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The landmark book Boys and Girls Learn Differently! outlines the brain-based educational theories and techniques that can be used to transform classrooms and help children learn better. Now The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers presents experiential learning techniques that teachers can use to create an environment and enriched curriculum that take into account the needs of the developing child's brain and allows both boys and girls to gain maximum learning opportunities. This important ...
The landmark book Boys and Girls Learn Differently! outlines the brain-based educational theories and techniques that can be used to transform classrooms and help children learn better. Now The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers presents experiential learning techniques that teachers can use to create an environment and enriched curriculum that take into account the needs of the developing child's brain and allows both boys and girls to gain maximum learning opportunities. This important and easy-to-use guide is based on the latest scientific scholarship on the differences between boy's and girl's brains, neurological development, hormonal effects, behavior, and learning needs and offers information on what all children need to be able to learn effectively. Michael Gurian and his colleagues applied these recent discoveries in the field during a two-year Gurian Institute pilot program in Missouri that led to measurably better academic performance and improved behavior.
Applying Brain-Based Research 1
Boys and Girls Learn Differently! 2
Using this Guide 2
The Contents of this Guide 3
1. Background: how the brain learns 7
Inherent Differences Between Boys’ and Girls’ Brains 8
Developmental and Structural Differences 9
Chemical and Hormonal Differences 10
Functional Differences 11
Differences in Processing Emotion 13
Why There are Differences Between Male and Female Brains 14
A Brief History of Brain Differences 14
Hormones in Utero and at Puberty 15
How Brain-Based Differences Affect Boys and Girls 16
Learning-Style Differences 16
Learning Differences and the Intelligences 21
Applying Brain-Based Gender Research 23
Academic Performance and Classroom Behavior 23
Reading and Writing Competence 24
Test Scores 24
Psychological, Learning, and Behavioral Disorders 25
Maturity, Discipline, and Behavior 26
Educational Aspirations 26
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities 27
Cultural Gender Bias 27
Sexual Abuse and Violence 28
2. Bonding and Attachment 29
Preschool and Kindergarten 29
Handling Children’s Emotional Stress 30
Bonding and Attachment Solutions 30
Elementary School 34
Bonding and Attachment Activities 34
Handling Students’ Emotional Stress 37
The Role of the Mentor 40
Middle School 42
The Early Adolescent’s Drop in Self-Esteem 42
Handling Students’ Emotional Stress 44
Community Collaboration 47
High School 50
Showing Interest in Students 50
Communication and Conflict Resolution 51
Peer Leadership, Not Peer Pressure 52
3. Discipline and Related Issues 55
Boys and Aggression Nurturance 55
Preschool and Kindergarten 56
Dealing with Aggressive Behavior 56
Elementary School 59
Learning from Past Mistakes 59
Discipline Techniques After an Offending Act 61
Techniques to Prevent Undisciplined Behavior 64
Conflict and Anger Management 66
Motivational Techniques 68
Character Education 68
Dealing with Cruelty, Hazing, and Violence 70
The Role of Media 73
Middle School 74
Strategies for Providing Discipline 74
Community Collaboration 77
Character Education 78
High School 79
Techniques to Prevent Undisciplined Behavior 79
Character Education and Service Projects 81
Helping Young Males to Manage Aggression 82
4. Math, Science, and Spatial Learning 83
Preschool and Kindergarten 83
Techniques to Encourage Learning 83
Self-Directed Activities 85
Integrated Use of the Physical Environment 85
Games to Encourage Logical-Mathematical Thinking 87
Elementary School 89
Techniques to Encourage Learning 89
Using Manipulatives Whenever Possible 90
Mixing Modalities and Strategies 92
Use of Computers and Other Media 93
Middle School 94
Techniques to Encourage Learning 95
Boys and Girls Need Some of the Same Things 96
Computer Science and Gender in Middle School and High School 96
High School 99
Techniques to Encourage Learning 100
5. Language, Reading, Writing, and Social Science 103
Preschool and Kindergarten 103
Using Movement, Manipulatives, and Props 103
Elementary School 105
Techniques to Encourage Learning 105
Using Manipulatives 108
Providing Various Learning Modalities 109
Middle School 110
Techniques to Encourage Learning 111
High School 115
Teaching Reading 115
Teaching Language 116
Teaching Social Science 118
6. Physical Learning and Nutrition 121
