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The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6485-6
240 pages
March 2003, Jossey-Bass
The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers (0787964859) cover image

Description

The landmark book Boys and Girls Learn Differently! outlines the brain-based educational theories and techniques that can be used to transform classrooms and help children learn better. Now The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers presents experiential learning techniques that teachers can use to create an environment and enriched curriculum that take into account the needs of the developing child's brain and allows both boys and girls to gain maximum learning opportunities. This important and easy-to-use guide is based on the latest scientific scholarship on the differences between boy's and girl's brains, neurological development, hormonal effects, behavior, and learning needs and offers information on what all children need to be able to learn effectively. Michael Gurian and his colleagues applied these recent discoveries in the field during a two-year Gurian Institute pilot program in Missouri that led to measurably better academic performance and improved behavior.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Applying Brain-Based Research 1

Boys and Girls Learn Differently! 2

Using this Guide 2

The Contents of this Guide 3

1. Background: how the brain learns 7

Inherent Differences Between Boys’ and Girls’ Brains 8

Developmental and Structural Differences 9

Chemical and Hormonal Differences 10

Functional Differences 11

Differences in Processing Emotion 13

Why There are Differences Between Male and Female Brains 14

A Brief History of Brain Differences 14

Hormones in Utero and at Puberty 15

How Brain-Based Differences Affect Boys and Girls 16

Learning-Style Differences 16

Learning Differences and the Intelligences 21

Applying Brain-Based Gender Research 23

Academic Performance and Classroom Behavior 23

Reading and Writing Competence 24

Test Scores 24

Psychological, Learning, and Behavioral Disorders 25

Maturity, Discipline, and Behavior 26

Educational Aspirations 26

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities 27

Cultural Gender Bias 27

Sexual Abuse and Violence 28

2. Bonding and Attachment 29

Preschool and Kindergarten 29

Handling Children’s Emotional Stress 30

Bonding and Attachment Solutions 30

Elementary School 34

Bonding and Attachment Activities 34

Handling Students’ Emotional Stress 37

The Role of the Mentor 40

Middle School 42

The Early Adolescent’s Drop in Self-Esteem 42

Handling Students’ Emotional Stress 44

Community Collaboration 47

High School 50

Showing Interest in Students 50

Communication and Conflict Resolution 51

Peer Leadership, Not Peer Pressure 52

Mentoring 53

3. Discipline and Related Issues 55

Boys and Aggression Nurturance 55

Preschool and Kindergarten 56

Dealing with Aggressive Behavior 56

Elementary School 59

Learning from Past Mistakes 59

Discipline Techniques After an Offending Act 61

Techniques to Prevent Undisciplined Behavior 64

Conflict and Anger Management 66

Motivational Techniques 68

Character Education 68

Dealing with Cruelty, Hazing, and Violence 70

The Role of Media 73

Middle School 74

Strategies for Providing Discipline 74

Community Collaboration 77

Character Education 78

High School 79

Techniques to Prevent Undisciplined Behavior 79

Character Education and Service Projects 81

Helping Young Males to Manage Aggression 82

4. Math, Science, and Spatial Learning 83

Preschool and Kindergarten 83

Techniques to Encourage Learning 83

Self-Directed Activities 85

Integrated Use of the Physical Environment 85

Games to Encourage Logical-Mathematical Thinking 87

Elementary School 89

Techniques to Encourage Learning 89

Using Manipulatives Whenever Possible 90

Mixing Modalities and Strategies 92

Use of Computers and Other Media 93

Middle School 94

Techniques to Encourage Learning 95

Boys and Girls Need Some of the Same Things 96

Computer Science and Gender in Middle School and High School 96

High School 99

Techniques to Encourage Learning 100

5. Language, Reading, Writing, and Social Science 103

Preschool and Kindergarten 103

Using Movement, Manipulatives, and Props 103

Elementary School 105

Techniques to Encourage Learning 105

Using Manipulatives 108

Providing Various Learning Modalities 109

Middle School 110

Techniques to Encourage Learning 111

High School 115

Teaching Reading 115

Teaching Language 116

Teaching Social Science 118

6. Physical Learning and Nutrition 121

The Need for Physical Activity 121

Preschool and Kindergarten 122

Developing Fine Motor Skills 122

The Outdoor Classroom 122

Elementary School 124

Movement and Motor Skills 124

Sports and Athletics 125

The Outdoor Classroom 126

Middle School and High School 127

Sports and Athletics 127

Mixed-Gender Sports 128

The Outdoor Classroom 129

Nutrition and Learning 129

Obesity 129

Carbohydrates, Proteins, and the School Day 130

Fatty Acids 131

7. Special Education 133

A Program for Reading and Writing 133

Preschool and Kindergarten 134

Bonding and School-Home Alliances 134

Use of Psychotropic Medication 135

Elementary School 137

Techniques to Encourage Learning 137

Spatial Stimulants, Movement, and Multisensory Approaches 139

The Multisensory Approach to Reading Problems 141

Middle School 141

Factors in the Need for Special Education 141

Techniques to Encourage Learning 142

The Underachiever 144

High School 145

Techniques to Encourage Learning 145

8. Planning Your Own Experiential Activities 147

Introducing Experiential Learning 147

The Natural Learning Process 148

The Teacher as Facilitator 151

Experiential Learning Techniques 152

Important Factors in Planning Experiential Learning 155

Purpose(s) 155

Students 155

Timing 156

Involvement 156

Preferred Input Modes 156

Instructions 157

Modes of Expression 157

Psychological Safety 157

Equipment, Manipulatives, and Props 157

Planning Activities and Games to Enhance Learning 158

Developmental Themes for Creating Learning Techniques and Activities 159

9. Structural Innovations 165

Preschool and Kindergarten 165

Innovations to Encourage Learning 165

Parent-Involvement Programs 166

Elementary School 167

Use of School Time 167

Class Size and Number of Teachers 168

Use of Group Dynamics and Group Work 169

Standardized Testing 170

Middle School 171

Separate-Sex Education 171

Psychosocial Education 173

Rites of Passage 174

Uniforms and Dress Codes 175

Other Innovations to Encourage Learning 176

High School 178

Class Size 178

Team Teaching and Homerooms 178

Use of School Time 179

Uniforms and Dress Codes 180

Innovations Students Want 181

Full Psychosocial Education 184

Rites of Passage 188

Counterinnovations 189

Appendix: Working with Parents 191

Preschool and Kindergarten 191

Elementary School 192

Middle School 192

High School 193

References and Resources 195

Publications 195

Organizations, Programs, and Services 198

The Authors 201

The Gurian Institute 203

Index 205

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Author Information

Michael Gurian is an educator, family therapist, and author of three national best-sellers, The Wonder of Boys, The Wonder of Girls, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently! He is cofounder of the Michael Gurian Institute (www.gurianinstitute.com) where, along with institute staff, teachers are trained in brain-based and gender innovations. He can be reached at www.michaelgurian.com

Arlette C. Ballew is a writer and editor who specializes in experiential learning, training, education, and human resource development. She is the coauthor of seven volumes of Pfeiffer & Company's Training Technologies Series and of Earthquake Survival: Activities and Leaders Guide; the coeditor of the four volumes of Theories and Models in Applied Behavioral Science; and the developer of many experiential training activities, educational and training packages, leader's guides, and workbooks.

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