Teaching the Female Brain: How Girls Learn Math and Science

Teaching the Female Brain: How Girls Learn Math and Science

by Abigail Norfleet James
     
 

Incorporate brain-based research to empower girls in the classroom!

As any classroom teacher can tell you, there are discernible differences in the way girls and boys learn. This engaging, practical guide examines how girls' unique sensory, physical, cognitive, and emotional characteristics affect their performance in the classroom, and shows you how to adapt

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Overview

Incorporate brain-based research to empower girls in the classroom!

As any classroom teacher can tell you, there are discernible differences in the way girls and boys learn. This engaging, practical guide examines how girls' unique sensory, physical, cognitive, and emotional characteristics affect their performance in the classroom, and shows you how to adapt classroom experiences to assist girls' learning, particularly in math and science.

Abigail Norfleet James provides research-based findings to build your understanding of how females learn differently, whether in coed or single-sex settings, and clarifies assumptions held by both teachers and students about themselves. Inside, readers will find

Specific instructional techniques and practical applications for differentiating instruction in math and science

Ways of dealing with girls' stress

Up-to-date findings on styles of learning and math anxiety

Resources, figures, and charts, as well as quizzes in each chapter that introduce the topic and challenge preconceived notions of learning differences

Teach in ways that complement the female brain and give girls the best education possible!

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412967105
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
188
Sales rank:
426,089
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Abigail Norfleet James taught for many years in single-sex schools and consults on the subject of gendered teaching to school systems, colleges, and universities. Her area of expertise is developmental and educational psychology as applied to the gendered classroom. Prior to obtaining her doctorate from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, she taught general science, biology, and psychology in both boys’ and girls’ schools.

Her previous publications include reports of research comparing the educational attitudes of male graduates of coed schools and single-sex schools, research describing the effects of gendered basic skills instruction, and a report of academic achievement of students in single gender programs. In addition, she has written on differentiated instruction at the elementary school level. She has presented workshops and papers at many educational conferences and works with teachers and parent groups in interpreting the world of gendered education.

Her professional affiliations include the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, the Gender and Education Association, the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, and the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education (Advisory Board Member).

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Table of Contents

Foreword Monica M. Gillespie ix

Acknowledgments xi

About the Author xiii

Introduction 1

Quiz 2

The Problem 6

How to Help 6

1 The Influence of Cognitive Gender Differences 9

Quiz 10

Part I The Brain and Senses 12

What the Brain Looks Like 12

Sensory Differences 16

Part II The Mind 22

Verbal Skills 23

Analytic Styles 29

Brain and Cognitive Differences 31

2 Differences in Learning Approaches 33

Quiz 34

Learning Modalities 35

Auditory Learning 35

Verbal Learning 37

Kinesthetic Learning 37

Visual Learning 39

Group Size 42

Fairness 42

Learning Disabilities 44

Dyslexia 44

Dysgraphia/Dyspraxia 45

Dyscalculia 47

Synthesizing Versus Analyzing 48

Learning Differences and the Classroom 49

3 Dealing With Stress 51

Quiz 52

Stress 52

Management of Test Anxiety 54

Math Anxiety 57

Ability Versus Effort 58

Self-Handicapping 60

Focus 62

Management of Distractions 64

4 Teaching Math to the Female Brain 65

Quiz 66

Performance in Math 67

Testing Differences 67

Why Girls Don't Like Math 72

Lack of Confidence 72

Lack of Skills 72

Differences in Problem-Solving Approaches 75

People Orientation Preference 78

Manipulatives 79

Exact Solutions 80

What Can be Done to Help? 81

Early Introduction 81

Attitude Change 83

Clearer Instruction 85

Focus on Process, Not Product 86

Peer Influence 87

Math and Girls 88

5 Teaching Science to the Female Brain 91

Quiz 92

Why Girls Don't Like Science 93

Access (or the Lack of It) 93

Science Is Uninteresting 95

Collaborative Learning Style 96

Science Background 97

Spatial Relationships 100

Other Sensory Differences 103

Why Girls Should Do Well in Science104

Study Skills 104

Self-Discipline 104

What Can Be Done to Help? 106

Encouragement and Mentors 106

Methods to Change Girls' Minds 106

Science and Girls 113

6 Teaching Math and Science to Girls in a Coed School 115

Sociocultural Issues 116

History 116

Families 116

Other Teachers 117

Role Models 118

Verbal Versus Visual Approach 119

Single-Sex Classes or Programs 123

Practical Applications 125

Final Words 128

7 Gendered Instruction 129

Virginia Standards of Learning 130

Differentiated Instruction 131

Components of Differentiated Instruction 132

Multiple Intelligences 136

Tasks for Each of the Intelligences 137

Learning Modalities 138

Unit Design 142

Empowering Girls as Learners 152

Test-Taking Strategies 152

Beginning Strategies 152

Strategies for Specific Item Types 154

Final Words 157

8 Resources and Other Help 159

Math Techniques 159

Verbalizing Math 160

Box the Operator 161

Books 162

Books With Interesting and Simple Science Experiments 162

Books With Interesting Approaches to Math 163

Web Sites 163

Engineering Web Sites for Girls 163

Science Program Web Sites for Girls 164

Web Sites With Good Materials for Math and Science 165

Learning Style Assessments 166

Elementary School 167

Secondary School 170

References 173

Index 185

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