It is a question that has been asked for a long time and in recent years scientists have come that little bit closer to uncovering the answer; the question of course being Do Boys and Girls Learn Differently?
Do Boys and Girls Learn Differently?
In general there are differences in how boys and girls do learn but they are not so far removed from each other that their ability to learn is inhibited in any way.
Recent studies have shown that girls enjoy schooling more than boys and whilst boys are more orientated towards activities that involve a lot of exercise such as football, running and the likes, girls are more akin to subjects that involve more academic study such as English, Mathematics etc.
Is Education Designed to Favour One Sex Over the Other?
It may not sound like a question that should be asked but it is a question that many people have been asking in recent years and with good reason.
The numbers of females in education who have passed examinations and faired better than males has increased substantially.
And this is not simply confined to schools; it also includes colleges, universities and adult-learning classes.
We must point out at this juncture that it is not intended to sound sexist or prejudiced towards any one gender but the facts are there and the scientific studies have been carried out in order to back up the claims.
Males tend not to aspire to the classroom ethos and instead fair better in subjects where they can flex their muscle as it were; such subjects as Physical Education, Woodwork, and Information Technology.
These subjects seem to enthuse the minds of young men and schoolboys whereas young women and schoolgirls seem distinctly uninterested in such subjects and instead veer towards the spoken word.
Have the Roles of Men and Women Had Any Effect on Learning?
The roles of men and women have changed substantially in the last three decades.
Whereas even as recently as the 1970s it was taken almost for granted that women would become homemakers and stay at home with the children whilst the men went out to work, these boundaries have now all but disappeared.
In some instances they have even reversed and the males have stayed at home to look after the children.
With this in mind it is worth considering that where the educational system was perhaps predisposed to the idea that women needed to know less because they stayed at home, now that ethos has changed and in its place is a new ethos whereby both male and female should be educated to the same degree.
However it is worth mentioning again the scientific data that reveals that a larger percentage of women than men are graduating from universities and institutes of further education than men.
The Way Forward for Learning
It would seem as time passes that the way in which children are taught at school has become more uniform with the emphasis being more on pass rates and success than whether one gender needs to know more about a subject than the other.
In addition it would seem that where classes were once taught in a segregated manner – with talk of sex education discussed separately for boys and girls – that now both genders are considered equal and able to understand and comprehend in the same way.
If you would like to know how your child is being taught at school and if gender is an issue in their education then you should arrange to discuss the matter with their form teacher or head teacher.