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Learning Differences of Boys and Girls . Boys and Girls Learn Differently!. A Guide for Teachers and Parents By Michael Gurian and Patricia Henley With Terry Trueman Published by Jossey-Bass A Wiley Company San Francisco, CA 2001. The male and female brain.

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boys and girls learn differently
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!
  • A Guide for Teachers and Parents
    • By Michael Gurian and Patricia Henley
      • With Terry Trueman
  • Published by Jossey-Bass
    • A Wiley Company
      • San Francisco, CA 2001
female brain development and structure
Female Brain Development and Structure
  • Female brain begins to mature earlier than the male brain
    • Absorb more sensory data
  • More self-monitoring concerning high risk activities
  • More development of the left hemisphere of the brain
    • Increased verbal advantage
male brain development and structure
Male Brain Development and Structure
  • There is greater development of the right hemisphere
    • Increasing their spatial abilities and allowing them to excel in mechanical design, math, and geography
  • Males are more prone to show aggression
    • Partly due to difficulty verbalizing
chemical and hormonal differences
Chemical and Hormonal Differences
  • Serotonin levels are higher in girls than boys
    • Contributes to impulsivity and restlessness many boys face
  • Girls have high levels of estrogen and progesterone
    • Bond first and ask questions later
  • Boys have high levels of testosterone
    • Aggression and sex-drive
how does it work
Girls blood flow moves from the left side to the top of the brain

Where complex thought occurs

Never at rest

A clear learning advantage

Boys blood flow moves from the right side down to the brain stem

Fight or flight area of the brain

“task focus”

Only concerned about task at hand

How does it work?
girls are so emotional and so are boys
Boys require a longer time period to process emotion

The disadvantage being missed learning opportunities

More emotionally fragile than girls

Girls collect and process emotional stimulants quicker

They are able to discuss their emotions and work through them

Easily overwhelmed by the amount

Girls are so emotional!(and so are boys)
pre k and kindergarten

Need extra work on fine motor skills

Allow a lot of manipulative activities

Teach to use “emotion laden” words


Need a lot of movement related games

Team building to help girls assume leadership roles

Puzzles to facilitate perceptual learning

Pre-K and Kindergarten
boys in the elementary classroom
Direct energy toward academics

Make arrangements for incorporating movement into the schedule

Allow extra room in work areas

Encourage bonding between student and teacher

Build imagination

Lots of stories and myth making

Provide opportunities for verbalization

Look for positive male role models

Advocate for boys issues in school as well as in the community

Boys in the elementary classroom
girls in the elementary classroom
Early math using manipulatives

This is also recommended for science

Access to technology

Computers and internet

Connect math and science with journal writing

Encourage healthy amounts of competition

Girls in the elementary classroom
boys in the middle grades
Create strategies for quick tension release

Separate gender activities

When appropriate

Rites of passage

Team discipline

Consistently applied throughout the school

Group work and pair work

Strong male role models

Boys in the middle grades
girls in the middle grades
Be aware of hormonal and brain development

Teach math and science with a “hands on” approach

Use separate sex classes when appropriate

Encourage class participation

Have high academic and social expectations

Students will rise to meet expectations

Female role models in the school

Girls in the middle grades
high school classrooms
High School Classrooms
  • A continuation of responding to specific gender needs
  • Strong role models, character education, and separate sex activities are all still strongly recommended
why is this important
Why is this important?
  • Middle school teachers need to be responsive to the developmental needs of their students
  • This particular book covers the past, present and future development of young adolescents
  • This book also contains, at the end of each section, a guide for parents
what do we do with it
What do we do with it?
  • Be an advocate for gender specific issues within the community
  • Offer assistance to parents, referring them to specific chapters, to help them understand their children
  • Be a link and a valuable resource for students between home, school, and community
boys and girls learn differently1

Boys and Girls Learn Differently!

A Guide for Parents and Teachers by Michael Gurian

designed by karen perry
Designed by Karen Perry

Teaching Young Adolescents

Dr. Tracy Smith, Instructor

18 May 2004