10 Takeaways from the What Works Conference

What Works: Educating Boys and Young Men at Hampden-Sydney College

1. Positive Impact

Create learning environments full of positive role models and a safe space for self-expression.

2. Promote Intellectual Honesty

Teach students confidence in their own ideas. Promote honesty as necessary to integrity.

3. Implant a Sense of Agency

Give students' responsibilities and hold them accountable for their own values and actions

4. Impact of Standards

Build a community of citizen leaders who all abide by a set code of conduct.

5. Concept of Honor

Express clearly "right" and "wrong" and expect students to uphold the right as a collective body. Honor is key to being part of the community.

6. Making Gender Visible Helps Engage Young Men

Have an open dialogue about the difficulties boys/men face.  Encourage tackling the issues head-on.

7. Focusing the "System" on Who It Exists to Serve

Focus on the needs of students rather than the politics of the educational system.

8. Support Boys in their Challenges

Help boys realize the challenges they face and assess/assert ways of handling each.

9. Develop Character and Promote the Acceptance of Risk

Give students the tools to meet society as successful individuals with moral courage.

10. Teach the Value of Trying and Failing

Mentorship is crucial in helping students develop. It also teaches the importance of trying and failing as a way to learn and move forward.