Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Minds of Boys

Saw part of this report on CBS on the book "The Minds of Boys" and it backs up one of my personal theories: that the way school is conducted these days is detrimental to boys' ability to succeed.

Key points:
  1. boys are biologically, developmentally and psychologically different from girls
  2. boys do not have as many active verbal centers as girls, meaning reading, writing and speaking centers
  3. since our classrooms are so verbal, we are seeing boys fall behind girls
  4. boys also need to touch and move things around and they need to move their bodies around; when they do, they learn better

I've always maintained that to expect most boys to sit still for hours doing things like listening and reading and taking tests is absurd. Most girls can do it, but most boys cannot.

Think about it from an evolutionary standpoint: boys' brains probably developed to hunt, which means lots of physical activity, punctuated by periods of intense action. Girls were gatherers, a much more focused and less physical activity.

Hopefully, educators will start to realize this and take it seriously. But education is so hamstrung these days by politicans -- and don't even get me started on standardized testing which is political not educational -- that I don't know how much can be done.


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