The Need for Physical Activity 121
Preschool and Kindergarten 122
Developing Fine Motor Skills 122
The Outdoor Classroom 122
Elementary School 124
Movement and Motor Skills 124
Sports and Athletics 125
The Outdoor Classroom 126
Middle School and High School 127
Sports and Athletics 127
Mixed-Gender Sports 128
The Outdoor Classroom 129
Nutrition and Learning 129
Carbohydrates, Proteins, and the School Day 130
Fatty Acids 131
7. Special Education 133
A Program for Reading and Writing 133
Preschool and Kindergarten 134
Bonding and School-Home Alliances 134
Use of Psychotropic Medication 135
Elementary School 137
Techniques to Encourage Learning 137
Spatial Stimulants, Movement, and Multisensory Approaches 139
The Multisensory Approach to Reading Problems 141
Middle School 141
Factors in the Need for Special Education 141
Techniques to Encourage Learning 142
The Underachiever 144
High School 145
Techniques to Encourage Learning 145
8. Planning Your Own Experiential Activities 147
Introducing Experiential Learning 147
The Natural Learning Process 148
The Teacher as Facilitator 151
Experiential Learning Techniques 152
Important Factors in Planning Experiential Learning 155
Preferred Input Modes 156
Modes of Expression 157
Psychological Safety 157
Equipment, Manipulatives, and Props 157
Planning Activities and Games to Enhance Learning 158
Developmental Themes for Creating Learning Techniques and Activities 159
9. Structural Innovations 165
Preschool and Kindergarten 165
Innovations to Encourage Learning 165
Parent-Involvement Programs 166
Elementary School 167
Use of School Time 167
Class Size and Number of Teachers 168
Use of Group Dynamics and Group Work 169
Standardized Testing 170
Middle School 171
Separate-Sex Education 171
Psychosocial Education 173
Rites of Passage 174
Uniforms and Dress Codes 175
Other Innovations to Encourage Learning 176
High School 178
Class Size 178
Team Teaching and Homerooms 178
Use of School Time 179
Uniforms and Dress Codes 180
Innovations Students Want 181
Full Psychosocial Education 184
Rites of Passage 188
Appendix: Working with Parents 191
Preschool and Kindergarten 191
Elementary School 192
Middle School 192
High School 193
References and Resources 195
Organizations, Programs, and Services 198
The Authors 201
The Gurian Institute 203
Applying Brain-Based Research
Teachers who understand brain- and gender-based research (differences in anatomical structure, neurological development, and the chemical and hormonal climate in growing boys and girls) can help to ensure that the children in their care have a chance to find the attachment and bonding they need in order to learn and behave in the ways that are natural to them. This not only optimizes each child's natural learning abilities but also helps to reduce the number of children who are labeled as discipline problems, slow learners, and attention-deficient.
Knowledge of research in brain-based gender differences in how children learn is one of the best tools a teacher can have. In the "ultimate classroom," teachers' efforts are supported by administrators and parents, who are trained in and committed to gender-based education. But teachers can start now to apply what they have learned in their own classrooms, while urging greater changes at the school, school district, and state levels. This guide was developed to help teachers create and adapt techniques, activities, games, rituals, and other learning innovations that use knowledge of how boys and girls brains work and what they need at different stages of school life. With time and effort, we can institute gender-appropriate educational techniques that bring the greatest benefit to all our children.
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!
This guide and Boys and Girls Learn Differently!-on which it is based-incorporate over twenty-five years of research pertaining to differences in the behaviors and learning styles of male and female schoolchildren. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! explains
Neurological and endocrinological (hormonal) effects on learning and behavior
Developmental psychology, especially the effects of natural human developmental cycles on learning and behavior
Gender research on neurobiological and environmental differences (and similarities) between boys and girls
The biological and neurological information in Boys and Girls Learn Differently! comes from sources listed in the Notes and the Additional Resources of that book. Michael Gurian also studied thirty cultures to make sure that the conclusions presented in the book had worldwide validity. The book explains areas in which boys and girls are weak and strong, vulnerable and dominant, and tells how teachers and parents can apply the knowledge to classrooms and other child-learning environments.
