Monday, June 10, 2013

The brains of boys ...

Great article that should alert every mother of sons. Politically incorrect as it may be, the aptitudes, abilities and needs of boys and girls are very different. Or to put it in the more eloquent words of a very wise woman “there are rich and rare differences between males and females and we ignore them at our peril!”

Maggie Dent points to the differences in the brain development of young children, explaining that the left and right sides of the brains of little girls develop at the same rate. Boys however lag far behind in left brain development, their right brain forging ahead and making optimum learning for boys occur through activity and doing. Passivity numbs boys’ brains!

The solution of course isn’t always in the hands of pre and primary schools, where there is generally a significant teacher gender imbalance. However, little boys are disadvantaged when offered quiet, craft and indoor activities when they should be running, climbing, jumping and tumbling. This is not to denigrate the wonderful creativity, patience, forbearance and nurturing abilities of women teachers, just a reminder that little boys do best when in action, not when sitting still. We might see a reduction in the number of boys on the so-called “spectrum” of learning and behaviour disorders if they were simply given more opportunity to spread their wings, get out of the classroom and into the fresh air.   

I reckon Mikey, my younger son, now half way through his primary teaching degree will be in high demand. He’s already hot property at our local after-school and vacation-care where he tells me the little boys in his care constantly eschew indoor creativity for a wild game of “tips”. Bet they'll love his tattoo and his earrings too.

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