News

Boys are different

Boys learn and excel very different than girls.

That's essentially the consensus of a study from researchers at the University of Georgia.

That research followed 10,000 students through Kindergarten to Grade 8, and indicated boys did better on tests, while girls got better grades.

"Boys scored well on tests, indicating mastery of material, girls got better grades," stated a press release.  "Researchers account for higher scores in girls because they comported themselves better than boys while in the classroom."

The problem of boys in education is not a new one, according to the press release.

"Data has been mounting for many years that our sons are simply falling behind our daughters," said pioneering veteran in education, Edmond J. Dixon, Ph.D. "But it’s not because boys are any less intelligent than girls."

According to Dixon, girls are better at sitting still and listening, whereas boys do better with kinesthetic skills, involving more physical activity.

"There are many other studies, however, showing boys under-performing in school; now, it’s a matter of what we’re going to do about it," Dixon, who's had more than three decades experience as a teacher and parent of boys.

Dixon's three secrets, helping boys with active minds and bodies:

Movement matters: Nearly ever time, the student who disrupts class because they cannot sit still is a boy. Research reveals that young boys’ brains develop a tremendous amount of neural wiring to facilitate movement and sensitivity for how things “fit” together. When a boy is a toddler, we would never think that a sedentary child is a good indicator of health, so what makes us think that he should change while in grade school? One tip: Allow a boy to use his “movement wiring” by allowing him to use his body as he learns to represent the topic.

Games work: Their testosterone makes males are naturally competitive. If you want them to become suddenly engaged in something, make a game out of the lesson—it’s just like flipping a switch on. Just look at sports talk shows with analysis such as “Pardon the Interruption;” each expert has a clock clicking down to make his point. Little gaming tricks like this works on the male brain. Tip: create clear rules – they help boys understand victory, and they add legitimacy to the lesson. Games also serve as an excellent method for male bonding, too.

Make them laugh: Observe a group of males; whether young our old, they bust each other’s chops. Not only is it okay, they enjoy it! Everyone has a positive chemical reaction with laughter; boys, however, often use humor as a form of communication, an asset with which most girls do not have a problem. Research has demonstrated that boys’ emotions are processed initially in the more primitive parts of the brain and come more indirectly to the speech centers. That’s why making a crude joke is easier for males to communicate sensitive feelings. Tip: Before starting homework or an assignment, ask a boy to consider what might be funny, weird or strange about it; his mind will be more focused on the topic afterwards.

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