Monday, 27 September 2010


You know I like to read...

We've all come to accept that boys can't focus in the classroom or multi-task and like to play rough and tumble. We've all come to accept that girls can't be bothered with physical activity and are obsessed with relationships and what they look like. But what is it about boys and girls that explains the enormous differences in their achievements throughout the education system? In her book, 'Pink brain, Blue brain' Lise Eliot attempts to challenge those preconceptions and explains what we can do to change things. Based on a study of the research and her work in the new field of plasticity, Eliot argues that small childrens brains are adaptable and that small differences at birth become exaggerated over time, as parents, carers, peers, teachers and the society we live in reinforces these stereotypes. Children also appear to make things worse for themselves by constantly sticking to those “sporty” or “dolly” activities. We need to encourage children to experiment and explore and set up situations where we can develop boys and girls abilitities and aptitudes particularly in the early years. We can also get parents to help by helping them know how and when to get involved. Drawing on the latest scientific thinking at every stage Lise Eliot highlights the real differences between boys and girls. Boys are certainly better at some kinds of spatial reasoning than girls but girls are not naturally more empathetic than boys.

By appreciating these differences and working on them we can help our children reach their potential and release the magic and perhaps we can begin to close the achievement gap between our boys and our girls.

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