Today’s school systems are in peril – more and more boys are dropping out of school, and academic performance is diminished across the board. The attempt to homogenize education and make one single education system work for both boys and girls is folly; all it does is leaves both sexes in poor shape for the challenges and demands of the outside world after their education career is over.
I have worked as an educator for the past 18 years, working with thousands of boys and girls of all ages. Through my experience, they are being treated too similarly in schools in their education experience, leaving them woefully unequipped for the real world. Boys require a different teaching strategy than girls and a different support system in order to make them successful members of society; as it stands now, their needs are not being met, and that leaves gaps in their professional development. With the help of the Gurian Institute, I believe I can help provide those varying strategies for both boys and girls that can improve their respective educations and leave them more well-rounded, educated individuals.
Despite the fact that most schools divide students by age group, they really should be dividing them by gender, due to the major differences in learning there are – disparities in attention span and subject matter must be accounted for, or else you are not capturing those younger boys who simply cannot seem to sit still. Despite many attempts to see if gender roles play a part in this phenomenon, this hypothesis has not found a great deal of support (Sax, 2011).
There are even scientific studies that help to differentiate the different types of learning that boys and girls excel at. Boys, for the most part, tend to be spatial learners, and can put two and two together to reach a conclusion in the form of a statement. They also have a shorter attention span, and have a greater aptitude for mathematics. Girls, on the other hand, have a good linguistic learning base, due to their greater listening capabilities, and they can justify their conclusions better. Socializing is more productive with them, and they are able to sit still for much longer, carrying a longer attention span (Blundin, 2011).
There are a number of fundamental forces that shape our learning abilities, including our temperament, intelligence, and natural abilities, all of which have their differing qualities between gender. Even the anatomical differences between boy and girl can contribute to varying types of learning, including their eyes and ears – their visual and hearing centers are accessed in separately unique ways (GreatSchools, 2011). Therefore, their learning experiences need to be tailored for that physical difference.
In conclusion, it is my most sincere belief that boys and girls do learn differently. Both their physical and emotional centers require unique care and attention, and that cannot happen if they are given the same sort of curriculum or learning strategies. What will work for one will not work for the other, and therefore both lose out in the end. Given the opportunity to work with the Gurian Institute, I feel I can cultivate strong relationships with these students and allow them to reach their full potential.
Are Boys and Girls Wired to Learn Differently? – Social Skills | GreatSchools. (n.d.). GreatSchools. Retrieved June 17, 2011, from http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/social-skills/1121-gender-differences-learning.gs
Blundin, P. (n.d.). Education Gender Issues: Do Boys and Girls Really Learn Differently?. Eduguide. Retrieved June 17, 2011, from www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/33
Gurian, M., Henley, P., & Trueman, T. (2001). Boys and girls learn differently: a guide for teachers and parents. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kaufmann, C. (n.d.). How Boys and Girls Learn Differently | Reader’s Digest Version. Health Tips, Food and Recipes, Funny Jokes and Cartoons, and Sweepstakes | Readerâ€™s Digest Version. Retrieved June 17, 2011, from http://www.rd.com/family/how-boys-and-girls-learn-differently/
Sax, L. (n.d.). Learning Style Differences. NASSPE. Retrieved June 17, 2011, from www.singlesexschools.org/research-learning.htm