Prior's Field September 2018

Only Boys? Teaching the male brain.

Published Wednesday 16th of February 2011 08:49:56 AM

A whirlwind of enthusiasm arrived in the form of Dr. Abigail James the well renowned American author and speaker at Aldwickbury School on February 8th. Talking to teachers who have taught numerous boys, and parents who have at least one son, it would seem that she was talking to experts on the subject of the male species but the audience was to be firmly re-educated! An expert in her field Dr. James has spent her life dedicated to spreading the word that there are fundamental differences in educating girls and boys. Her area of expertise is developmental and educational psychology as applied to the gendered classroom and hearing her speak was awe inspiring. Drawing on her years of research she explained the cognitive, sensory, physical, social and emotional differences between girls and boys with many laughs from the audience who appreciated these differences exist between adult men and women too. Because boys respond in different ways to even the simplest teaching strategies, a louder voice, visual movement and direct instructions as examples, it transpires that single sex education can be beneficial for both sexes from an early age. It was interesting to hear that old fashioned values such as reading to your son every night and encouraging hand writing are still essential even in this computer age, in order for a boy to reach his full potential later in life. Dr. James had many essential pointers to parental upbringing too, even highlighting the importance of talking to boys and not letting them get away with the single grunt of acknowledgment many have experienced. The audience came away with many interesting strategies both for the home environment and for school when it comes to enhancing the experience of educating boys. Her book �Teaching the Male Brain: How Boys Think, Feel & Learn in School� is an in depth study of her vast experience in this area and one which many who heard her lecture will now track down and enthusiastically digest.
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