Using This Guide
To provide a background for planning brain- and gender-based classroom activities, techniques, and other innovations, the research described in Boys and Girls Learn Differently! is summarized in this guide, and many of the classroom activities, techniques, and structural innovations offered by teachers and other educational specialists trained by the Gurian Institute are included.
In addition, this guide contains pertinent new background material; many new classroom techniques, activities, and other innovations used by teachers and school systems; and new, useful resources.
We hope that you will find ways to adapt these techniques and activities and create new ones suited to your own students, subjects, grade levels, and special needs. The goal of such innovations is to create the "ultimate classroom" in all grades from preschool through high school.
This guide also is structured differently from Boys and Girls Learn Differently! Many chapters are devoted to specific areas of learning, and grades from preschool through high school are discussed within those chapters, as appropriate.
Teachers will find that most of the background information and many of the techniques, activities, and other innovations appropriate to one grade level can be applied, at least in part, to other grades. Similarly, insights and innovations from one topical heading can be used by teachers who are primarily interested in other topical headings. Therefore, we urge you to read all sections rather than focusing only on the ones that, at first glance, may seem most pertinent to your classroom(s).
This guide also contains a new discussion of experiential learning-a way of helping children "learn how to learn"-and a format for designing new classroom activities, games, and educational innovations based on the research.
We hope that, as you work your way through this publication, you will find practical assistance in your efforts to better help the children in your care to learn and thrive. The ultimate classroom best fits the nature of each individual child. It involves changes in school and classroom structures, functions, and emotive opportunities, how senses and physical activity are used, and how parents are advised to help their children learn. We hope that you will find countless ways to create the ultimate classroom in your school.
The Contents of This Guide
Chapter One, "Background: How the Brain Learns," describes inherent differences between boys' and girls' brains; the reasons for these differences; and how the differences are manifest in boys and girls in terms of learning styles and various types of intelligences. It also describes how brain-based gender research indicates the need for change in our schools, in nine critical areas.
Chapter Two, "Bonding and Attachment," explains the vital role of bonding and attachment in a child's behavioral, psychological, and intellectual growth. It describes sources of, and techniques for dealing with, children's emotional stress; the importance of mentors, community involvement, and rites of passage in a child's life; and tips regarding communication and conflict resolution that maintain teacher-student bonds.
This chapter and each of the succeeding chapters is divided into sections devoted to preschool and kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and high school. Each section presents successful techniques and activities that teachers and school systems actually use, and many of these are applicable to other grade levels as well.
Chapter Three, "Discipline and Related Issues," includes a discussion of aggression and its role in development (especially male development). It offers insights into how to deal with aggression in young children through empathy nurturance and verbalization and how to teach conflict management and anger management to older students. It presents the reasons for many disciplinary problems (including the effect of the media on student behavior), techniques for motivating all students and preventing disciplinary problems, and successful disciplinary strategies and techniques used by educators at all grade levels. In addition, it discusses the need for schools to deal with harassment and cruelty and to offer character-education programs.
Chapter Four, "Math, Science, and Spatial Learning," explains why boys tend to do better than girls in these areas and what educators can do to help all students learn more easily and effectively. Topics include self-directed activities; use of the physical environment in teaching math and science; and how to make math more "hands-on" with the use of manipulatives, games, and other activities that encourage spatial and logical-mathematical thinking. This chapter also highlights the need to vary teaching media and strategies in order to help girls and nonspatial boys to process math calculations and science data. Special sections on the use of computers make recommendations about computer usage and education at the different school levels, and the importance of encouraging students to learn math, science, and other technologies is reinforced.
This chapter also introduces an important theme, the use of learning pairs and groups; this theme is continued in subsequent chapters.
Chapter Five is "Language, Reading, Writing, and Social Science." As in the other chapters, the use of movement and manipulatives in learning and the need to use multisensory stimulation and a variety of learning modalities in order to teach to children's visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning modes are discussed. Structural techniques include peer tutoring, cooperative groups, same-sex learning, scholarly discourse, and connecting language arts and history to other experiential processes. This chapter also discusses how to tie language, reading, writing, and social-science classes into character development. Chapter Six, "Physical Learning and Nutrition," explains why young children, especially boys, need to move around as they learn. It describes the current crisis in the United States from the lack of proper nutrition and the lack of vigorous physical activity that is necessary for full physical, intellectual, and psychosocial development. It presents activities and techniques for developing fine motor skills and using the outdoor classroom. In discussing the proper roles of sports, athletics, and competition in child development, the authors make recommendations for physical activities that should be included in the curriculum for different age levels. They tell how athletics can help cut down on discipline problems among adolescents and also why mixed-gender sports in which teen-aged males and females (who are already undergoing the gender-driven stresses and confusions of adolescence) have to engage in tactile contact are not advisable. Finally, this chapter describes the detrimental effects of obesity in children; explains the effects of carbohydrates, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids on the developing body and brain; and makes recommendations for the intake of these foods based on the time of day and physical needs.
