How boys and girls learn differently

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  • Publicado : 19 de abril de 2010
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At a primary school Manning, a small town 65 miles east of Columbia, South Carolina, second grade teachers Holly Garneau and Anna Lynne Gamble are convinced that segregating elementary-age boys andgirls produces immediate academic improvement—in both genders. Eager to capitalize on their past progress, the two created a teaching plan for the upcoming semester. The kids will be in a coedenvironment for homeroom, lunch, and recess, then divide up for four hours each day to learn their math, science, reading and social studies. But first, Garneau and Gamble need the parents’ approval. That’swhere David Chadwell, South Carolina’s coordinator of single gender education, comes in.He doesn’t argue the politics of the issue. He emphasizes the science “These (learning) differences aretendencies, not absolutes. That is important,” he tells the group. “However, we can teach boys and girls based on what we now know because of medical technology.”

Just as he’s explained to hundreds ofparents and teachers across the state, Chadwell patiently walks the Manning crowd through how boys and girls perceive the world.

“They see differently. Literally,” he begins. Male and female eyes arenot organized in the same way, he explains. The composition of the male eye makes it attuned to motion and direction. “Boys interpret the world as objects moving through space,” he says. “The teachershould move around the room constantly and be that object.”

The male eye is also drawn to cooler colors like silver, blue, black, grey, and brown. It’s no accident boys tend to create pictures ofmoving objects like spaceships, cars, and trucks in dark colors instead of drawing the happy colorful family, like girls in their class.

The female eye, on the other hand, is drawn to textures andcolors. It’s also oriented toward warmer colors—reds, yellow, oranges—and visuals with more details, like faces. To engage girls, Chadwell says, the teacher doesn’t need to move as much, if at all....
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