What Works? Conference Explores Educating Boys and Men

August 19, 2014

Dr. Kimmel and Dr. Herb SipeEighty-eight people representing over 20 schools and six colleges attended the What Works? Conference, held on Friday, July 25. The impetus for the conference was the recently published collection of essays, "What Works," by distinguished educators, authors, and thought leaders.  At the conference, two of these contributors spoke offering insight and practical advice to all who are raising boys, engaging guys, and educating men.

The conference featured talks by Dr. Michael Kimmel, author of Guyland, and Dr. Abigail Norfleet James, author of Teaching the Male Brain, How Boys Think, Feel, and Learn in School, along with Dr. Eugene Hickok '72, a panel of Hampden-Sydney alumni and faculty, and General Don Broome, President of Hargrave Military Academy.  

Throughout the day, the audience engaged speakers in a discussion of ideas - informed by both research and experience - and the sharing and evaluation of experiences.

In a segment entitled "Every Good Man, a Hero," moderated by H-SC President Chris Howard, representatives of the college were able to discuss the foundation and success of the Student Court System, the sophomore vocational program, The Good Men Plan, and the meaning of honor at Hampden-Sydney. John Ramsay, Director of First and Second year Programs, explained that "honor is a liberating thing here."  Panelists in also included Alex Cartwright '13 and Dr. James Frusetta, H-SC Associate Professor of History.

Dr. James and AttendeeThe subject of raising boys, engaging guys, and educating men is important, and the conference highlighted some of the more critical issues that today's young men are facing. Attendees ranged from elementary, middle, and high school teachers to coaches and educators from other colleges. One member of the audience remarked that he was "very thankful for the College hosting this kind of conference."

During his lecture, Dr. Kimmel commented that Hampden-Sydney is "not only a school of and for men... but a school about men."

Dr. Hickok, Dr. James, Gen. Broome, Dr. HowardSpeakers: (left to right) Dr. Hickok, Dr. James, Gen. Broome, Dr. Howard

Ten Takeaways from the What Works Conference