Teaching Methods that Appeal to Boys
Until recently, the concept of the male and female brain was strictly theory based on observation of the points at which under equal instruction each gender excelled. The advancement of technology has given the opportunity to study the internal structure of the learning process for boys and girls. The results of the biological study, reinforced the hypothesis of observed behavior, and offer a deeper articulation in the gender specific brain processes. With girls taking the lead in abstract comprehension such as reading and writing, boys push about the same distance away from the girls in math and science.
Teaching methods that appeal to boys are visual stimuli, and active participation. It puts boys at a distinct disadvantage when the majority of classrooms are the opposite philosophy. Giving credit to the many school districts through out the country, this has not gone unnoticed, and the curriculums have attempted to “split the difference” with combinations of classroom participation and physical education. Even these efforts though, are generic “one size fits all” and leave behind most minorities and low-income boys. The issues of gender related absorption of lessons in the classroom, has to find its resolution both in and outside of the classroom for any significant results to emerge.
Boys in the classroom would benefit from physical and active review of the classroom material through participation. This should not exclude the girls, and should also reinforce the lessons, but boys, as the research shows, will benefit in retention and comprehension of abstract concepts that are developed with reading and writing skills. These activities will also encourage teamwork at a crucial social developmental stage. Bringing the lessons out of the classroom and onto the playground is a teaching method that would appeal to boys. Keeping the girls involved will only increase the benefits to all the students.
While boys and girls experience growth, knowledge and the world in general differently, the teaching methods that appeal to boys are not gender biased. Visual stimuli such as flashcards and props used in the classroom will increase the focus and attention of the male students, while not diminishing the learning experience for the female students. Including, casual refreshers or conversations about the material during recess will reinforce retention of the materials and increase the gender socialization. Teaching methods that appeal to boys will take some melding of interests as the youths begin to define their gender identity and may be reluctant to participate in cross gender activities. Keep the lessons and the refreshers in neutral territory and both genders will get the most out of each lesson.