Two boys elected as leaders of Woodvale Secondary College!!
I have no doubt that social media will go into over drive about the gender based decision, electing two males as leaders of a co-educational school. I know that people working in the corporate world will throw in stats about the male dominated leadership appointments and how this just reinforces the male dominant corporate world. I know that some cynics will question the merit of the selection of these two male leaders. But for someone like me who works in schools on a regular basis this news is exciting and fantastic.
Firstly, a school having two young men elected on merit to lead their co-educational school isn’t shocking news as some news sources have reported it. I believe that a lot of staff in schools would be thrilled with this news. In many schools good young men have to be convinced to apply for a leadership position let alone to be head prefect. Being a male school leader in a secondary school almost goes against the norm in my experiences. So when you find a pair of males willing to step up and take on the norms of their generation then this should be celebrated, not promoted as ‘school shock’.
This is not a gender issue for me. I have two schools I work with that have two females as school leaders at co-educational schools. Anecdotally I know of several others that have female led student leadership teams. In the last 5 years this is the first time I have heard of a male led student leadership team at a co-educational secondary school. Gender isn’t important in leadership, so lets not let the media turn this into a gender leadership issue. I feel this is a positive ‘boys in education’ issue.
So why is this great news for 4 the TEAM?
* The boys were elected on merit.
For years I have discussed with senior school leaders how teachers can foster leadership qualities in boys that are still developing physically, socially, spiritually and emotionally. The research tells us that the male brain develops slower than the female brain. Therefore, in many meetings I have heard that boys don’t have the maturity of the girls so they shouldn’t be compared to girls. In some meetings I have listened to staff talk about dumbing down leadership responsibilities to cater for the less mature boys just to give them opportunities. It is fantastic to hear that these boys stepped up to the selection criteria and were elected because they were the best 2 candidates.
* Strong male role models in a school
I read lots about how society needs young male role models in our community. I read that we need this young male generation to step up and be accountable. So we get 2 boys do that, the school rewards them on their efforts, and then the media promotes it as “School Shock!!” The title should read “Perth school elects two strong young male role models for their school community”.
My last article discussed the growing trend of young males hunting in packs for the wrong reasons. We now get an opportunity to promote the positive aspect of young males and the media sells it as a gender issue!! I know as a father with a young boy in primary school I want him to look up to the older boys in his school. I want him to look to them for clarification of the values I am teaching him at home. Yes one male head prefect is good but having two is great news for me as a parent of a young boy who only has 2 male teachers in his whole primary school. I want him to have positive young role models in his community. We need more of them. Let’s celebrate this.
* Males learning to be leaders
Schools need more young males wanting to be leaders in schools. In all of the staff training sessions a discussion ensues about the low participation rates of boys in leadership positions. Discussions about strategies to try and recruit males into leadership positions take over the session. This story gives teachers some hope.
To give you a better appreciation I have only 1 school I work with that would have a 50/50 split of male to female students on the Year 12 student leadership team. This same school also has year 7-11 leaders and the ratio blows out significantly in favour of female participation outside this year group. The other 10-12 schools show similar numbers. As a comparison another year 12 leadership team has only 5 male leaders compared to 20 female leaders. As a generalisation I would say most secondary schools are working on a 1 male to 2 female split, some would be as low as 1 male to 4 female. The question should be how did Woodvale get two young men to go against the trends I am seeing in other co-educational schools?
Such is the desire in schools to get good young men to consider leadership and be motivated to become a leader, that 4 the TEAM is considering running a boys only leadership conference. This type of story about Woodvale Secondary College just adds more notion to the fact, that in the right environment young men can step up and be accountable in our community. Society is demanding that young boys grow up and become valued members of our community. Well done to these two young men for going against societies trends and well done to Woodvale for making a decision based on merit.
I suggest the article title be reviewed from this
School Picks Two Head Boys
Woodvale Secondary College says no girls were up to the job
Perth School under fire for choosing two head boys
School Selects New Head Prefects
Woodvale Secondary College says yes to two strong male role models
Perth school being asked how they did a great job with two boys willing to step up and be leaders in their community?