The purpose of this paper is for us, as beginning teachers, to become better informed on the major issues that are associated with literacy education. More importantly it is asked that this paper focus on a specific topic related to literacy education. For this the author has chosen the topic of boys and literacy.
The first question that this raises is why focus on boys and literacy, as opposed to the literacy of girls? The answer lies in a multitude of statistics, observations, remarks and interpretations about boys' literacy, and education in general, and its impact on both the classroom and greater school environment. The answer also needs to be considered within the greater context of boys avoiding the social costs associated with poor literacy levels in adulthood. Studies have shown that illiterate adults suffer from poorer health, lower socioeconomic standards and often miss out on areas such as consumer rights. For some of these individuals a lack of literacy skills form part of a complex of factors that lead to crime. (Hartley 1989) Further to this, reports such Aspects of Literacy 1996 and the National School English Literacy Survey 1996 highlight the most likely indicators of poor literacy and state "the worst performers are predominantly male-. (Winch, Johnston, Holliday, Ljungdahl and March, 2001 p 118) .
A recent Australian study on the specific literacy of boys is titled Boys, Literacy and Schooling: Expanding the Repertoires of Practice and was undertaken by the Curriculum Corporation, James Cook University and Griffith University (Alloway, Freebody, Gilbert and Muspratt 2002). The research study involved a comprehensive literature review to establish what we know about literacy development of boys; and help identify gaps in the research. This research involved examining and documenting strategies that have proven to be effective in improving the literacy outcomes of boys and piloting the strategies in a small number of primary schools.