Boys and Learning
This is an interesting theory but the article is not well fleshed out. The research shows that the final brain development is basically the same for adult men and women but the rate of development of boys and girls is never in synch. It’s not so much that boys are behind girls; in some areas boys are ahead and in others behind. It’s more that the brain development is on a different route. All roads get there eventually … they just make different stops along the way.
What is the implication of this research? Single gender based schools make a strong argument for curriculum specific to appropriate developmental milestones. This makes more sense to me now that I know this research. Boys failing at schools because the school system has swung to a curriculum more in sync with girls is also an interesting and profound conclusion.
I went online to research this further. Here are some interesting articles on this topic:
National Association for Single Sex Public Education (NASSPE): Brain Differences. Are There Actually Significant Differences Between a Boy’s Brain and a Girl’s Brain?
NASSPE Cites a NIH Study for those who love to read research: Sexual dimorphism of brain developmental trajectories during childhood and adolescence
The same research here in a reader-friendly voice from Education.com: Gender Differences in the Sequence of Brain Development
Developmental differences: One of five reasons why boys are failing
Why are boys falling behind in school? Kate Hammer takes a look at video games, the education system, the boy code, developmental differences and a lack of role models in search of answers.
- Generally speaking, girls just find it easier than their male classmates to sit still, be quiet and pay attention.
- In the earliest years of schooling, biology takes sides with the girls. The female brain is smaller, but the prefrontal cortex matures about two years earlier, giving girls the classroom advantage when it comes to self-regulation, behaviour and attention.
- Boys have more behavioural problems and learning problems than girls in the early years; they are four times more likely to suffer from autism, three times more likely to suffer learning disabilities such as dyslexia and three times more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.