Special education is discussed in Chapter Seven, which explores why so many students diagnosed as having learning disorders or attention deficits are boys. It also notes the need to pay attention to the special needs of girls, whose disabilities often are not as marked as those of boys. Discussions cover the use of psychotropic medications; the special ed student's need for emotional bonds, safety, consistency, and discipline; and the school-home alliance. Activities and innovations that teachers use in their special ed classes are presented, including those that highlight the use of movement, a multi-sensory approach, and motivational techniques.
Chapter Eight, "Planning Your Own Experiential Activities," explains the rationale for experiential learning, which is exemplified in most of the techniques and activities described in this guide. It also describes the six stages of the natural learning process and how knowledge of this process can help students "learn how to learn"; the role of the teacher as facilitator; and the types of activities and learning technologies that can be used to encourage lasting learning. Important factors to consider when planning experiential-learning interventions are presented. The chapter concludes with a checklist to use in planning and developing personalized learning experiences and a summary of the developmental themes in this book, categorized by school level.
Chapter Nine makes a case for needed structural innovations at all school levels. Structural innovations are included here because gender-specific innovations are easier to implement when major structural innovations are in place. Recommended school-wide innovations include more parent involvement, year-round schooling, change in the timing of the school day, changes in class size and number of teachers, separate-sex education, school uniforms or dress codes, teacher teams, multigenerational mentoring, psychosocial and gender education for adolescents, changes in standardized testing, and an end to grade inflation. Classroom innovations include increased use of learning pairs and learning groups, rite-of-passage experiences, multigenerational learning, breaks from didactic learning, and more experiential learning. As with all chapters, examples of things that teachers and schools are successfully doing to bring these changes about are presented.
The Appendix, "Working with Parents," contains lists of actions that schools and teachers can take to involve parents and community members in the education and welfare of students. This involvement can make or break a school's or a teacher's ability to implement the changes, innovations, and techniques that are mandated by gender- and brain-based research and our knowledge of what we can do to improve and enrich our children's development and learning.
"References and Resources" contains a wealth of information about publications, programs, services, Websites, and organizations that can help teachers to apply what they know about the learning needs of boys and girls in their schools and classrooms.
Excerpted from The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers by Michael Gurian Arlette C. Ballew Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted June 22, 2004
I read the book and found it to be very disappointing,not to say arrogant and very poor research. If our children are taught in this manner, it will only cause confusion for both teachers and students. How anyone can catagorize ability by gender is beyond me.If a teacher has the usuall mix of students called 'individuals',you cannot possibly apply anything in this book to a real life situation.There is a mix of ability amoung students,not narrow gendered and narrow minded paths for which there is no alterative,namely the 'individual. I have found just as many girls with ADD as boys.I have found many verbal boys and spatial girls.If these theories are applied to the classroom,it causes nothing but confusion.How in the world can you help students if you view them in this way. I have a suggestion for teachers.Find what is individual and unique in your students and nurish their minds with 'I can!' instead of 'I can't because I'm a girl' 'or boy' Gurian's main concern is selling books and being a self obsorbed dictator,not an educational expert. Children are individuals,not gender specific clones!
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Posted May 8, 2013
Worn out societal myths made to look innate.What a fraud.This book has no place in education,since it merely is an attempt to mars venus esucation,much as Gray did to relationships.The myth of girls being non-spatial is bunk,Also these sterotypes harm boys as well.Don't bother applying to your study plan,We are all individuals and must be taught as an iindividual.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 18, 2009
the techniques of using punishment or embarrassing a child to behave are imappropriate. good info to have in the back of my mind, as a teacher, to understand the differences between boys and girls, but not cut and dry.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.