From the Head of the Crowther Centre – Dr Ray Swann 

The relational capabilities of boys

Over this time with the kids at home and so close, I have seen everything from the pressure of close proximity to the joy of spending time together. It seems, from the many parents I have spoken to during and after our webinars last week, that many of us are lurching from these two poles. Promisingly however, we are slowly starting to land on more stable ground.

The Headmaster has provided you with the roadmap for the gradual return of our students to face-to-face learning over the next few weeks.

With that in mind, many parents might remember seeing our research summary into the factors that shape learning. With so much now happening at home, I thought it would be worth pointing toward something which I personally have enjoyed learning about in more recent years.

Boys’ relational development

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Judy Chu (Stanford University Professor and author of When Boys Become Boys). We spoke in depth about her book and research into boys and learning. In particular, a large part of her work focusses on boys and their relational capabilities. Through Dr Chu’s research, she shows that a boy’s development actually occurs primarily through and within his relationships with others.

So, we have a great opportunity at the moment to do a bit of a ‘litmus’ test with our boys and their relationships.

Ask, does your son:

  • Have good, connected relationships generally?
  • Does he receive positive, healthy messages about who he is?
  • Does he have a mentor or someone in his life he can talk to about his passions and purpose?

It is important as a parent to know that you don’t have to be all of these things. Having them in discussion, enabling them, and helping our boys to make connections, can very much help them to build the relationships through which they will learn and experience the world.


Parent Workshop Program – Webinar edition

We will continue to offer parent webinars this term.

The Crowther Centre would love to hear your thoughts on topics that matter to you. 

The Understanding Boys Podcast

Have you listened to the Understanding Boys Podcast hosted by Dr Ray Swann? Now with 13 episodes, it’s available wherever you listen to your podcasts or on the Understanding Boys website.

In our latest episode Ray talks with Dr Judy Chu, lecturer in Human Biology at Stanford University and co-author of When Boys Become Boys, which offers a new way of thinking about a boy’s development.

Do you know someone who would be great to be interviewed on the topic of ‘What makes a good man?’ Please get in touch with us at the Crowther Centre to tell us more!