Gender differences in learning styles and interests Test scores Special Education Intervention rates
The differences in WHAT boys and girls can do is small; the difference in HOW they do it is large. ◦ In language tasks, girls tend to be analytical, while boys are more concrete. ◦ The areas of the brain involved in language and fine motor skills such as handwriting develop earlier in girls than in boys. ◦ For girls, appropriate stress tends to decrease the blood flow to the brain. (Girls operate parasympathetically=“rest and digest”) ◦ For boys, appropriate stress tends to increase the blood flow to the brain, helps him remain alert and focused. (Boys operate sypathetically=“fight or flight”)
When boys perceive themselves as learners they are more likely to: Graduate from high school Succeed in college Avoid harmful life choices There is a decrease in behavioral concerns when boys are accepted for who they are, and are taught in ways that acknowledge their needs.
The male brain works best in situations that involve competition, real possibility for failure, and problems that require choice and involvement. Literacy achievement increases when boys are encouraged to read and write about topics of interest to them. An environment that nurtures boys’ natural curiosity and activity level may decrease the number of medical and educational interventions.
Girls are more likely to take academic risks and explore activities that are typically associated with boys while learning in a gender-specific classroom. Gender-specific discussions with girls are more analytical and open-ended. Girls have a greater level of hearing acuity and tend to be distracted by the active participation that often characterizes boys’ learning.
Girls experience success when their positive thoughts and deeds are acknowledged and supported. Literacy development increases when girls’ learning is connected to the real world. Girls feel more comfortable taking academic risks when they set reasonable goals and are given opportunities to celebrate their accomplishments.
Effective and appropriate strategies for discipline may differ for boys and girls. Use of such strategies minimizes discipline concerns among boys. Girls develop higher self-image. Boys can be taught vocabulary to express their feelings about themselves as learners.
Teachers will capitalize on behavioral assets typical to boys: One task at a time Opportunities for movement Friendly competition Topics of relevance to boys Clear routines and expectations Environmental differences Goal Setting
Real life examples to capitalize on inductive reasoning skills. Personal stories woven throughout all subjects. Movement, as needed, generally with less activity and volume than is required for boys. Praise and encouragement to counteract girls’ self-critical nature. An emphasis on sharing and public speaking/discussion.
In written expression, boys benefit from the use of visual models for writing. If they draw first, and then write, their writing is richer and more detailed. Boys appreciate and connect with fiction better when it is coupled with non-fiction texts. Boys enjoy taking risks and are motivated more by competition and reward than most females.
Girls benefit from talking about characters’ feelings and emotions in a story. This is because girls typically navigate between the right and left hemispheres to process language. Girls are better able to imagine a story with a beginning, middle, and end. They do not always need pictures or models prior to writing. Girls better connect ideas when given real life examples.
No. Parkway and the State of Missouri have clear guidelines for curriculum at each grade level, which will be followed by both teachers.
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