Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kimberly Parker Talks About: Learning Differences Girls and Boys


I am dedicated to endless learning. Daily, I suss for what I call “brain gems.” Brain gems are derived from random insight into the world around me. I will gladly arrest the attention of my children at a moments notice so, together, we can dissect various topics.

“Okay, children. Time for critical thinking! What message do you believe is sent throughout the world when one names an R&B boy’s group ‘Mindless Behavior’?”

Yes. My critical thinking moments are that serious because the fate of our children demands such.

Recently, I chose to dive head first into a book that expounds upon the brain based learning differences between boys and girls. The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers by Michael Gurian and Arlette C. Ballew is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. I have not been able to peel myself away!

In his introduction, Mr. Gurian states,

“Schools and educators in the United States are struggling to teach all that they need to teach, maintain discipline, build character, and provide for the safety of the children in their care…More and more decisions about education are being made by politicians, rather than educators, and few policy makers understand the differences between how boys’ and girls’ brains work, how they differ, and what they need in order to learn.”

What I’ve gleaned has changed my perspective on the staggering discipline statistics targeted at boys. What’s more, it has challenged the notion that children are so out of control whereby they need to ingest behavior modification drugs like Ritalin and Concerta. Page after heart wrenching page, I was left with this pervasive thought: Poor children. Poor teachers. Poor society.

Here is a bit of what I’ve learned:

• One of the best tools an educator can have is knowledge of the behavioral differences between girls and boys.
• Knowledge of brain based differences fosters the ultimate classroom experience, helps each child optimize natural learning abilities, reduces discipline problems, and removes labels (“Bad”, “ADHD/ADD”, etc.).
• Most female brains mature earlier/more quickly than males.
• Girls acquire complex verbal skills about a year earlier than boys.
• Girls take in more sensory/auditory/visual data than boys.
• Boys have a greater advantage if seated at the head of the class

The more I learn about children and their growing needs, the more equipped I am to assist them throughout their formative years. This book is one of many that can serve as a platform for educational reform in our country. While I do not claim to have all the answers, I strongly suggest that you become a committee, do your research, and implement change. At the very least, change can begin inside the four walls of your home and then spread abroad

  Kimberly K. Parker is the President and CEO of Writing Momma Publishing, LLC (www.writingmomma.com). To date, she has written three books and has helped 12 children between the ages of nine and nineteen write and publish books of their own. This summer, she is offering “The Ultimate Writing Experience!” For more information visit www.writingmomma.com and click on Writing Programs. Kimberly is a professional writer, author, publisher, and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.

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