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21st Century Children: raising boys and girls in the modern world
Andalus Building, 211 New City Road, Glasgow, G4 9PA - Details
10:00 - 16:00
29th Jan 2011
Event Ended

This course – aimed at teachers, parents and anyone interested in the welfare of young people – is based on the 12 years’ research behind Toxic Childhood, 21st Century Boys, and 21st Century Girls. It considers the way modern lifestyles impact differently on boys and girls, driving a gender gap which is damaging to the children themse...lves and society as a whole.

This gender gap is not just educational (with girls out-performing boys in almost every area of the curriculum) but social. Commercial forces unite with peer pressure to push girls towards an objectified sexuality at an increasingly early age, and boys towards computer games and internet porn. With virtual communication substituting for real life interaction even among pre-teen children, young people are less well-equipped to communicate face to face, making relationships between teenage boys and girls increasingly fragile.

The course offers concerned adults suggestions for tackling the social, cultural and educational factors underlying these developments, to help all children grow up bright, balanced and confident to reach their full potential and forge lasting relationships.

Interested let us know to book your place, limited number of spaces.


Sue Palmer

Sue Palmer, a former headteacher in Scotland, has written more than 250 books, educational TV programmes and software packages on aspects of literacy. For more than fifteen years she has been a popular speaker on this subject in schools, colleges and universities in the UK and across the world, and a frequent contributor to the educational press, notably the Times Educational Supplement and Child Education.

Her first book for wider audience, Toxic Childhood (Orion 2006) about the effects of contemporary childhood on child development and learning, was in the Amazon best-seller charts for two years. It was followed by Detoxing Childhood (2007) and 21st Century Boys (2009). The books have led to involvement in many campaigns related to modern childhood, and invitations to speak to a wide range of audiences, including health, social work and criminal justice professionals, playworkers, planners, advertisers and parents. They have also led to many articles and interviews in the national press, as well as frequent TV and radio appearances.

Sue has acted over the years as an independent consultant to many organisations, including the Department for Education and Skills, the Basic Skills Agency, the National Literacy Trust and the BBC. In recent years she’s been an independent consultant on childhood issues to the Conservative Party in England, the Labour Party in Scotland and the National Childcare Committee in Ireland. She’s twice been listed by the Evening Standard amongst the 1000 most influential people in London (which gives her great pleasure, since she lives in Edinburgh) and described in The Scotsman as one of Scotland’s ‘new radical thinkers’.

She has earned a living as an entirely freelance writer, consultant and speaker for twenty-five years. She designed and wrote several literacy training packages for the Department for Education and Skills in England, including co-authorship of the National Literacy Strategy Grammar for Writing training on which UK primary teachers were retrained in the teaching of English grammar. Recent educational publications include Literacy What Works (co-written with Pie Corbett for Nelson Thornes), How to teach cross-curricular writing and Speaking Frames (Routledge) the hugely popular Skeleton poster books, OHTs and CDRoms (TTS) which are one of the best-selling UK educational resources, used in over 10,000 schools, and Foundations of Literacy (written with Early Years specialist Ros Bayley for Network Continuum).


21st Century Boys: How Modern Life Can Drive Them off the Rails and How to Get Them Back on Track
by Sue Palmer

What's happening to boys? At home, they sprawl before a flickering screen, lost in a solitary, sedentary fantasy world; at school, the choice of role seems limited to nerd or thug, bullied or bullying. By the time they reach their teens, the chances of depression, self-harm, drug or alcohol abuse grow each year. Raising boys has never been more diffcult. For the sake of their sons, parents need to know the facts about how boys develop and how best to protect them from the damaging effects of modern life. Sue Palmer assesses the issues currently confronting boys from birth to when they leave school, and explains how we can all help to ensure they emerge as healthy, normal adults. Based on the latest research from around the world, 21st CENTURY BOYS provides parents, teachers and others with a clear pathway to bringing up boys.

'Behind the screaming headlines, she talks a lot of sense.' (THE BOOKSELLER )

'In a hugely informative and interesting book packed with readable research, Palmer suggests how we can raise balanced, bright boys. Each chapter ends with practical suggestions for how this might be achieved' (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY )

'A very well researched book with plenty of pretty inarguable evidence... The ever-practical Ms Palmer provides pages of "what we can do" suggestions at the end of each chapter, including specific ideas for teachers' (SEC ED (The Voice for Secondary Education) )

'Palmer (who has) more than 30 years' teaching experience under her belt, is a woman on a mission.' (SCOTSMAN )

'Based on the latest research from around the world, 21st Century Boys provides parents and teachers with a clear pathway to bringing up boys.' (GREEN PARENT )

'invaluable advice on opening up conversations about school or anything else, and helping children talk through problems' (SAINSBURY MAGAZINE )

'Practical advice for parents is evident in each chapter and offered in a very non-patronizing "common sense" style.' (EYE (EARLY YEARS EDUCATOR) )

'One of the pleasures of reviewing books for The Teacher is to find a book that makes you think about the way you approach teaching - 21st Century Boys is such a book' (THE TEACHER )

'I suggest you go out and buy 21st Century Boys and read it for yourself, and I wager that you'll not have bought a more important or treasured book in a long time' (JUNO )

Toxic Childhood: How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It
by Sue Palmer

Children throughout the developed world are suffering: instances of obesity, dyslexia, ADHD, bad behaviour and so on are all on the rise. And it's not simply that our willingness to diagnose has increased; there are very real and growing problems. Sue Palmer, a former head teacher and literacy expert, has researched a whole range of problem areas, from poor diet, lack of exercise and sleep deprivation to a range of modern difficulties that are having a major effect: television, computer games, mobile phones. This combination of factors, added to the increasingly busy and stressed life of parents, means that we are developing a toxic new generation. TOXIC CHILDHOOD illustrates the latest research from around the world and provides answers for worried parents as to how they can protect their families from the problems of the modern world and help ensure that their children emerge as healthy, intelligent and pleasant adults.

'Every parent should read this book, as it does contain a wealth of information you should know' (Evening Herald)

'Horribly convincing' (INDEPENDENT )

"The title has become shorthand for everything that's wrong with children's lives from excessive testing at school to violent computer games, sex, drugs and alcohol." (EVENING STANDARD )


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