For all the research that has taken place recently to try to close the gender gap it is probably safe to say that gender and achievement is a complex area and that generalisations about boys and girls conceal as much as they reveal. It is interesting to note that the gap in attainment between boys and girls is quite significant at Key Stage 3, but less marked at GCSE. In my experience there are probably THREE major areas that you can concentrate on as a teacher of history, but you will also have your own strategies that work for you.
1. Focus on teaching and learning styles
2. Focus on the individual by means of target-setting and mentoring
3. Focus on creating an environment for learning where boys and girls feel able to achieve, where it is cool to succeed.
Every time I make a list like this I am left thinking, but that applies equally to girls!
Teaching and learning
As understanding about how we learn increases, there has been much deliberation about whether boys have different preferred learning styles from girls. We know that different parts of the brain function and are used differently by boys and girls.