Monday, June 30, 2008

Girls Learn Differently?

Well, evidence does show a difference in the way girls learn and the way boys learn.

Many years ago, I read a very interesting article (It's been so long I can't even remember where.) revealing that studies suggested that girls learn math best when they can talk and discuss it aloud.

As an experiment, I have often allowed girls opportunities to work with a friend. I've watched the girls as they progress from problem to problem and they were off task very little. Rather, they helped keep each other focused. But the interesting thing to me was they manner in which they used reasoning skills to solve problems.

I've just read an article that is promoting "all girls' schools and classes." I'm not supporting this type of school, although I have nothing against it. But the information on how girls' brains and how boys' brains work is of interest. I'm passing along the link here.

So if you have an opportunity to try this, it's pretty simple to do. There just needs to be a couple of rules to make it work.
Talking is required, but the discussions are about the assignment, not about "what we are going to do this weekend," or "who we saw at the mall".

I've had girls in my class, ones who were quick to pickup new concepts, ask me, "Mrs. . . ., may I help her with problem 2?" I allow it and find that rarely do girls dislike working with a buddy.