Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do girls and boys learn differently? Gender-based education

Boys learn best with competition and movement? I don't know, but every now and then the subject comes up again that girls and boys learn differently. CNN just ran a story on the subject of gender-based learning. Girls supposedly learn best in groups and in cooperation settings. And yes, there are critics who say gender bias is the only result of single-sex education. Watch the video.

Down here in New Orleans, we have parochial schools that offer single-sex education. St. Augustine, a well-known all black Catholic high school for boys is often used as a success story for educating black boys, but I don't know if it's successful because it's all boys or because parents who sacrifice to send their children to private school are more involved and so chances of student success improve. The same thing goes for the all-girls schools here. I went to an all-girls school in Virginia for a while. If there was an advantage to being segregated by gender, I didn't benefit from it.


msladydeborah said...

I believe that there is a difference in learning styles based on gender. When my enrollment is predominately female, our classroom takes on a different tone and style of learning. When it is precominately male there is a lot more noise, competitiveness and movement.

Girls tend to socialize and coooperate with each other with a lot more ease. Boys can work in groups but the dynamics are often not on the same level of social.

One of the most noticeable differences is in the area of fine motor skills. Girls seem to do a lot better with these types of activities than boys. At least this is what I have observed in my age group of children.

There is some validity to the theory. But, I suspect that this idea will meet with major resistance because we don't really consider what is the best way to educate our children or develop their skills. Our society likes the idea of tradition in its least effective form.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Nordette,

I support providing options which improve the academic success of students. As indicated in the video, the critical path of failure is the capability and commitment of the academic staff.

Using a single cookie-cutter approach to education is a lesson in academic failure.

One fact which should not be overlooked is that of the parent who decided to move to Woodbridge (VA) so that her son had an opportunity for academic success. How many parents are willing to make that kind of sacrifice? Also, her son took advantage of the opportunity afforded him by his mother and the school.