession to do repairs or alterations.
  4. I teach Year 7 & 8 Textiles. In Year 7 we do a set project (zipped pencil cases with applied design which can be applique, fabric pens, buttons, ribbon etc.) I have a fantastic response from both boys and girls in Year 7. It is in Year 8 that it all turns to mustard. Students are asked to design their own bags. The girls usually get into it but the boys don't.
    I wonder if at this age we should still have set projects so that students feel safer in achieving at a good standard. Any ideas/thought on this?
  5. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    This has been done before a number of times,

    May i suggest a search of previous posts??
  6. Thanks for the reply. I agree that Y7 boys and girls are brimming with enthusiasm and often achieve well. The problems I have encountered are as the projects become more advanced, ie Y8 and Y9 the boys I teach are mostly unmotivated by SOW and their practical skills are less advanced than their fellow classmates who are girls.

    I agree that some teachers still view textiles as a subject just for women and this could influence a child's motivation. I also think that the students parents have a large input. 75% of boys in my KS3 textile classes are from ethnic minority backgrounds where textiles is often seen as a job for the female members of the family.
  7. Definitely not! We need to find the Alexandra McQueens of the future but it appears that its the projects that we are running seem to be turning them off... We need to think of ways to re engage them in the age of technology!
  8. I'd agree with this, across all D&T disciplines - at year 8/9, too many options is a scary prospect, and students don't seem to know how to settle on an idea and work on it. I'm currently running an open project with year 8s and 9s designing a phone holder, and have found it helps to start by letting them think as far as they can, and then starting to make subtle "suggestions" to those that haven't really made a start after the first couple of design lessons
  9. I think it is wrong to assume boys lack motivation in Textiles. This is an assumption that is generated from very traditional teaching and teachers. I teach Textiles technology along with other material areas and the boys are as motivated as the girls, for years 7,8 and 9. We have boys attending Textile clubs, taking part in the fashion shows and also choosing it for a GCSE option. I feel it is more to do with the SOW followed and the projects generated. I hear terrible stories of pupils not taking part in textile lessons due to lack of motivation, what is worse is that this is accepted because the pupils are boys! We need to ensure we do make SOW exciting, projects relevant to the world the pupils live in, relevant to modern lifestyles etc, otherwise we are in danger of being pushed out of Design Technology and we Textile specialists will only have ourselves to blame.
  10. The post below is correct we have discussed this before and looking back at those posts might help. In the meantime - I did some research a few years ago on the way in which boys and girls learn particulary in Textiles and re wrote my KS3 projects accordingly - as a result ended up with 4 boys opting for GCSE Textiles in a group of 19!
    My advice would be:
    Delivery that involves a range teaching and learning strategies that all kind of learners can access (this is as important as the projects themselves)
    for example: Set your lessons (even full practicals) so that they involve Short Practical Tasks along the way to completing the project - boys engage better this way - breaking up the project
    Projects that are not gender specific and examples of work to enthuse the group from both boys and girls
    Fabrics that can inspire boys too - I run out of bright orange and red before the pink nowdays!
    Extension work along the way for quick finishers (either because the work is superficial or they are just really good!)

    These are just some fo the strategies I have used - I do think the first point is important though, it should be about skills for life - how to organise, cooperate, evaluate etc aswell as practical skills in textiles.
    Have fun

  11. I agree that it is wrong to assume boys lack in motivation, and that yes the scheme of work does need to change. I am a student teacher who has worked in the fashion industry for a number of years. I find the scheme of work and curriculum especially in GCSE textile reflecting that of 1950's make do and mend.

    I do not think we should make the projects easier, maybe that would suit us because we wouldn't have to run around as much but I do not think this will help at all. Textiles should be enthralling to all students who have an interest in culture, creativity, art and technology.

    I am currently carrying out a research project similar to the one initially stated, my findings show that the lack of male enrolment in textile education is influenced by gender stereotyping.

    I was not shocked in regards to these findings, I am however shocked that this issue is being swept under the carpet. Homophobia in secondary schools is a huge issue and influence on the learners options.
  12. I found that working in groups reflecting a factory meant boys and girls worked together, each supporting their strengths. The aim would be to produce identical items that the team had designed and produced a specification for.
    I found this to be one of my most successful lessons and can be tailored to suit any ability.
  13. I found that working in groups reflecting a factory meant boys and girls worked together, each supporting their strengths. The aim would be to produce identical items that the team had designed and produced a specification for.
  14. A reply to:
    I think the low motivation of boys has a lot to do with the projects we run. I have done an open fashion project in year 9 with a fashion shoot at the end. No guesses who wanted to do this. The girls of cause! The problem is that we do not have the facilities to cater for the interests of boys and girls. Boys like technical application, girls like designing. So I suggest a little less money spend on the extremely costly resistant material machines and more spend on industrial equipment in Textiles. I also agree that a sublimation printer solves so many problems in terms of printing, yet they are in few Textiles classrooms. Link Textiles with advertising, aspects of Graphics and industrial application and they will want to do it.

    'Boys like technical application, girls like designing'. It seems to me that this could be where your problem lies! In my experience both girls and boys are capable with, and undoubtedly equally enthusiastic about, designing and practical applications. I respectfully suggest that a little less sniping about the resources awarded to other specialisms, and more thought given to some 'boy focused' textiles projects, would result in greater commitment and involvement from the boys in your classes. I would also stay clear of assessing written communication skills! (sorry, a little too cutting perhaps?)
  15. I would welcome any advice on types of projects or links to resources that will motivate boys, I have been asked to introduce textiles and want to make sure both boys and girls are opting for the subject.

    So far I have looked at mobile phone case, which is on tes, pencil case, would have loved to have been able to do something with led lights...too expensive.

    I ave taken on board the sublimination printing mentioned earlier and will look into cost of setting up and maintaining.
  16. What do you suggest Scissorsister? Please share your successful project ideas if thats ok :) Thanks

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